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» Pale Yellow

Cream together butter and sugar until pale yellow.

Filtering by Tag: cream cheese

Red Velvet Cake Roll

Tracy Byrne

Red Velvet Cake Roll | Pale Yellow

I think I made this two years ago.  That seems so long ago!  I've been keeping it in my drafts waiting for the perfect day to share.  Today is the perfect day!

Red Velvet Cake Roll | Pale Yellow

Cake rolls are the ultimate way to impress your friends.  They look difficult, but are actually easy.  And if there are any cracks, cover that with some powdered sugar. So simple!  This cake is moist, flavorful and a perfect color for any and all holiday gatherings.  The cream cheese filling is simply divine!  Slice ahead of time and keep in the fridge until serving.  Please add this to your Christmas dessert tray!

Red Velvet Cake Roll | Pale Yellow

Print the recipe!

Red Velvet Cake Roll

Cake adapted from Domino Sugar

Filling adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

Yield - 10-12 servings

Cake

  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • generous squirt red gel food coloring
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • extra powdered sugar for dusting

Filling

  • 4 ounces white chocolate
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • pinch of salt
  1. Cake - Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F and grease a 10x15” jelly roll pan.  Line the bottom with parchment paper leaving an overhang on two opposite sides for easy removal and grease the paper.

  2. Beat the eggs for five minutes in the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment.  Beat in the sugar and oil.  Add the buttermilk, vinegar, food coloring, salt, and baking powder.  Mix until well combined, about 2 more minutes.  Scrape the bowl as needed.

  3. Add in the cocoa powder and flour and mix until just combined.  Beat for another 2 minutes on high speed.

  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly.  Bake for 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

  5. Immediately sprinkle the top with powdered sugar.  Place a clean kitchen towel over the top.  Turn the cake over and dust with more powdered sugar.

  6. Starting from the short end, carefully roll the cake up leaving the towel in the middle.  Let the cake cool completely before filling.

  7. Filling - Melt the white chocolate in a double boiler until smooth.  Let cool completely.

  8. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat together the cream cheese and butter until light and creamy.  Beat in the cooled white chocolate.  Add the powdered sugar and salt and mix until just combined on low speed.  On high speed, beat until fluffy.

  9. Assembly - Spread plastic wrap on the surface you are working on and place the cake on the plastic.

  10. Carefully unroll the cake and spread the filling evenly across the cake.  Starting from the short end, carefully roll up the cake tightly using the plastic wrap to help.

  11. Wrap the cake tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

  12. Unwrap the cake roll and dust the top with powdered sugar.  Trim the edges and carefully slice.  Clean the knife after each cut for lovely pieces.

  13. The frosting gets soft, so this is best served cold.

Red Velvet Cake Roll | Pale Yellow

Cream Cheese Pumpkin Streusel Muffins

Tracy Byrne

Cream Cheese Pumpkin Streusel Muffins | Pale Yellow

I feel like it has been months since I baked and honestly years since I was baking regularly.  It had been so long I was beginning to question whether I actually enjoyed baking.  And then, I had a reason to bake and it all came back to me.  It is so easy to forget how much I enjoy all the parts: searching for a recipe, making adjustments, buying the ingredients, doing the baking, styling & photographing, and even the clean up.  The best part?  Getting to share with others!

Cream Cheese Pumpkin Streusel Muffins | Pale Yellow

I guess that what was missing before, I did not have the opportunity to share.  At the end of the day that is my manifesto of baking: I bake to show love for others.  When I don't have others* to bake for, the activity loses it charm.  Needless to say, I'm happy to be back in a place where there are plenty of people to share in the baked goods!

DSC_0916.JPG

*I, by no means, do not want to imply I did not have friends to bake for, I did.  They were just spread out and not as accessible.

Cream Cheese Pumpkin Streusel Muffins | Pale Yellow

A few notes about the muffins - they are fantastic!  Perfect pumpkin spice flavor and great texture variety from the streusel topping to the creamy cream cheese to the lovely crumb of the muffin.  These muffins are moist, flavorful, and in the spirit of all things fall.  There are a lot of ingredients, but the litany of spices could be substituted by 4 tablespoons of pumpkin pie spice.  There are some muffins that are healthy for breakfast, these are not those muffins.  However, they are delightful and I highly recommend you make a batch of your own!

Cream Cheese Pumpkin Streusel Muffins | Pale Yellow

Print the recipe!

Cream Cheese Pumpkin Streusel Muffins

Adapted from Warm Vanilla Sugar

Yield - 12

 

4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon cloves

1 teaspoon ginger

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup sugar

1 cup pumpkin

1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

 

3 tablespoons melted butter

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup flour

1/4 cup old fashioned oats

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

  1. Cream cheese middle - make at least 2 hours ahead of time.  Combine the softened cream cheese with the powdered sugar and until lump free.  Roll into a log in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate at least 2 hours to set.

  2. Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F.

  3. Muffins - In a large bowl whisk together the flour, spices, salt, and soda.  Set aside.

  4. In another large bowl whisk together the eggs, sugar, pumpkin, vanilla, and oil.  Add the dry ingredients and gently fold together with a rubber spatula until it is all incorporated.

  5. Streusel - Melt the butter.  Add in the brown sugar, flour, oats, and spices.  Stir until all the ingredients are moistened.

  6. Assembly - Divide the batter evenly among 12 lined muffin tins.  Cut the log of cream cheese into 12 pieces.  Place one piece in the center of each muffin and press down.  Cover the tops of the muffins with the streusel.

  7. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Let cool for a few minutes in the pan until the muffins are handable.  Remove the muffins to a wire rack and let cool completely.

Cream Cheese Pumpkin Streusel Muffins | Pale Yellow

Brownie Chocolate Chip Cheesecake

Tracy Byrne

Brownie Chocolate Chip Cheesecake | Pale Yellow

Let's start the first week of the new year in style!  Despite all the healthy eating that is about to ensue, it's important to have a classy, spectacular dessert on the ready.  This is that dessert.  I don't do a lot of "dinner party" desserts like cakes or pies or full cheesecakes because they can be difficult to serve and are not very portable. Also, they are a lot of work and not always worth the effort.  This cheesecake is simple, stunning, and totally worth the effort.  Trust me on this one - a show-stopping dessert in three easy steps!

First we start with my favorite brownie recipe as a base.  It's rich, full of chocolate flavor, and ease when made in a saucepan on the stove.  Next, the no-bake cheesecake portion whips up in a flash in the stand mixer and is smooth and creamy.  Mini chocolate chips add a bit of crunch.  Obviously the cheesecake needs a topping and it's ganache to the rescue; a soft and decadent treat on top.

Brownie Chocolate Chip Cheesecake | Pale Yellow

This brownie cheesecake was shared with college friends at our annual holiday gathering and was a hit!  A little slice goes a long way.  I personally enjoyed the cheesecake cold, for breakfast, throughout the week.  But who doesn't enjoy cheesecake for breakfast, lol!

Brownie Chocolate Chip Cheesecake | Pale Yellow

One Year Ago - What I Learned This Week #13

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Brownie Chocolate Chip Cheesecake

adapted from Bake or Break

Yield - 12-16 servings

Brownie Base

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee
  • 1 1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Cheesecake Layer

  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips

Ganache

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips
  • pinch of salt
  1. Brownie Base - Preheat the oven to 325 ˚F.  Grease a 9 or 10” circular pan a removable bottom.
  2. In a medium saucepan melt the butter, 1/2 cup sugar, water, and instant coffee.  When melted add in 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips and stir until combined and melted.
  3. Add in the eggs and vanilla one at a time and stir to combine.  Add in the flour, soda, and salt mixing until just combined.
  4. Pour the brownie batter into the prepared pan and bake for 18-20 minutes until the top is shiny    and a toothpick comes out almost clean.  DO NOT OVER BAKE!
  5. Let cool completely.
  6. Cheesecake Layer - In the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, beat the heavy cream until you reach stiff peaks.  Transfer to another bowl.
  7. Add the cream cheese and 1 cup sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, no need to clean the whipped cream out of the bowl.  Beat together until light and fluffy.  Beat in the vanilla.
  8. Fold in the whipped cream and the chocolate chips.
  9. Spread evenly over the brownie base.
  10. Ganache - Bring 1/2 cup cream to scalding and then pour over the 3/4 cup chocolate chips.  Let sit 5 minutes.
  11. Stir until the chocolate chips are completely melted and then spread evenly over the cheesecake layer.
  12. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight before cutting and serving.
Brownie Chocolate Chip Cheesecake | Pale Yellow

Slovak Crescent Cookies

Tracy Byrne

Slovak Crescent Cookies | Pale YellowThere are a few holiday traditions that are more important than making the family cookies that only appear once a year.  My mom and I would go to my grandmas, sit at the same corner table, roll out the dough, fill, bake, and laugh.  We would always burn our tongues eating a cookie straight off the cookie sheet before they have a chance to properly cool. Slovak Crescent Cookies | Pale YellowLast year was the first year my mom or I made the dough.  In previous years my grandma always made the fillings and dough before we arrived so we could focus on rolling out, filling, and rolling up the crescents.  These cookies are definitely a 2-3 person job!  Apparently my great grandmother used to make countless batches of these cookies all on her own.  Someday I hope to have that kind of time available to me!

Slovak Crescent Cookies | Pale YellowThis year Christmas traditions are going to change it bit.  It'll be just my mom and I making the cookies and we will no longer be gathering in my grandparent's 70's themed basement tearing up the kids table on Christmas Eve.  My brother has the ping pong table, I took an awesome owl-string-art wall piece, and the rest of their house is being divided up.  I've missed my grandma everyday since she has left, but the next few weeks are going to make the loss that much more real.  I treasure all the memories I have with my grandmother shopping, baking, and spending all and every holiday together.  This grief thing is hard, do you ever stop missing someone you love?

Slovak Crescent Cookies | Pale YellowThese cookies are a quintessential part of my holiday a season, I think they would make a fantastic addition to your Christmas cookie tray!  There are quite a few steps involved in making the cookies, but every buttery, flaky bite is worth it.  The key tip - use the lid of a large sauce pan to cut perfect circles ready to cut into eighths and rolled into lovely crescents!  Honestly, I do not like the apricot ones, it's all about the walnuts!

Slovak Crescent Cookies | Pale YellowTwo Years Ago - Banana Bread with Hazelnuts

Print the Recipe!

Slovak Crescent Cookies Adapted from the Slovak Ladies’ Anniversary Cookbook Yield - 80 cookies

dried apricots + water + sugar walnuts + milk + sugar 3 sticks margarine (Blue Bonnet), room temperature 1 cup sour cream 3 egg yolks 3 cups flour + more for rolling powdered sugar for dusting

  1. Make the fillings the day before.
  2. Apricot - Boil dried apricots with a little water and sugar until soft.  Let cool completely.
  3. Walnut - Finely chop the walnuts.  Mix with a little milk and sugar until the nuts are moist and sweet.  Refrigerate overnight.
  4. Beat the margarine and and sour cream in the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment until light and creamy.  Beat in the egg yolks.  Scrape the bowl.
  5. Mix in the flour on low speed until just combined.  The dough will be very sticky.
  6. With floured hands, divide the dough into 8 disks.  Place the disks between sheets of wax paper and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  7. Preheat the oven to 325 ˚F.
  8. Liberally flour your surface and rolling pin, don’t be afraid to use a lot of flour.  Roll each disk into a 10-inch circle, trim if necessary.  Collect the trimmings to reroll once.
  9. Cut the circle into 8 pieces and place a teaspoon of filling on the wide end.  Tuck in the edges and roll tightly.  Place on the cookie sheet flap side down and bend into a crescent shape.
  10. Place 2-3 batches on each cookie sheet.  Bake for 15-20 minute or until the cookies just begin to brown.  Let cool completely on a wire rack.
  11. Before serving dust with powdered sugar.Slovak Crescent Cookies | Pale Yellow

Pumpkin Roll

Tracy Byrne

Pumpkin Roll | Pale YellowWhere has my focus and perseverance gone?  I've been spending hours staring off into space instead of completing the mountains of work I have in front of me; blog posts, papers, readings, and projects to begin - it's never ending.  My days of leisure are over and whenever I partake in a leisurely activity like cookbook reading or movie going or Call the Midwife watching, I suffer greatly and have to miss the fun due to my procrastination.  Enough of that, let's talk about happy things. Pumpkin Roll | Pale YellowLet just call this the official start of autumnal foods.  Apple cinnamon bread, apple pie overnight oatmeal, sweet potato tarts, and now pumpkin roll.  There is plenty of pumpkin spice in the future, this is not the end my friends.  After traveling up to Rhode Island last weekend I was completely surrounded by the gorgeous foliage; there is nothing like the bright colors of fall leaves to make the heart happy!

Pumpkin Roll | Pale YellowFall leaves aren't the only thing full of beauty and wonder; cake rolls are quite magical.  At first they seemed like an impossible task, but after making two now, they are a breeze!  This cake features a new-to-me method that is novel and easy.  Roll the fresh-out-of-oven cake in a kitchen towel sprinkled with powdered sugar to cool completely.  This allows the cake to rest in a rolled state to reduce cracking in the finished product, genius!  This is the type of cake that look impressive, but is quite simple in practice.

Pumpkin Roll | Pale YellowThere is a moist, flavorful, but light pumpkin sponge cake full of fall flavors like cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger.  Inside is a creamy and sweet cream cheese filling.  I hope you enjoy cream cheese frosting because this cake is packed inside!  The cake stores best in the fridge for midday slicing and snacking or it would make a gorgeous centerpiece on any autumn tablescape.  I think everyone needs a pumpkin roll in their life!

Pumpkin Roll | Pale YellowOne Year Ago - Apple Cake with Brown Butter Frosting

Print the Recipe!

Pumpkin Roll

Adapted from Gimme Some Oven

Yield - 8-10 pieces

 

Cake

3 eggs

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2/3 cup pumpkin puree

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cloves

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 cup flour

1/3 cup powdered sugar

Filling

8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

6 tablespoons powdered sugar

pinch of salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup powdered sugar + extra for sprinkling

  1. Cake - Preheat the oven to 375 ˚F and grease a 10x15” jelly-roll pan.  Add parchment paper and grease the parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the eggs and sugar together until pale yellow.  Beat in the vanilla and pumpkin puree until well combined, scrape the bowl as needed.
  3. Add the salt, spices*, baking powder, and baking soda, mix until well combined.  Add the flour and mix on low until it is just incorporated.
  4. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan.  Bake for 12-14 minutes or until the cake is set.
  5. While the cake is baking, sprinkle a dish towel with powdered sugar.
  6. When the cake comes out of the oven, invert it onto the prepared towel.  Use the towel to roll the cake with the towel between layers.  Let this rest on wire rack until the cake cools completely.
  7. Filling - In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat together the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy.  Beat in the vanilla and salt.  Add the powdered sugar and mix first on low speed, and then on high speed.  This will give you fluffy filling.
  8. Carefully unroll the cake and spread the filling evenly inside.  Use the towel to help re-roll the cake.  Once rolled, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour, if not overnight.
  9. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, slice, and serve!

* If you do not have 5 different spices, substitute and the spices above for 2 1/4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice.Pumpkin Roll | Pale Yellow

Mini Eggnog Cheesecakes

Tracy Byrne

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

Print the Recipe!

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

Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Tracy Byrne

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

Print the Recipe!

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

Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream

Tracy Byrne

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

Print the Recipe!

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

Slutty Cheesecake Bars

Tracy Byrne

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!

Red Velvet Ice Cream

Tracy Byrne

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

Red Velvet Poke Cake

Tracy Byrne

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 - 9x13” 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

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Tracy Byrne

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

Pumpkin Truffles

Tracy Byrne

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.

 

Candy Cane Truffles

Tracy Byrne

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

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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

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

Tracy Byrne

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!

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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.

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Tracy Byrne

I'll be real, I'm not the biggest fan of carrot cake, but these are pretty good!  I think the usual nuts and raisins in carrot cake are displeasing to me because they turn a delicious cake into more a muffin.  When I want to eat a muffin, I eat a muffin, but when I want to eat a cupcake, I don't want any muffin in it!

Nicole requested these about a month ago to give to her dad on Father's Day.  He loves carrot cake and nuts, but can no longer eat nuts.  After a long discussion we settled on some carrot cake cupcakes with an almond cream cheese frosting.  This is a simple cupcake, but very moist and tender with a great flavor.  Once you top that off with a cream cheese frosting, you have yourself a cupcake!  The almond adds just the right amount of interest!

In completely unrelated news, my roommate Stacey is running a half marathon on August 4th in honor of her dear, sweet nephew Axel.  Her entire family is running in memoriam for Axel and to help heal their own hearts.  They are raising money for the charity Miracles of Mito, and more information can be found on their website.  I have watched Stacey train hard for this event and I am honored to help the charity in anyway that I can.  Please visit their site and keep their family in your prayers.

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Carrot Cake Cupcakes Adapted from Ellie Krieger via Food Network Cupcake App Yield - 12 cupcakes

3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour (Bob’s Red Mill) 1/2 cup flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon pinch of fresh ground nutmeg 3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar 1/4 cup canola oil 2 eggs 1 1/2 cups finely shredded carrots 1/2 cup natural, unsweetened applesauce 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Sift together the flours, soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat together the brown sugar, oil, and eggs.
  4. Use a mini food processor to shred the carrots.  Measure the shredded carrots.  Add the carrots, applesauce, vanilla, and almond extract to the mixing bowl and again mix until everything is well combined.
  5. On low speed, add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  6. Use a standard size ice cream scoop to place the batter in lined cupcake pans.  Bake for 18 minutes.
  7. Let cool completely before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting 1 1/2 sticks (12 table.) unsalted butter, room temperature 4 ounces cream cheese 4 cups (1 lb) powdered sugar 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

  1. In a mixer with a paddle attachment beat the butter and cream cheese together until fluffy.
  2. Add in the powdered sugar ½ cup at a time until well combined and then beat in the almond extract.
  3. Pipe on the cupcakes and sprinkle with orange sprinkles

Chocolate Cream Cheese Cupcakes

Tracy Byrne

Get ready for some chocolate, like a lot of chocolate!  These cupcakes are no joke.  It's a chocolate cake with a chocolate cream cheese frosting.  If you LOOOOOOOVE chocolate and cheesecake, you WILL love these cupcakes too!

Our friend Jean  moved back to the Chicago area and I wanted to make her something special for her good-bye party.  When I asked her what she wanted she said chocolate.  Not chocolate with flavorings, just chocolate!  So I browsed through my Pinterest boards and saw this beauty and knew it was it!

The chocolate cake is moist and full of chocolate flavor.  One party go-er commented on their enjoyment of the chocolate chips inside of the cake part!  The frosting is full of cream cheese goodness.  I have to admit, I was a little apprehensive about starting out with cold cream cheese, but it totally works!!  This frosting is VERY rich, but very delicious!  The recipe makes a ridiculous amount of frosting, be prepared.

Print the recipe.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Cupcakes Adapted from How Sweet it is Yield - 24-26 standard cupcakes

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted 1 1/2 cup sugar 1 egg + 1 egg yolk 3 teaspoons vanilla extract 3/4 cup milk 4 1/2 tablespoons heavy cream 3 tablespoons non-fat Greek yogurt 1 1/2 cup + 3 tablespoons flour 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder 2 teaspoons baking soda 3/4 teaspoon salt 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Melt the butter in the microwave and set aside to cool.
  2. In the bowl a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk together the eggs and the sugar.  Add in the milk, cream, vanilla, and sour cream.  Beat until well combined and there are no lumps.  Scrape down the bowl as needed.
  3. Sift together the flour, cocoa, soda, and salt.  Mix into the wet ingredients on low speed.
  4. Add in the melted butter and mix until smooth.
  5. Fold in the chocolate chips by hand.
  6. Use a standard size ice scoop to place the batter in lined cupcake tins.
  7. Bake for 16-18 minutes or until done.  Let cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting Yield - enough to frost about 34 cupcakes

3 ounces bittersweet chocolate 24 ounces (3 boxes) 1/3 fat cream cheese, cold 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 1 tablespoon vanilla mini chocolate chips and sprinkles for decoration

  1. Melt the 3 ounces of chocolate in the microwave in 20 second intervals until melted.  Set aside to cool down.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer beat the cold cream cheese until creamy.
  3. Add the powdered sugar to the cream cheese 1/2 cup at a time.  Scrape the bowl as needed.  Things are very thick at first.  Beat in the cocoa powder and the vanilla.
  4. Beat until the frosting is a good consistency and well mixed.
  5. Use a piping bag to frost the cupcakes and decorate with mini chocolate chips and sprinkles.
  6. Because of all the cream cheese, I kept these guys in the fridge.

Chocolate Oreo Cupcakes

Tracy Byrne

I've made a lot of Oreo cupcakes, they are definitely a fan favorite!  Chocolate Oreo cupcakes have been in the back of my mind for awhile now, so it was about time I finally got around to making them!

I promised my homeroom if they raised over $400 for Pennies for Patients I would make them cupcakes.  Not only did they raise over $400, they raised more money than any other class in the sixth grade! I'm so proud of them!!  Since I have a lot of students with an aversion to chocolate, I also made Tie Dye cupcakes.

The kids really enjoyed the cupcakes and gave me lots of nice compliments.  After two weeks of state testing I was glad I could make them a nice treat!  The chocolate cupcake recipe is my current stand-by chocolate cake recipe.  So moist and delicious and chocolaty!  I sort of made up the frosting as I went along.  I just wanted simple amounts that corresponded to the packaging!  The frosting is sweet without being too sugary and has great cream cheese flavor.  This recipe makes a LOT of frosting!

Print the recipe.

Chocolate Oreo Cupcakes Yield - 36 cupcakes Adapted from Bakerella Inspired by Beantown Baker

2 1/4 cups flour 1 cup cocoa 2 1/4 cups sugar 2 teaspoons baking soda 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 3/4 teaspoon salt 3 eggs 3/4 cup vegetable oil 3 teaspoons vanilla 1 cup + 2 tablespoons whole milk 1 cup hot water 41 Oreos

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Line the cupcake pan with liners twist Oreos apart.  Take the half with more cream and place cream side up in each cupcake liner.  Reserve the cream-less halves.
  3. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, soda, powder, and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer.  Mix together on low with the paddle attachment.
  4. Beat together the eggs, oil, and vanilla in a small bowl and add to the dry ingredients.  Beat in the milk
  5. Mix until just combined and then scrape down the sides.
  6. Turn on the mixer and add the hot water slowly until well combined.
  7. Fold in 30 cream-less Oreo halves plus 5 whole Oreos chopped into quarters.
  8. Fill the cupcake liners using a basic ice cream scoop.
  9. Bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean.  Cool completely on a wire rack.

Simple Cream Cheese Frosting Yield - a lot!  Don’t worry about running out

1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature 16 ounces (2 boxes) cream cheese, room temperature 2 lbs (a bag) powdered sugar 3 tablespoons vanilla 18 Oreos

  1. Beat the butter and cream cheese until light and creamy.
  2. Slowly add in the powdered sugar.  Stop every once and awhile to scrape down the bowl and then beat on high speed for a few seconds.
  3. Add in the vanilla and beat again until well combined.
  4. The frosting won’t be super stiff, if you want it stiffer for piping, place in the fridge for a few minutes.
  5. Add to a piping bag with a large round tip and pipe a dollop on top of each cupcake.
  6. Crush the remaining cream-less Oreos and sprinkle on top.
  7. Break 18 Oreos in half and place one half on top of each cupcake.

Oreo Truffles - Bling, bling

Tracy Byrne

 

Oreo truffles are barely a recipe and require zero cooking skill.  They are delicious, sweet, and adorable.  They can be dressed up or dressed down depending on the occasion. What always surprises me is how much people loves these.  I bake to impress and challenge myself, but what impresses me doesn't always impress others.  Most people like the simplest desserts the best, while I love the ones with 12 steps and are daringly decadent!

These Oreo Truffles were an order request for a co-worker who wanted something for a bridal shower with the colors white & silver, and a theme of "bling."  I hope these little guys lived up to the theme!

Oreo Truffles

Seen many places around the blog-o-sphere!

Yield - 40-48

1 package Oreos

8 ounces cream cheese (I always use 1/3 fat - I like to keep things healthy...)

1 pound candy melts

sprinkles or other decorations of your choice

  1. Crush Oreos to a fine crumb.  The easiest way is in a food processor.  I only have a mini one, so I can fit 7 Oreos in at once and I pulse until everything is nice and small.  You should not see any distinctive white bits.
  2. Smoosh (spell check doesn't like that word, but I don't know how else to describe the process) the cream cheese into the Oreo crumbs.  Just keep smooshing until it is all combined and looks like a stiff dough.
  3. Using a one tablespoon scoop, scoop the Oreo dough onto parchment paper.
  4. Roll each scoop into a round shape - I have poor rolling skills, hopefully your truffles will be perfectly round.
  5. Freeze the truffle until you are ready to dip.
  6. Make a double boiler by filling a small sauce pan with about an inch of water and then place a clean bowl on top of the sauce pan.  The bowl should not touch the water.  Heat the water gently, do not let it boil, keep it at a simmer.  Add the candy melts or chocolate into the bowl and stir every couple of minutes.  I have tried many ways to melt chocolate (or candy melts) and this way is by far the easiest, least messy, and most consistent.  Feel free to melt any way you like.  If the melted chocolate seems to thick, add a little shortening.  I often need to add shortening, this time I did not.
  7. I leave my bowl on the hot water while dipping.  Using toothpicks, dip each truffle into the chocolate and twist to coat.  Try and shake off any additional chocolate.  Place the truffle on parchment paper.
  8. After the first dipping hardened, I scooped extra melted candy melts into a baggie and pipped zig-zags over the top.  Quickly, I sprinkled silver sprinkles on top of the pipped candy melts.  After the candy hardened, I shook off the extra sprinkles and placed in a cute mini cupcake liner.

 

Green Velvet Mini Cupcakes

Tracy Byrne

It's St. Patrick's Day!  Or at least it will be soon!  I made these little guys for a St. Patrick's Day Parade lunch along with Irish Car Bomb Brownies.  I don't know if I should let you on a a little secret, but red  velvet cupcakes are only red because of the red food coloring. Yes, the little but of cocoa gives the cupcakes a slightly reddish hue, but not the red associated with red velvet.  This being said, you can create almost any color "velvet" cupcakes or cake you want!  I've made pink and green so far.

These little guys are cute and delicious, moist and tender, sweet and creamy.  Make mini green (or red) velvet cupcakes and you make lots of friends!

Print the Recipe!

Green Velvet Mini Cupcakes Yield - 24 mini cupcakes Adapted from my Red Velvet Cupcakes

3/4 cup + 3 tablespoons cake flour 2 1/4 teaspoons Dutch-processed cocoa, unsweetened 3/8 tea. salt 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 1 egg, room temperature squirt of green gel food coloring paste (I use Americolor Leaf Green) 3/4 teaspoon vanilla 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons buttermilk 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 3/4 teaspoon 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.
  4. Beat in the flour in 3 three batches on low speed alternating with two batches of buttermilk.
  5. Beat everything on high speed for 5 seconds to combine well.
  6. In a small measuring cup mix the soda and vinegar together and then add to the batter mixing well.
  7. Using a small ice cream scoop or a tablespoon, add batter to lined mini cupcake pans. 
  8. Bake for 10 minutes or until a toothpick comes out of a center cupcake cleanly.
  9. Be careful of baking times, every oven is different and you do not want to over-bake these little guys.  Immediately place on a wire rack to cool.

Cream Cheese Frosting 2 unsalted butter, room temperature 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature 3 cups powdered sugar 1 tea. vanilla Green sprinkles

  1. In a mixer with a paddle attachment beat the butter and cream cheese together until fluffy.
  2. Add in the powdered sugar ½ cup at a time until well combined and then beat in the vanilla.
  3. Scoop the frosting into a pipping bag and pipe onto each cupcake with a large, round tip.
  4. Sprinkle with green sprinkles if desired.