Tag Archives: cream cheese

Mini Eggnog Cheesecakes

mini eggnog cheesecakes | pale yellowLast holiday recipe of the season!  Hard to believe the year is almost over.  I feel like I’ve been running around like a maniac since July and I’m still waiting for the fast pace to end.  January is going to be super busy with the move and I’m working every Saturday in February, so it looks like I’ll have to wait until March to relax.  Luckily I’m loading up on Emergen-C to  get through winter.

mini eggnog cheesecakes | pale yellowThis past week has been a non-stop blast! I was able to catch up with multiple groups of friends and family to share meals and laughter.  At each event I brought a fresh baked good or two.  This year I didn’t mess around and brought my mixer to Michigan with me, it was time for some serious baking!  And yes, my family is spoiled!

mini eggnog cheesecakes | pale yellowHowever, between lunches, dinners, family parties, and sleep-overs, my body is feeling run down.  Throw in the drive back and forth between Michigan and New York and I’m done.  Who would have thought it would be raining both ways in December!  It’s time for some salads and couch time.

mini eggnog cheesecakes | pale yellowBefore we begin salad time, there are still a few desserts that need to be shown-off.  This dessert was probably my favorite of the holiday season!  There is strong eggnog flavor; I believe the rum extract plus fresh nutmeg really drove the cheesecake to flavor-town.  A Biscoff crust is crispy and tasty, while the lovely dollop of whipped cream sets the whole cheesecake off.  Mini cheesecakes maybe my thing in 2014, they’re awesome!

mini eggnog cheesecakes | pale yellowOne Year Ago – Chocolate Sugar Cookie Santas

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Mini Eggnog Cheesecakes
Adapted from Cooking Classy
Yield – 36 mini cheesecakes

16 Biscoff cookies
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
pinch of salt
16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
2 eggs
3/4 teaspoon rum extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup eggnog
1 1/4 cup heavy cream, cold
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
extra nutmeg for garnish

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 ˚F and line 36 mini muffin tins with paper liners.
  2. Crush the Biscoff cookies into fine pieces and mix into the melted butter with a pinch of salt.  Mix with a fork until all the crumbs are moist.
  3. Add about 1 teaspoon of crust into each tin and press down firmly.  I used the end of a rolling pin.
  4. Bake for 5 minutes and then let cool on a wire rack while you make the filling.
  5. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment cream the cream cheese until light and fluffy.  Add the nutmeg and beat for a few seconds.  Beat in the flour and sugar.
  6. Beat in the eggs one at a time.  Scrape the bowl as needed and beat in the extracts.
  7. Beat in the eggnog.  Use a 2-tablespoon scoop to portion the batter on the crusts, fill to the top.  Bake for 13 minutes or until set.
  8. Let cool completely on a wire rack and then refrigerate for at least 2 hours before topping.
  9. To make the topping beat the heavy cream with the sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment until you reach the stiff peak stage.
  10. Pipe or dollop on each cheesecake and sprinkle with more nutmeg.
  11. Store in the fridge.mini eggnog cheesecakes | pale yellow
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Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

pumpkin bundt cake with cream cheese frosting | pale yellowJust because it’s December, doesn’t mean I’m ready to give up pumpkin treats.  Winter officially starts December 21st and I plan on squeezing in a few fall treats before then!  If you’ve moved on to peppermint, gingerbread, and eggnog, pin this recipe now and make it next fall!  Or just go buy a can of pumpkin because this bundt cake is delicious anytime of year.

pumpkin bundt cake with cream cheese frosting | pale yellowThis fall I started going to a young adult group at my church and it has been a helpful setting to clear my mind and refocus my energy.  The group meets every other Wednesday which is perfect for the busy group. Each Wednesday people bring different snacks to share and I wish I could bring treats more often than I have.

pumpkin bundt cake with cream cheese frosting | pale yellowOn one particular Wednesday the Bishop was coming; it was kind of a big deal.  I didn’t want to be a show-off, but  I did want to be impressive.  Side note – I love being a show-off; when I bake something incredibly delicious, I know it’s amazing, I’m just acting low-key and modest.  Second side note – I’m an a-hole sometimes.  Few things are more impressive than a good old fashion bundt cake.  There is so much elegance in simplicity and bundt cakes are the epitome of simplicity.

pumpkin bundt cake with cream cheese frosting | pale yellowAll the ingredients are thrown together, baked in a lovely pan, and then glazed.  No fancy pipping or fondant; no layers or fillings – just delightful cake and a little frosting.  People tend to get excited by a bundt cake, myself included!

pumpkin bundt cake with cream cheese frosting | pale yellowThis particular bundt cake is super flavorful with fall spices and is moist and tender from the pumpkin.  Cream cheese frosting is a little tangy and pairs perfectly with the pumpkin cake.  Bonus – the cake keeps wonderfully in the fridge!  I made the cake Sunday and didn’t serve until Wednesday.  Considering there was little to no cake left at the end of the evening, I’d say it was a success!  Plus the Bishop took the first piece!

pumpkin bundt cake with cream cheese frosting | pale yellowOne Year Ago – Banana Bread with Hazelnuts and Chocolate

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Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Adapted from My Baking Addiction
Yield – 12-16 servings

Pumpkin Cake
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
15 ounces canned pumpkin

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F and spray a bundt pan liberally with Baker’s Joy.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat together the sugar and oil until well combined.  Beat in the eggs one at a time.  Scrape the bowl as needed.
  3. Whisk together the flour, soda, spices, and salt in a medium bowl.  Add the dry ingredients and pumpkin in alternating batches while the mixer in on low speed.
  4. Once all the ingredients are well combined, pour the batter into the bundt pan evenly.
  5. Bake for 60 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  6. Let cool for 10 minutes in the pan and then remove the cake.  Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

Cream Cheese Frosting
4 ounces cream cheese at room temperature, 1/3 fat
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon whole milk
ground cinnamon and nutmeg for topping

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat together the butter and cream cheese.
  2. Beat in the powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time until light and fluffy.
  3. Beat in the vanilla and milk until the frosting reaches the desired consistency.
  4. Spread over the top of the cooled bundt cake and push the frosting over the edges.
  5. Sprinkle the top lightly with cinnamon and freshly ground nutmeg.
  6. Wrapped well the cake will keep for 3 days in the refrigerator.pumpkin bundt cake with cream cheese frosting | pale yellow

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Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream

pumpkin pie ice cream | pale yellowIn no particular order my favorite foods are brisket mac & cheese from Fatty ‘Cue at Barclay Center, pumpkin pie, my mom’s stuffed cabbage, pumpkin pie custard from Shake Shack, and bourbon.  Do you notice something in that list?  That there are TWO types of pumpkin pie products?  That is not a typo, that’s my real life.

Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream | Pale YellowI don’t make pumpkin recipes for the blog because pumpkin in the fall is trendy and that is what bloggers do; I make pumpkin things because I truly LOVE pumpkin.  And its not just about the vegetable, it’s about the warm spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and allspice.

Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream | Pale YellowI purposefully never make pumpkin pie spice because I love the routine of pulling each spice out of the cupboard and measuring it individually.  That was I can adjust and add a little bit more, always a little bit more!

Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream | Pale YellowSo let’s talk about this ice cream; my first attempt at a pumpkin pie ice cream.  When something is so sacred in your heart, it can be scary to try and recreate that item at home.  Why remake something when you know where to get the perfect version?  But I wanted to try.  I’m glad tried!

Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream | Pale YellowDuring the first tiny bites I was hesitant to say how good the ice cream was.  But then as I ate more, I was more and more impressed with myself!  I’m not going to say this ice cream is better than the Shake Shack pumpkin pie custard, because it’s not; trust me, I did a side-by-side comparison!  However, for a homemade version, this is terrific and and I highly recommend that you whip up a batch.  Now I can satisfy my pumpkin pie ice cream whether or not Shake Shack is featuring the ice cream one day a week!

Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream | Pale YellowOne Year Ago – Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies

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Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream
Adapted from We All Scream
Yield – 1 quart

1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons milk
3 ounces cream cheese, 1/3 fat, room temperature
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 tablespoon maple syrup
pinch of salt
2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 tablespoon pumpkin spice liqueur
crumbled Biscoff cookies, optional

  1. Place the bowl of the ice cream maker in the freezer.
  2. Whisk together the cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of milk in a little bowl, set aside.
  3. In the bowl a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat together the cream cheese, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, and salt until smooth and creamy.  Turn the mixer off and leave the mix alone.
  4. In a medium saucepan combine the milk, heavy cream, sugar, corn syrup, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice.  Heat and whisk until the mixture boils for 4-5 minutes.
  5. Remove from the heat and add the cornstarch slurry.  Return to the heat and allow to thicken for another minute or so.  Stir the entire time.
  6. Pour the mixture from the stovetop into the bowl on the stand mixer.  Mix on low until well combined.
  7. Strain the mixture with a fine sieve and stir in the liqueur.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  8. Churn the mixture according to the manufacturer’s directions and then freeze to harden before serving.
  9. If desired, sprinkle crumbled Biscoff cookies on top for textural contrast.Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream | Pale Yellow

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Slutty Cheesecake Bars

slutty cheesecake bars |pale yellow {chocolate chip cookie base, oreos, cheesecake, and whoppers on top}Right now I’m going to write about something you don’t want to hear about – vacation hangovers.  It’s a true, sad, scary period of time post-vacation when you’re a little bit depressed the vacation is over and real life seems totally overwhelming.  I want a rum punch in my hand, sand in my toes, and the ocean in my ears.  Yes, I’m a brat.

slutty cheesecake bars |pale yellow {chocolate chip cookie base, oreos, cheesecake, and whoppers on top}I always have such bad vacation hangovers.  It’s like I can’t handle sustained fun.  I don’t know what’s wrong with me.  I’m sitting on the floor hiding in my room reading the 300+ blog articles I missed in the internet-free paradise known as the Dominican Republic.  So many posts in Feedly…

slutty cheesecake bars |pale yellow {chocolate chip cookie base, oreos, cheesecake, and whoppers on top}Apparently everyone went crazy for blueberries in my six days without the internet.  I think I just saved 12 blueberry posts to comment on and pin later.  Also, does anyone subscribe to Thought Catalog?  I love the idea of the site and appreciate the many words of wisdom and hilarity, but sometimes it’s just. too. much.  Again, I’m a brat.

slutty cheesecake bars |pale yellow {chocolate chip cookie base, oreos, cheesecake, and whoppers on top}Let’s talk about happier things, like happy vacations and happy birthdays.  I made myself two birthday treats this year; one to post on the blog and one for my actual birthday celebration with my family.  I grew up with a pretty tight knit family of aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents.  We celebrated every birthday and holiday together; there was basically a family get t0gether once a month.  I have been fortunate to have such an awesome and blessed life!

slutty cheesecake bars |pale yellow {chocolate chip cookie base, oreos, cheesecake, and whoppers on top}Anyway, since I live in NYC and my whole family lives in Michigan, I miss almost all of the family parties, even my own.  This year, because of my cousin’s wedding, I was in Michigan to celebrate with her and to celebrate my own birthday!  I wanted to make myself something relatively simple and definitely make-ahead.  Slutty cheesecake bars are perfect in every way.  I also wanted to make these because a different cousin made slutty brownies for his wife on mother’s day; deliciously hilarious!

slutty cheesecake bars |pale yellow {chocolate chip cookie base, oreos, cheesecake, and whoppers on top}Slutty cheesecake bars wonderful on so many levels.  Number one – I totally cheated and used pre-packaged cookie dough, yep, it happened.  Two, layer some Oreos on the pre-made dough and then pour on some cheesecake mixture.  Sprinkle with some crushed cookies, bake, and you’re done, easy peasy.  Three, slutty cheesecakes bars simply taste good!  Sweet, rich and delightful little bites in your mouth.

slutty cheesecake bars |pale yellow {chocolate chip cookie base, oreos, cheesecake, and whoppers on top}One Year Ago – Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes

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Slutty Cheesecake Bars
Adapted from Baker’s Royale
Yield – 16 pieces (8 x 8” pan) or more if your mom makes you cut them small so everyone has a bite!

8-10 ounces chocolate chip cookie dough
16 + 5 oreos
12 ounces reduced fat cream cheese (1 1/2 boxes), room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 handfuls chopped whoppers, about 3 ounces

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F and line a 8 x 8” pan with foil.  Spray the foil lightly with cooking spray.
  2. Use about half the cookie dough (I could only find it in 16 ounces packages and used a little over half) and spread an even layer at the bottom of the pan.
  3. Press down and bake for 10-12 minutes until the cookie begins to set.
  4. Place 16 oreos on top of the baked cookie.
  5. In a medium bowl beat together the cream cheese, sugar, egg, and vanilla with a hand mixer until smooth.  Spread evenly over the oreos.
  6. Chop the 5 remaining oreos and whoppers; spread over the cheesecake.
  7. Bake for about 40 minutes until the top browns.
  8. Let cool completely and then refrigerate.  Once cold, cut into squares and serve.

slutty cheesecake bars |pale yellow {chocolate chip cookie base, oreos, cheesecake, and whoppers on top}Look at the layers!

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Red Velvet Ice Cream

red velvet ice cream // pale yellow

After making the milano cookies I had six left over egg yolks laying around.  Egg yolks can be hard to use up.  I have no problem using leftover egg whites in omelets, but an egg yolk omelet just doesn’t sound right, or healthy.

red velvet ice cream // pale yellow

You know what does sound right?  Ice cream.  It may still be snowing here in New York, but it’s time for some good ice cream, especially ice cream that uses up all those egg yolks.

red velvet ice cream // pale yellow

I’ve had red velvet ice cream at Shake Shack and although this is hard to admit due to my ardent love for Shake Shack, their red velvet ice cream was disappointing.  It tasted more like cream cheese ice cream with some red velvet cake crumbs thrown in.  Not cool Shake Shack, not cool.

red velvet ice cream // pale yellow

This IS red velvet ice cream.  The tangy-ness from the buttermilk shines through and the color is spectacular.  This tastes like red velvet cake.  And I hope you have noticed the cream cheese frosting swirl, because that my friends, takes the cake, literally.  The ice cream is fantastic on its own, but when rich, creamy, stick-to-your-teeth cream cheese is swirled throughout the red velvet ice cream, there is no competition.

red velvet ice cream // pale yellow

Ruth, Andrea, and I have all been eating the ice cream spoonful by spoonful from the freezer.  We are completely savoring every bite and we want to make it last for as long as possible.  Besides the mint ice cream with brownies and chocolate, this is the best ice cream I’ve made.  The mint ice cream only wins because of my partiality to mint & chocolate.  If you have an ice cream maker, do yourself a favor and whip up a batch of this ice cream!

red velvet ice cream // pale yellow

One Year Ago – Bellini Cupcakes

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Red Velvet Ice Cream

Adapted from Annie’s Eats

Yield – 1 quart

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

3/4 cup + 3 tablespoons sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons dark cocoa powder

6 large egg yolks

1 1/4 cup buttermilk (I used 2% milk with the juice of 1/2 a lemon to equal 1 1/4 cups with no problem)

generous squirt of red gel food coloring

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 tablespoons cake batter vodka

4 ounces cold cream cheese

2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

1 1/4 cups powdered sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla

2 tablespoons heavy cream

  1. Place the bowl of your ice cream maker in the freezer the night before.

  2. Stir together 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, 3/4 cup sugar, and cocoa powder in a medium saucepan and heat until the sugar is completely dissolved.

  3. Meanwhile whisk together the egg yolks and 3 tablespoons of sugar until pale yellow in a separate bowl.

  4. While whisking the eggs, drizzle in the hot cream.  Pour the whole mixture back into the saucepan and heat until everything thickens.

  5. Pour the mixture through a fine sieve into a clean bowl and whisk in the buttermilk, food coloring, vanilla, and vodka.

  6. Refrigerate until cool or overnight.

  7. Pour the mixture into your ice cream maker and churn according to your manufacturer’s directions.  While the ice cream is churning, make the cream cheese swirl.

  8. In a small food processor cream together the cream cheese and butter until smooth and well combined.

  9. Add in the powdered sugar, vanilla, and cream and mix until smooth.

  10. Place the cream cheese into a piping bag for easier swirling.

  11. Once the ice cream is churned, place half of it in your container.  Pipe zigzags of cream cheese and swirl slightly with a knife.  Repeat with the rest of the ice cream.

  12. Let freeze for several hours to reach desired hardness.red velvet ice cream // pale yellow

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Red Velvet Poke Cake

red velvet poke cake // pale yellow

This cake was the first non-vegan thing I ate.  I secretly sat on the counter top scraping the bits and pieces out of the pan as I cut a perfect slice to photograph.  I had a guilty smile on my face the whole time, I just couldn’t help myself; cream cheese, butter, eggs, it was too much for my vegan belly to reject.  I wanted butter so bad.

red velvet poke cake // pale yellow

I made this cake in honor of Chelsea’s 29th birthday, hence the rainbow sprinkles.  Chelsea is all things bright, loud, and colorful, and I wanted this cake to be a reflection of her.  She also happens to love red velvet so I knew she would enjoy this cake.  Conveniently, she was in town for the week staying with us.  I’m thankful we were able to celebrate a birthday with a good friend who now lives far away.

red velvet poke cake // pale yellow

For the past five years Ruth, Stacey, and I have all celebrated the same birthdays within a year.  Stacey’s birthday is in January so it always signaled the start of a new round of birthdays and a new number candle to buy.  With Stacey living far away, we did not have a chance to buy the “9” candle yet.  Luckily, Ruth was able to stretch her muscles and grab a new candle on the way home.

red velvet poke cake // pale yellow

This is a rich cake, and how can it not be?  When a caked is baked and then doused in sweetened condensed milk, you just know it’s going to be amazing.  The cake is dense and the milk keeps everything nice and moist.  According to Ruth on a Monday after a long day of work, “the corner is even more moist than it was a few days ago.”   And the frosting, oh my the frosting.  So sweet and creamy, and everything a former vegan needed.  This is some real good frosting.

red velvet poke cake // pale yellow

In conclusion, if you would like an easy, delightful cake to make for a large crowd this is the cake for you.  The flavors are simple and pleasing, sweet and rich.  You can decorate the top with whatever sort of sprinkle to fit any occasion.  Make this cake, you’ll be happy, and so will your friends.

red velvet poke cake // pale yellow

One Year Ago: My Favorite Brownie Recipe

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Red Velvet Poke Cake
Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker
Yield – 9×13” cake (15-20 servings)

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
big squirt red gel food coloring
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 cup buttermilk
2 1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk

  1. Preheat the to 350 F and grease and flour a 9 x 13” pan.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together until pale yellow for about 3 minutes on medium-high speed.  Add in the eggs one at a time and beat on high speed.  Scrape the bowl as needed.
  3. In a small bowl mix together the cocoa, water, and vanilla.  Add the paste to the egg mixture and beat in until well incorporated.
  4. Reduce the speed to low and pour in half the buttermilk and then half the flour.  Repeat with the second half of buttermilk and flour.  Mix for 1 minute until smooth.  Scrape the bowl as needed.
  5. Add in the salt, baking soda, and vinegar.  Beat together for 2 minutes on high.
  6. Spread the batter in the prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a knife inserted comes out clean.
  7. Use the handle of a wooden spoon to poke holes all over and then slowly pour the sweentened condensed milk over the top.
  8. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

Frosting
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla
colored sprinkles

  1. Cream the butter and cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk for for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add in the powdered sugar slowly and beat on high to mix thoroughly.  Scrape the bowl as needed and then mix in the vanilla.
  3. Spread evenly on the cooled cake.
  4. To make a rainbow with sprinkles use foil to expose one strip of frosting at a time and the n sprinkle generously with sprinkles.  Repeat as desired.red velvet poke cake // pale yellow

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Red Velvet Cupcakes

Red Velvet Cupcakes // Pale Yellow

I appreciate the tastes of teenage girls – simple.  Whenever I make cupcakes for students they always request simple and straight forward deliciousness.  These red velvet cupcakes are a perfect example.  Don’t confuse simple with bland or boring.  These cupcakes are moist and flavorful.  So far this year I have made vanilla cupcakes and oreo cupcakes for my monitors.

red velvet cupcakes // pale yellow

The winter doldrums have officially set in.  Everyday I come home from work and lay on the couch hiding under the blanket trying to find warmth and motivation.  There is so much to do, yet it’s easier to do nothing.  It’s silly considering I just had a 10-day vacation, but the holidays are never relaxing and work has a lot of deadlines right now.  Oh well, things will surely improve, enough whining.

red velvet cupcakes // pale yellow

About the cupcakes.  Red velvet is a great flavor to have in your arsenal.  Chocolate can be too heavy or rich and some weirdos people are not chocolate lovers.  Vanilla can be a little boring.  Red velvet is the perfect intermediate with lots of flavor and excitement but none of the bore.  Also, nothing goes better with a tangy cream cheese frosting than red velvet cupcake with just a hint of cocoa.

red velvet cupcakes // pale yellow

One Year Ago: Rainbow Cookies

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Red Velvet Cupcakes
Adapted from Mini Red Velvet Cupcakes
Yield – 12 cupcakes

1 1/4 cup flour
1 table. Dutch-processed cocoa, unsweetened
½ tea. salt
¾ cup sugar
¾ cup vegetable oil
1 egg
squirt of red gel food coloring paste (I use Americolor Tulip Red)
1 tea. vanilla
½ cup buttermilk
¾ tea. baking soda
1 tea. white vinegar

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Sift together flour, cocoa, and salt onto wax paper.
  3. In a mixer with a paddle attachment beat together the oil and sugar.  Add in the egg and beat well.  Add the vanilla and food coloring and mix on medium until everything is well combined.  Scrape the bowl as needed.
  4. Add 1/3 of the flour mix on low speed and then add 1/2 the buttermilk, add another 1/3 of flour, mix well.  Add the remaining buttermilk and then the rest of the flour.  Beat everything on high speed for 5 seconds to combine well.
  5. In a small measuring cup mix the soda and vinegar together and then add to the batter mixing well.
  6. Using a standard ice cream scoop to portion batter into lined cupcake pans.  Bake for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out of a center cupcake cleanly.
  7. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

Cream Cheese Frosting
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1 3/4 cup powdered sugar
Sprinkles

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy.  Beat in the vanilla and salt.  Scrape the bowl as needed.
  2. Gradually add in the powdered sugar to make a stiff frosting.
  3. Place the frosting in a piping bag and pipe a swirl on each a cupcake.
  4. Top with sprinkles.red velvet cupcakes // pale yellow

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Pumpkin Truffles

Pumpkin Truffles // Pale Yellow

After work on Fridays I usually do one of three things: happy hour “data meetings” with some co-workers, a little run at the gym (base case scenario), or I try to catch up on life.  This past Friday, like most of America, I sat in front of t.v. in disbelief.  I remember doing the same thing 14 years ago as a high school student watching the events of Columbine unfold.  As a 28 year old teacher I cannot begin to fathom what those teachers, children, and school have experienced.  Words escape me.  My thoughts and prayers are with those children, teachers, their families, and the Newtown community.  Bridget and Callye wrote some beautiful words on their blogs.

Pumpkin Truffles // Pale Yellow

I ruined an entire box of these truffles because they got wet and the white chocolate softened.  Many friends will not be able to taste the pumpkin truffles this year.  That is unfortunate because these are amazing!  Pumpkin truffles are my favorite Christmas cookie, a last little reminder of fall before the doom and gloom of winter.

Pumpkin Truffles // Pale Yellow

Even though I am a chocolate person, I understand not everyone is, so I try to include non-chocolate cookies on my cookie platter.  White chocolate is not technically chocolate anyway.  This cookie takes my favorite pumpkin bread recipe, mashes it up with cream cheese and dips it in white chocolate.  There is no way this can turn out badly.

Pumpkin Truffles // Pale Yellow

To make things simpler I made the pumpkin bread a few days before, let the bread cool completely, and then wrapped snugly in plastic wrap.  I tore the bread apart and threw the pieces in the mixer with softened cream cheese.  Mixing for about a minute on low perfectly mixes the bread the cream cheese for easy scooping.  A little bit of rolling, refrigerating, and dipping gives you a delightfully delicious treat!  Sprinkle some ground gingersnaps on top and you’re done, delicious!

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Pumpkin Truffles
Adapted from Pumpkin Muffins
Inspired by How Sweet it is
Yield ~ 70

2 eggs
3/4 sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla
15 ounce pumpkin, just the pureed pumpkin
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon allspice
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature (1/3 fat)
24 ounces white candy melts
shortening
10 gingersnaps, crushed

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F and grease a loaf pan.
  2. Whisk together the eggs and sugar until well combined.  Whisk in the oil, applesauce, and vanilla until mixed together.  Finally, whisk in the pumpkin.
  3. Sift together the flour, powder, soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves onto wax paper.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until just combined.
  5. Pour into a 9″ loaf pan and bake for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted inside comes out clean. Do not overbake!
  6. Let cool completely on a wire rack.  Wrap in plastic until you’re ready to make the truffle portion.
  7. Break the bread into pieces and add to the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment.  Mix on low until the bread is broken into small pieces.  Add in the cream cheese and mix until well combined.
  8. Use a 1 tablespoon scoop to portion the truffles.  Roll the into balls and refrigerate for at least an hour.
  9. Add the candy melts to bowl set over a pan of simmering water.  Stir often and add shortening until the melted chocolate reaches the desired consistency, thinner is better.
  10. Sprinkle with crushed gingersnaps and set on wax paper to harden.

 

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Candy Cane Truffles

Candy Cane Truffles // Pale Yellow

These are an adaptation of the classic oreo truffle, but so much better because they are made with Trader Joe’s Candy Cane Joe Joe’s!  I won’t go all crazy again and profess my life for candy cane Joe Joe’s, but you can read about my love here.

Candy Cane Truffles // Pale Yellow

I have made these truffles for the past three years, they are always a hit!  And so simple too.  The hardest part is dipping, I HATE dipping things in chocolate; it’s messy, everything falls into the chocolate, and my chocolate is always lumpy. But, and this is a big but, all the mess and frustration is totally worth it!

Candy Cane Truffles // Pale Yellow

The process of making candy cane truffles or Oreo truffles is so simple and requires 4 ingredients: oreos, cream cheese, chocolate, and shortening.  Crush the oreos, and then throw them in the mixer with the cream cheese.  Mix on low until well combined and then scoop, roll, and refrigerate.  To dip I set up a double boiler and keep the water simmering on low the entire time.  I add a few scoops of shortening to thin the chocolate, this makes the coating thinner and softer, so the drying time is longer.  I use 2 forks to dip and the chocolates.

Candy Cane Truffles // Pale Yellow

Let cool and then place in cute papers.  Done. Deliciousness.  Everyone will love you, trust me!  Go buy some candy cane Joe Joe’s before I buy them all.

Candy Cane Truffles // Pale Yellow

Print the Recipe!

Candy Cane Truffles
Adapted from Oreo Truffles
Yield ~ 60

1 1/2 boxes Trader Joe’s Candy-Cane Joe-Joe’s
12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature (1/3 fat)
24 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
shortening
red/green candy melts for drizzling

  1. Crush the Joe-Joe’s into a fine crumb using a food processor.
  2. Add the Joe-Joe’s to the bowl of your stand mixer and mix on low with the cream cheese until well combined.
  3. Use a 1 tablespoon scoop to portion the dough.  Roll into balls and refrigerate for at least an hour.
  4. Melt the chocolate in a bowl placed over a pot of simmering water.  Add shortening to thin the chocolate to a proper consistency.
  5. Use forks to dip each truffle into the chocolate, let cool and harden on wax paper.
  6. Melt the colored candy melts and drizzle over the top, allow to cool.Candy Cane Truffles // Pale Yellow

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Pumpkin Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

As with many cupcakes, the name is long.  You just need a long name to describe the wonderfulness of the cupcake.  In this case, the title may seem long, but in fact the real title should read something like – brown butter spiced pumpkin cupcakes with a salted caramel cream cheese buttercream.  See?  Too long.

This is the first in a series of four recipes that show off the things I made for the fall party I hosted a couple of weeks ago.  Yes, there was some excellent snackage at this party!  Don’t you wish you were my friend and you lived in Brooklyn so you could have came to my party?!?!

Also, it’s Wednesday, and I want to keep my fall tradition of posting of a pumpkin recipe every Wednesday.  I don’t know if the 30 of you who read my blog noticed, but every Wednesday, I’ve been posting pumpkin recipes.  Look back, you’ll see Pumpkin Scones, Pumpkin Frozen Yogurt, Pumpkintinis, and Pumpkin Muffins.  Next week’s pumpkin recipe is going to blow your mind.  Literally. Blow. Your. Mind!

Anyway, this is a pretty good cupcake, and by pretty good I obviously mean super delicious!  The pumpkin cupcake is moist and tender.  The brown butter adds a wonderful aroma and nuttiness.  There is delightful spice from all of the cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger.  Salted caramel sauce is a bit of work, but if you need to make it twice, no worries, sometimes the first batch doesn’t come out..  Don’t get discouraged, the sauce is worth it!  So rich and creamy.  Adding salted caramel to a cream cheese frosting is much encouraged.  Enjoy!

Print the Recipe!

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting
Adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod
Yield – 45 mini cupcakes

Brown Butter Pumpkin Cupcakes
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 2/3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 F.
  2. Make brown butter by melting the butter in a small pan.  Stir and heat until the butter becomes browned and smells nutty.  Pour through a fine sieve and place aside to cool.
  3. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
  4. In a small bowl whisk together the pumpkin, brown sugar, sugar, vanilla, eggs, and browned butter.
  5. Gently stir the wet ingredients into the dry.
  6. Use a 2-tablespoon mini ice cream scoop to portion the batter into lined mini-cupcake tins.
  7. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cupcakes comes out clean.
  8. Cool on a wire rack.

Salted Caramel Sauce
2 cups sugar
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup heavy cream, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon sea salt

  1. Add the sugar to a dry saucepan.  Heat over the stove and watch closely.
  2. As the sugar melts, it will brown and become lumpy.  Whisk to evenly distribute the heat.  Continue to heat and whisk until all of the sugar has melted into a smooth brown syrup.
  3. Add in the butter 1 tablespoon at a time and whisk to fully incorporate the butter into the sugar.
  4. The mixture will appear greasy, but just keep whisking.
  5. Turn off the heat and pour in the cream.  Let the mix bubble and carefully whisk to incorporate.  Whisk in the vanilla and sea salt.
  6. Pour the caramel sauce into jars to cool.

Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup salted caramel sauce

  1. Beat the butter and cream cheese together until light and fluffy
  2. Add in the powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time and scrape the bowl as needed.
  3. Beat in the salted caramel sauce.
  4. Transfer the frosting to a piping bag with a round tip and pipe a blob on each cupcake.
  5. Drizzle the cupcakes with extra salted caramel sauce.  If you let the caramel sit for too long, reheat to make the drizzling easier.

    The middle layer is a little sneak peak for Friday’s post!

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