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» Pale Yellow

Cream together butter and sugar until pale yellow.

Filtering by Category: Not Chocolate

Easy Christmas Sugar Cookies with Candy Melt Decorations

Tracy Byrne

Easy Christmas Sugar Cookies with Candy Melt Decorations | Pale Yellow

Let's take easy to another level.  Long gone are the days of decorating cookies with royal icing and taking a day off work to decorate.  Here is a cookie that anyone can whip up for the Christmas cookie tray.  They are colorful and delicious.

As much as I love and admire beautifully decorated sugar cookies, they are not for me.  I can spend hours gazing at photos and viewing videos on Instagram, but let's let the true artists make cookies their canvases.  I'm all about cookies being tasty first, beautiful second, and easy third!  I think these cookie epitomize that philosophy.  The sugar cookie recipe is easy to work with and holds its shape well.  Plus there is great flavor from the vanilla.  Candy melts and some sprinkles add color and more sweetness.  These are easy to whip up in an evening.  I bet they would great for kids too!

Easy Christmas Sugar Cookies with Candy Melt Decorations | Pale Yellow

Print the recipe!

Easy Christmas Sugar Cookies with Candy Melt Decorations

Adapted from Christmas Vanilla Sprinkle Sugar Cookies

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
  • candy melts in assorted colors
  • coconut oil
  • assorted 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.

  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.

  10. Melt the candy melts in a double boiler with a small spoonful of coconut oil (less than a teaspoon).  Pour into a disposable piping bag and clip the end.

  11. Decorate cookies as desired, I preferred the quick back-and-forth.  Add sprinkles as desired.

  12. Repeat with different colors.

Easy Christmas Sugar Cookies with Candy Melt Decorations | Pale Yellow

Molasses Crinkle Cookies

Tracy Byrne

Molasses Crinkle Cookies | Pale Yellow

This was the best new Christmas cookie recipe of 2015!  Eggnog shortbread cookies were fantastic, but this was my favorite.  The cookies were chewy, flavorful, and just a little bit spicy.  The raw sugar around the outside provides crunch and texture.

Molasses Crinkle Cookies | Pale Yellow

As I start to think about and plan the Christmas cookie tray for this year, I know these will be included!  I have been thinking about these cookies for 11 months and cannot wait to whip up another batch.

Molasses Crinkle Cookies | Pale Yellow

These cookies are everything you could ever want from a Christmas cookie.  They are easy to make, keep well, and super tasty.  There is a little bit of crunch from the sugar on the outside while the middle is soft and chewy.  Inside is flavorful from the molasses and spice.  I truly hope you make these this December!

Molasses Crinkle Cookies | Pale Yellow

Print the recipe!

Molasses Crinkle Cookies

Adapted from My Kitchen Addiction

Yield - 3 1/2 dozen cookies

  • 1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup lightly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 cup raw turbinado sugar
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

  2. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until well incorporated.  Scrape the bowl and beat in the molasses.

  3. Sift together the flour, soda, cinnamon, ginger, salt, cloves, and allspice.

  4. Add to the dough in the mixer and mix on low until just combined.

  5. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

  6. Preheat the oven to 375 ˚F and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

  7. Use a 2-tablespoon scoop to portion the dough.  Roll each ball of dough into the turbinado sugar and place on the cookie sheet about 2-inches apart. These cookies do spread.

  8. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until just set.  Remove and let cool on a wire rack.

Molasses Crinkle Cookies | Pale Yellow

I’m sharing this recipe with the #FillTheCookieJar group this month.

Each month the #FillTheCookieJar group shares our cookie creations. If you enjoy baking and would like to bake with the group each month contact Cynthia at Feeding Big.

Molasses Crinkle Cookies | Pale Yellow | Fill the Cookie Jar

Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles

Tracy Byrne

Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles | Pale Yellow

When one is starting a job hunt and in the room with a group of people who could potentially help one get a job, one is on her best behavior.  And when one hears the group likes cookies, it's probably a good idea to make cookies.  So that is what I did!  I have had pumpkin spice chips for awhile and was contemplating how to best use them.

Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles | Pale Yellow

Snickerdoodles seemed like the right choice for the chips.  They are soft and accepting of chips and have complimentary flavors.  Needless to say, they were the right choice!  The cookies are soft, tender, and chewy.  It's almost like a little pumpkin pie in your hand.  An addition of nutmeg emphasizes the pumpkin flavor and the chips make the cookies that much better.  Scoop up a bag before they disappear!

Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles | Pale Yellow

Print the recipe!

Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles

Adapted from Snickerdoodles

Yields - 21 2-tablespoon cookies

  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup sugar + 1/4 cup
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon + 3 teaspoons
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg + 1/4 teaspoon
  • 1 cup pumpkin spice baking chips
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

  2. Beat together the shortening and 3/4 cup sugar until well combined.  Add in the egg and vanilla, beat again.

  3. Add in the flour, cream of tartar, salt, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg.  Mix until just combined.  Fold in the pumpkin spice baking chips.

  4. Mix together the remaining sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a small bowl.

  5. Scoop 2-tablespoon balls of dough and roll in the cinnamon-nutmeg-sugar.  Place on a parchment lined baking sheet about 1 inch apart.  Press 3 baking chips in the top of each cookie.

  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until they lightly brown.  Do NOT over bake!

  7. Transfer to a cooling rack, they will appear soft, just be gentle.

Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles | Pale Yellow

I’m sharing this recipe with the #FillTheCookieJar group this month.

Each month the #FillTheCookieJar group shares our cookie creations. If you enjoy baking and would like to bake with the group each month contact Cynthia at Feeding Big.

Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles | #FillTheCookieJar | Pale Yellow

Pumpkin Spice Cookies with Brown Butter Frosting

Tracy Byrne

Pumpkin Spice Cookies with Brown Butter Frosting | Pale Yellow

I really like pumpkin spice.  Not pumpkin spice flavored things - real pumpkins, real spices.  It's my favorite thing, my favorite food.  I burn pumpkin spice (or mulled wine, but its the same idea really) candles almost all year.  I do not need pumpkin spice Cheerios but I also do not agree with Mr. Bourdain.  Pumpkin and its accompanying spices are warm, homey, autumnal, and lovely.  It's not about being on trend, it's about honoring the flavor I adore.  Rant and defense over.

Pumpkin Spice Cookies with Brown Butter Frosting | Pale Yellow

Needless to say, it was simple to pick a recipe for this month's Secret Recipe Club when I found a pumpkin recipe.  Kate's blog A Spoonful of Thyme has an amazing collection of recipes culled from her years of cooking for her family and gourmet group, how fun!  To be honest (or TBH as the young ones say), once I saw the recipe for these cookies, I did not even look for anything else.

Pumpkin Spice Cookies with Brown Butter Frosting | Pale Yellow

I was visiting several friends over one weekend and wanted a large batch of something to share with everyone.  The recipe needed to be delicious, easy to transport, and quick to make.  These cookies met all of those points.

Pumpkin Spice Cookies with Brown Butter Frosting | Pale Yellow

The cookies are soft and almost cake like.  I frosted them upside down the way I would a black and white cookie.  They are full of fantastic fall flavors and warmth.  All the butter, sugar, and pumpkin keep the cookies moist all weekend long!  A brown butter frosting is the perfect topping with its nutty flavors and extra bit of sweetness.  These are a fall cookie you should definitely add to your arsenal!

Pumpkin Spice Cookies with Brown Butter Frosting | Pale Yellow
Pumpkin Spice Cookies with Brown Butter Frosting | Pale Yellow

Pumpkin Spice Cookies with Brown Butter Frosting

Adapted from A Spoonful of Thyme

Yield - 5 dozen cookies

 

Cookies

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

2 1/4 cups packed brown sugar

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups pureed pumpkin

2/4 cup evaporated milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 3/4 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/4 teaspoons salt

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 1/4 teaspoons ginger

3/4 teaspoon nutmeg

3/4 teaspoon cloves

1/2 teaspoon allspice

 

Frosting

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter

4 cups powdered sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

4-6 tablespoons evaporated milk

  1. Cookies - Preheat the oven to 375 ˚F and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

  2. Add the butter and brown sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment.  Beat for about three minutes until light and fluffy.  Beat in the eggs one at a time and then add the pumpkin, milk, and vanilla.  Mix until well combined scraping the bowl as needed.

  3. In a large bowl whisk together the dry ingredients.  Slowly add the dry ingredients to the mixer on low and mix until just combined.

  4. Use a 2-tablespoon to portion the batter on a cookie sheet.  The dough is very soft.  Leave about 1 1/2” between each cookie.

  5. Bake for 10-11 minutes or until the edges just begin to brown and the cookies are set.

  6. Flip the cookies upside down and let cool completely on a wire rack.

  7. Frosting - Add the butter to a medium saucepan to melt and brown.  Watch the butter closely as it goes from yellow to brown.  Stir frequently and watch for the bubbles to subside and a nutty smell emerges.

  8. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.  Whisk in the powdered sugar and vanilla.  The mixture will be very thick.

  9. Whisk in the evaporated milk a tablespoon at a time until the frosting reaches a spreadable consistency.

  10. Spread the frosting on the bottom or flat side of each cookie.

  11. Let the cookies remain in the open for 1-2 hours to allow the frosting to crust over before packing.

Pumpkin Spice Cookies with Brown Butter Frosting | Pale Yellow

Panty Sugar Cookies

Tracy Byrne

Panty Sugar Cookies (Royal Icing Decorated Sugar Cookies) | Pale Yellow

Surprisingly, or not surprisingly, let's be real, these are not my first batch of underwear themed cookies!  Whether or not you like word "panties," these cookies are fun and perfect for any bachelorette party or gathering of ladies looking for a fun night!  Considering it's been a looooong time since making decorated sugar cookies, these did not turn out too bad and they most definitely renewed my interest in the hobby!

Panty Sugar Cookies (Royal Icing Decorated Sugar Cookies) | Pale Yellow

When your best friend is getting married, there is not much to do besides throw a panty-themed bachelorette party, there were literally hanging from the curtains!  Trust, it's not nearly as scandalous as it sounds...  We had a fantastic weekend in Chicago with great food, laughs, massages, and of course, all the sparkling wine.  I cannot believe Lynn is getting married in less than a week and it was a honor to celebrate her last few days as a single lady for a weekend!

Panty Sugar Cookies (Royal Icing Decorated Sugar Cookies) | Pale Yellow

The cookies are the simplest of cut-out sugar cookies and full of flavor from all the vanilla extract.  The royal icing keeps the cookies fresh and makes them look adorable.  Whether for a bachelorette party or other special occasion, decorated cookies always seem to elevate the occasion!

Panty Sugar Cookies (Royal Icing Decorated Sugar Cookies) | Pale Yellow

Print the recipe!

Panty Sugar Cookies

Adapted from Bake at 350 cookie & royal icing

Yield - 18 3-4 inch cookies

 

3 cups flour + more for dusting

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup sugar

2 sticks unsalted butter, cold & in cubes

1 egg

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

 

4 tablespoons meringue powder

scant 1/2 cup water

1 pound powdered sugar

1 teaspoon light corn syrup

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

white food coloring

pink and yellow food coloring (or colors of your choice)

  1. Cookies - Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F.

  2. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together on parchment paper.  Set aside.

  3. To the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment add the butter and sugar.  Cream together.  Add the egg and vanilla, mix until creamy.

  4. Add the flour mixture to the butter and mix until crumbly.

  5. Turn the dough on a floured surface and knead until the dough comes together.

  6. Roll out the dough to a thickness of 3/8” thick. Use a large heart (with the tip cut off) or a boob cookie cutter to cut out your butts.

  7. Place the cut dough on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.  Place the cookie sheet in the freezer for 10 minutes.

  8. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the cookies just begin to brown.  Remove and place on a wire rack to cool completely.

  9. Royal icing - Combine the meringue powder with water in the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment and mix until foamy.

  10. Sift the powdered sugar and add to the mixer.  Mix on low until incorporated.  Add the corn syrup and vanilla extract.

  11. Beat the mixture on medium-high for 5 minutes until the mixture reaches stiff peaks.  Add a squirt of white food coloring and mix again.

  12. Separate the icing into the two bowls.  Add pink to one and yellow to another until the desired shade has been reached.

  13. Thin with a little water until you reach the consistency of peanut butter, this is for outlining.  Add the desired amount to piping bags with a number 2 tip.

  14. Thin the remaining icing until the consistency of syrup for filling. When you drop a ribbon of icing back in the bowl it should disappear in 10 seconds.

  15. Add to a piping bag with a large opening.

  16. Outline and decorate cookies as desired.

Panty Sugar Cookies (Royal Icing Decorated Sugar Cookies) | Pale Yellow

Gingerbread Squares

Tracy Byrne

Gingerbread Squares | Pale YellowMerry Christmas!  I'm about to jump in my Christmas Eve dress and try out some red lipstick for the first time and head over to my cousin's for dinner.  The cookie trays are finished and the presents are wrapped.  The champagne is being chilled for tomorrow's mimosas and I'm ready to rock this holiday.  It's hard to believe Christmas is already upon us. Gingerbread Squares | Pale YellowLet's do gingerbread without the men or the houses.  Let's get back to gingerbread in its simplest form - a flavorful, gingery bread.  That is what we have here.  Tons of flavor in little bites.  There is molasses, ginger, cinnamon, and a little clove for kick.  The squares are soft and chewy, everything you want from a gingerbread.  These are a delightful addition to the holiday tray, a perfect compliment to all the other cookies.  Let the holidays begin!Gingerbread Squares | Pale Yellow

Print the Recipe!

Gingerbread Squares

Adapted from Buns in my Oven

Yield - 48 squares

 

2/3 cup butter, room temperature + extra for greasing

1 3/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup molasses

2 eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon cloves

2 cups flour

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F and grease a 9x13” pan with butter.  Cut a sheet of parchment paper to fit the bottom with overhang on two sides, grease that as well.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter, brown sugar, and molasses until light and fluffy.  Beat in the eggs one at a time.
  3. Add the vanilla, salt, soda, powder, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves until well incorporated, about 2 minutes.  Scrape down the bowl.
  4. Add the flour and mix on low until just combined.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly.  Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  6. Let cool completely before cutting.Gingerbread Squares | Pale Yellow

Pumpkin Spice Blondie Bites

Tracy Byrne

Pumpkin Spice Blondie Bites | Pale YellowAfter a quick trip to Michigan for Thanksgiving I came back to New York to finish my school work.  Instead I've spent most of time watching a new show, Reign.  I'm totally hooked and have plowed through the first season and am catching up on the second.  Love a good period piece with love triangles and a bit a scandal.  Plus, Torrance Coombs is dreamy, completely dreamy. Pumpkin Spice Blondie Bites | Pale YellowSomehow, for better or worse, both of my final papers are complete and turned in.  It feels like a million pounds have been lifted and I'm free to do all the things I've put off for the past six months.  Maybe the closet will get cleaned out and I can get to posting at a more regular pace.  And best of all I have time to start baking for the holidays.

Pumpkin Spice Blondie Bites | Pale YellowSince it is December, it should be time for gingerbread and peppermint and sugar and spice and everything nice, but I still have a few more pumpkin recipes to share.  Sorry I'm not sorry.  This maybe perfect timing considering you could probably find some discount pumpkin spice Hershey kisses in a fall endcap somewhere put aside for all the Christmas goods.

Pumpkin Spice Blondie Bites | Pale YellowIf you find the kisses, buy them!  If not, save this recipe for next year because it is full of everything that is wonderful in this world.  Brown butter, spice, pumpkin, and chewiness.  The blondie part is amazing and the pumpkin spice kiss adds more moisture and flavor.  A little bit of fresh nutmeg makes this a perfect cookie/blondie/treat.  Pumpkin spice forever!Pumpkin Spice Blondie Bites | Pale Yellow

Print the Recipe!

Pumpkin Spice Blondie Bites

Adapted from Brown Butter Blondies with Chocolate, Walnuts, and Toffee Bits

Yield - 24-48 bites

 

14 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 1/3 cups packed brown sugar

1/3 cup sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoons salt

1 1/3 cups + 1 tablespoon flour

36 Hershey’s Pumpkin Spice Kisses

  1. Add the butter to small saucepan to melt and brown.  Remove when the butter has lost all of its yellow tones and there are dark brown bits at the bottom.  Move the butter to a large mixing bowl to cool.  Be sure to scrape the brown bits into the bowl.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F generously grease mini muffin pans or use mini liners.  I would go with the liners!
  3. Add the sugars to the cooled and browned butter.  Mix until all the sugar is moistened.  Stir in the eggs and vanilla, mix for several minutes until light and fluffy.
  4. Stir in the baking powder and salt until completely mixed in.  Add the flour and mix until just combined.
  5. Unwrap all the kisses.
  6. Here is the real deal, I have two different sized mini muffin tins.  For the bigger one I used a two-tablespoon scoop and the for the smaller one a one-tablespoon scoop.  You want the ball of dough to almost reach the top.  Use your best judgement!
  7. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the tops begin to brown and are just set.  Remove from the oven and place a kiss on top.  Let cool completely in the pan until the kiss rehardens.
  8. Remove from the pan and store in air-tight container.Pumpkin Spice Blondie Bites | Pale Yellow