Tag Archives: vanilla

Christmas Vanilla Sprinkle Sugar Cookies

Christams Vanilla Sprinkle Cookies | Pale YellowHere are some lazy-lady Christmas sugar cookies.  Gone are the days when I would take a day off of work to decorate cookies with royal icing; this was after already making, rolling, and baking the cookies!  Decorated sugar cookies are gorgeous and I just wish I had the time/energy to devote to the process, but I don’t.

Christams Vanilla Sprinkle Cookies | Pale YellowEnter this sprinkle cookie, possibly the next best thing!  Make the dough, add a ton of sprinkles, roll/cut, and bake.  You’re done.  The cookies aren’t too sweet and take a fraction of the time.  Sprinkle cookies are adorable and easy.  They are buttery and chewy and make a delightful addition to any holiday cookie tray!Christams Vanilla Sprinkle Cookies | Pale Yellow

One Year Ago – Gingerbread Cookie Dough Truffles

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Christmas Vanilla Sprinkle Sugar Cookies

Adapted from Glorious Treats

Yield – 34 cookies


1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup sugar

1 vanilla bean, split

1 egg

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup assorted Christmas sprinkles

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter until creamy.
  2. Add the sugar and seeds of the vanilla bean to the butter and take a minute to massage the vanilla into the sugar.  Beat until pale yellow.
  3. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract, scrape the bowl as needed.
  4. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into the butter mixture and mix on the lowest speed until barely combined.  Beat in the sprinkles.
  5. Break the dough into 2 balls and wrap in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  7. Roll out the dough on a well floured surface to 1/4” thickness.  Use your favorite cookie cutters to cut shapes and place on a the cookie sheets.  The cookies do not spread, so they can be placed close together.  Repeat with remaining dough.
  8. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the edges just begin to brown.  Move to a rack.
  9. Let cool completely on a wire rack before storing.Christams Vanilla Sprinkle Cookies | Pale Yellow
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Berry Pudding Cake

Berry Pudding Cake | Pale YellowWhat, what?  Back to normal?  Hardly.  I did bake quite a bit while in Michigan and the time right before Michigan, so I have a stock pile of recipes to share with you.  A bit of a backlog if you will.  Last night I chose to edit photos instead of finishing my essay for grad school, wise choice!  Photos for five different recipes are complete.

Berry Pudding Cake | Pale YellowI’ve made the choice to continue blogging despite my overwhelming schedule with grad school and work because I like it and I need to do something besides go out and drink to release my steam.  Plus it’s nice to have an excuse to bake, buy expensive ingredients, and use my creativity.

Berry Pudding Cake | Pale YellowThis berry cake is a must make with the last of the season’s fresh berries!  It is easy, moist, tender, and delicious.  The cake is so soft and all the berries are juicy and fresh.  Make this cake this weekend, trust me!

Berry Pudding Cake | Pale YellowOne Year Ago – Greek Quinoa Salad

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Berry Pudding Cake

Adapted from Bake or Break

Yield – 16 pieces


4 cups mixed berries (I used 1 cup each sliced strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries)

1 + 1/4 cup sugar, divided

1 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 eggs

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon (1 lemon) lemon zest

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

powdered sugar

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F and line a 9 x 13” pan with parchment paper.
  2. Wash, dry, and slice the larger berries, toss with 1/4 cup of sugar.  Spread evenly in the prepared pan.
  3. Whisk together the flour, powder, and salt in a small bowl.  In a large bowl whisk together the remaining sugar, eggs, oil, zest, and vanilla. Stir in the the flour until just combined.
  4. Spread the batter over the berries evenly.  Bake for 35-40 minutes or until set.
  5. Let cool and dust with powdered sugar before serving.Berry Pudding Cake | Pale Yellow


Filed under Cake

Iced Coffee with Vanilla-Almond Syrup

iced coffee with vanilla-almond syrup | pale yellowSometimes I go off coffee for a few weeks or a month.  It’s an exercise in health and control; I don’t like to admit I have a slight addiction to coffee.  If I don’t wean myself properly, I get terrible withdrawal headaches.  The problem about not drinking coffee is the exhaustion – I’m thirty years old, I guess I need coffee everyday to function.

iced coffee with vanilla-almond syrup | pale yellowOn the other hand, I’m exhausted when I drink coffee (and a diet coke) everyday and have been napping in the evenings after work.  I am not a napper, but this summer I’m wiped out.  All my colleagues and I are in agreement, working during the summer is rough.

iced coffee with vanilla-almond syrup | pale yellowLife is better when you have delicious, fresh cold-brewed coffee in your fridge awaiting each and every caffeine craving.  Add some fancy simply syrup, almond milk, and some ice, and you have a beverage sure to pick-you-up and help you make it through these dog days of summer!

iced coffee with vanilla-almond syrup | pale yellowTwo Years Ago – Double Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream

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Iced Coffee with Vanilla-Almond Syrup

Adapted from How Sweet It Is

Yield – 4-5 servings

1 cup coarsely ground coffee

2 quarts water

1 cup sugar

2/3 cup water

1 vanilla bean

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

  1. Coffee – Buy some fancy coffee beans, mine were from Costa Rica.  Take them to the grocery store and get them ground on the coarsest setting.  Return home.
  2. Add the coffee beans to a nut milk bag, yep, I said it.  Add the tightly closed bag to a pitcher with 2 quarts of water.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  3. Vanilla-Almond Syrup – add the sugar and water to a small saucepan and begin heating.
  4. Split open a vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds.  Add the seeds and the pod to the sugar syrup.  Stir and heat until all the sugar is dissolved.  Stir in the almond extract.
  5. Strain into a little jar to cool.
  6. To make your delicious iced coffee add ice, coffee, a bit of syrup, and almond milk (or another milk if that’s your fancy), stir and enjoy with a cute straw!iced coffee with vanilla-almond syrup | pale yellow

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Gooey Bars

chocolate chip cookie dough gooey bars | pale yellowJuice cleanse done!  And I know it sounds sarcastic, but I feel great!  I have more energy, my insides are moving, and I’m not hungry.  If you’re looking for a little reboot, I highly recommend a 3-day cleanse.  It’s just enough to make you feel different and require discipline, but short enough to commit.  In all honesty, I think I’m ready for a five day cleanse!

chocolate chip cookie dough gooey bars | pale yellowI made these bars in the middle of the cleanse for the lovely Andrea in celebration of her 30th birthday!  She is from the outskirts of St. Louis and gooey butter cake is apparently a thing there.  As soon as she started talking about it, I knew I needed to find a recipe and save it for her birthday.

chocolate chip cookie dough gooey bars | pale yellowHere’s the thing though, I’ve never had gooey butter cake before, and I still haven’t.  There is one piece saved in my fridge for Thursday when I reintroduce sugar into my diet.  This is probably the first recipe I’ve posted that I’ve never actually eaten.  Weird.

chocolate chip cookie dough gooey bars | pale yellowAnd, obviously, instead of making an original version, I jazzed it up with a layer of cookie dough in the middle.  Since I can’t describe the bars from my first hand experience, we’ll use Andrea’s words, “I would call them rich buttery sugar bombs that are indulgent and comforting.  And the perfect treat to start a new decade!”  I’ll report back Friday!

chocolate chip cookie dough gooey bars | pale yellowTwo Years Ago – Watermelon Martini

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Gooey Bars
Adapted from Cookies and Cups and Mel’s Kitchen Cafe
Yield – 9 giant bars, 16 regular sized bars

Crust Layer
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup cake flour
1/4 cup nonfat dry milk powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
seeds from one vanilla bean
1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cold
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 egg

Cookie Dough Layer
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon whole milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
3/4 cup powdered sugar

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F and line an 8×8” pan with parchment paper.  Liberally grease the parchment paper with shortening.
  2. Crust Layer - To make the crust, add the sugar, flour, cake flour, milk, powder, and seeds from a vanilla bean to a medium bowl and whisk together.
  3. Cut the cold butter into small pieces and use a pastry blender to cut the butter into the flour mixture.  You are looking for coarse crumbs, finer than a pie crust.
  4. Melt the butter and add to the mix with the egg.  Stir until combined.  The dough will come together nicely.  Press evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan.chocolate chip cookie dough gooey bars | pale yellow
  5. Cookie Dough – Toss the butter in the same bowl you just used.  Cream in the brown sugar until light and fluffy.  Stir in the milk and vanilla until well combined.  Add the flour, salt, and chocolate chips, stir until just combined.
  6. Spread evenly over the crust, leaving 1/2” of the crust showing.chocolate chip cookie dough gooey bars | pale yellow
  7. Topping – Again, use the same bowl.  Beat the cream cheese until smooth.  Stir in the brown sugar, egg and vanilla until the mixture is well incorporated.  Mix in the powdered sugar.chocolate chip cookie dough gooey bars | pale yellow
  8. Pour over the cookie dough and spread as evenly as possible.
  9. Bake for 30-40 minutes until the edges start to brown.  The middle will still be jiggly.
  10. Let cool completely on a wire rack before refrigerating.  Cool overnight and then slice.
  11. Serve with an extra dusting of powdered sugar.chocolate chip cookie dough gooey bars | pale yellow


Filed under Brownies/Bars

Toffee Crunch Vanilla Ice Cream

toffee crunch vanilla ice cream | pale yellowOh. My. Word.  I’ve talked a lot about the Ample Hills Creamery Cookbook and how much I love the actual ice shop, but I wasn’t quite prepared by how tasty and creamy this recipe tastes.  It’s amazing that a little milk powder makes all the difference.

toffee crunch vanilla ice cream | pale yellowAnother little something that makes a tremendous difference is a candy thermometer.  I didn’t actually own one until after I made toffee, but let me tell you, having a candy thermometer would have made much better toffee.  Whenever I make something with cooked sugar, I just wing it and don’t pay attention to actual temperatures.  In this case, it was needed.

toffee crunch vanilla ice cream | pale yellowMy toffee was soft, like a caramel.  If I had cooked it to the proper temperature, the toffee would have been harder and more toffee like.  I have recently purchased a candy thermometer like a proper food blogger, so  I look forward to making more (hard) toffee in the future!

toffee crunch vanilla ice cream | pale yellowPlease, please, please, make this ice cream.  It’s going to change your life!  You don’t need toffee bits or anything special; the vanilla ice cream is the best I’ve ever had all on its own. The ice cream is sweet but not over powering, the vanilla flavor shines, and it is so creamy and smooth on the tongue.  Summer is here, it’s time for the best ice cream ever!

toffee crunch vanilla ice cream | pale yellowOne Year Ago – Brown Butter Biscoff Rice Crispy Treats
Two Years Ago – Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake Cake

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Toffee Crunch Vanilla Ice Cream
Adapted from Ample Hills Creamery, page 168
Yield – 1 quart

1 cup (2 sticks) + 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 cup + 2 tablespoons organic cane sugar
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons water
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate


Vanilla Ice Cream
3/4 cup organic cane sugar
1/2 cup skim milk powder
1 2/3 cup whole milk
1 2/3 cup heavy cream
1 vanilla bean
30 coffee beans (or 1 Trader Joe K-cup)
3 egg yolks
splash of vanilla extract

  1. Toffee – Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and liberally grease the pan and paper.
  2. In a medium saucepan combined the butter, both sugars, salt and water.  Cook and stir until the butter is melted and all the ingredients are combined.
  3. Stop stirring and heat until the mixture reaches 305 ˚F on a candy thermometer; be careful.
  4. Turn off the heat and stir in the baking soda and vanilla.  Pour into the prepared pan evenly.
  5. Let sit for a few minutes and then sprinkle the chocolate over the top.  Once the chocolate has melted, spread in an even layer.
  6. Allow the toffee to cool and then refrigerate until brittle.  Cut into small pieces.
  7. Ice Cream – Place the bowl of your ice cream maker in the freezer the night before.
  8. Prepare an ice bath in a large bowl.
  9. Combine the sugar, skim milk powder, and milk in a medium saucepan.  Whisk until well combined.  Whisk in the cream.
  10. Split the vanilla bean and add the seeds plus the bean pod to the saucepan with the coffee.
  11. Stir and cook until the mixture thickens.
  12. Whisk the egg yolks in a small bowl and whisk in a little of the hot cream mixture slowly to temper the eggs.  Once the eggs are tempered, return to the pan and cook until the mixture reaches 165 ˚F.
  13. Stir in the vanilla and strain the mixture with a fine mesh sieve into a clean bowl.  Place this bowl in the ice bath.
  14. Once the mixture cools completely, churn according to the directions of your ice cream maker.
  15. Fold in the toffee bits and place in a freezer safe container for several hours to firm up.DSC_059toffee crunch vanilla ice cream | pale yellow0


Filed under Frozen, Ice Cream

Root Beer Float Cupcakes

Root Beer Float Cupcakes | Pale YellowYou what’s super condescending?  When you’re watching Netflix and after three episodes it asks you if you’re still watching.  Obviously, I’m still watching!  If I wasn’t walking I would walk away or press pause.  Stop judging me Netflix!

Root Beer Float Cupcakes | Pale YellowYou know what’s more annoying than Netflix being condescending?  The rain.  Itt’s been raining for the past 24 hours, and there is really nothing better to do than watch TV.  April showers are certainly roaring along, at least it’s not snowing here like in Michigan…

Root Beer Float Cupcakes | Pale YellowYou know what is not annoying?  A Song of Ice and Fire!  ** Spoilers ** I’m finally reading book 5; Joffrey is dead, Jon Snow, Bran, & Tyrion are back in the picture, and I’m finally coming to terms with the fact that everyone is going to die.  My only wish is that Arya and Sansa would get their names back.

Root Beer Float Cupcakes | Pale YellowAnyway, these cupcakes were eaten on a sunny, non-condescending day, a day when Ruth and Chelsea came to visit.  We were able to do my favorite thing and go for a little walk on the beach. There was also a lot of eating.

Root Beer Float Cupcakes | Pale YellowChelsea’s birthday was a weeks prior, so it was completely appropriate to celebrate with cupcakes of her choosing.  Root beer float cupcakes have been on my Pinterest board for awhile, so I was excited to make them.  All I needed was a little root beer extract.  I’m thrilled by the way the frosting came out.  The cupcakes are dark like root beer, the root beer flavored-frosting is on the outside to look like foam, and the plain frosting is in the middle to look like whipped cream.  The cupcakes really taste like a root beer float; all creamy, vanilla-y, and root beer-y.  These are a great way to turn your favorite beverage into dessert!

Root Beer Float Cupcakes | Pale YellowTwo Years Ago – Single Girl Chocolate Cake

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Root Beer Float Cupcakes
Adapted from Dine and Dash
Frosting from Sweetapolita
Yield – 12 cupcakes

Root Beer Cupcakes
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
1 tablespoon root beer extract
splash of vanilla
1 1/4 cups flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons coconut milk

Vanilla & Root Beer Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting
5 egg whites
1 1/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 tablespoon root beer extract

  1. Cupcakes – Preheat to the oven to 350 ˚F and line a cupcake tin with 12 liners.  Set aside.
  2. Beat the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment until smooth.  Beat in the sugars for 2-3 minutes until pale yellow.  Add the eggs one at a time and beat in the extracts and applesauce.  Scrape down the bowl.
  3. Whisk together the flour, powder, and salt in a small bowl.  Turn the mixer to the lowest setting and add the flour in 3 batches with milk in between each addition of flour.  Mix until just combined.
  4. Use a standard ice cream scoop to portion the batter into each cupcake liner, they should be about half full.
  5. Bake the cupcakes for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Let cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.
  6. Frosting – Add the egg whites and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer and place the bowl in a small pot of simmering water.  Whisk the sugars and egg whites until they are no longer gritty to the touch.  Add a pinch of salt.
  7. Remove the bowl from the pot and place in the stand mixer with the whisk attachment.  Beat for about 10 minutes until the meringue is stiff and shiny and the bowl is cool to the touch.
  8. Beat in the butter 1 tablespoon at a time, just keep beating until the mixture becomes completely creamy.
  9. Beat in the vanilla.  Add half the frosting to a piping bag with a large star tip, set aside.
  10. Beat the root beer extract into the remaining frosting.  Add to a piping bag with a round tip.
  11. Pipe the root beer frosting around the outside of the cupcake.  Pipe the vanilla frosting in the center.
  12. Cut paper straws in half and add to each cupcake.Root Beer Float Cupcakes | Pale Yellow


Filed under Cupcakes

Vanilla Pudding Mix

Vanilla Pudding Mix | Pale YellowSecond pudding this week, I told you I was serious about this pudding situation.  This one is almost dairy free; the pudding mix is made with nonfat dry milk powder, but the actual pudding shown in the pictures is made with unsweetened almond milk.  I wasn’t sure how almond milk would react when made into pudding, but it was a success!

Vanilla Pudding Mix | Pale YellowI really wanted to make my own pudding mix because pudding mixes are ingredients in many a cookie and cake recipe and I was tired of buying those little boxes.  Once you start going box free, it becomes this snowball effect; can’t stop, won’t stop.  Instant pudding was holding me back.

Vanilla Pudding Mix | Pale YellowThis pudding however, is not instant; it’s some cook-and-serve action.  I don’t mind though, I find it super relaxing to stir milk and powder on the stove.  Seriously.  The mix takes about two minutes to measure in a jar and then it bit of shaking.  The pudding is there now, ready for me to use whenever a pudding craving comes my way.  And clearly I’ve been having many a pudding cravings.

Vanilla Pudding Mix | Pale YellowThe pudding had a gelatinous texture, but I really enjoyed the feeling in my mouth.  I made a bold choice and divided the pudding into only two servings; my rational was the low caloric value of almond milk, 30-40 calories a serving, so therefore each serving is a healthy cup of almond milk and few tablespoons of sugar.  See, I really can justify any indulgence!  I’m glad I have the pudding mix ready to go because if Waldbaums continues to keep almond milk on sale, there are going to be many batches of vanilla-almond puddling in my future!

Vanilla Pudding Mix | Pale YellowTwo Years Ago – Bacon Cupcakes

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Instant Pudding Mix
Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker
Yield – 5 batches of pudding (20 servings)

Instant Pudding Mix
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup cornstarch
3/4 cup nonfat dry milk powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 vanilla beans

  1. Add the sugar, cornstarch, milk powder, and salt to a 1-quart mason jar.
  2. Split the vanilla beans and scrape about the seeds.  Add the seeds and vanilla bean bod to the jar.
  3. Shake well to combine.  Store until you’re ready to make pudding!

Pudding Time
2 cups almond milk (or regular milk)
1/2 cup vanilla pudding mix

  1. Add the milk and pudding mix to a medium saucepan.  Stir and cook over medium heat until the mixture comes to a boil.  Reduce the heat and let simmer until it thickens.  Whisk the entire time.
  2. Serve hot or place in small bowls and cover with plastic wrap directly on top and refrigerate for several hours before for serving.Vanilla Pudding Mix | Pale Yellow


Filed under Sweet Treats