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» Pale Yellow

Cream together butter and sugar until pale yellow.

Apple Spice Whiskey

Tracy Byrne

apple spice whiskey | pale yellow

I have a new favorite thing - apple chips.  It started when I first saw this recipe on Shutterbean and now I'm obsessed.  I purchased apple chips on my old favorite thing, Farmigo, for the recipe but they were expensive.  Delicious, but expensive.  So, like all expensive things, I decided to make my own.

apple spice whiskey | pale yellow

There have been a lot of apple chips coming out of the oven.  Slice apples on a mandolin, 3 for crispy, 4 for chewy, and bake on a lightly oiled pan for about 90-120 minutes at 250 F.  Flip over half way through cooking and check every 20 minutes or so to ensure they are drying and not browning.  Let cool completely and then store in an airtight container.

apple spice whiskey

They are an incredibly satisfying treat; sweet, crunchy, and an easy snack.  Not to mention how fabulous they are when infused with whiskey.  Or how lovely whiskey is when infused with apples.  And spice.  Always spice.

apple spice whiskey | pale yellow

Now you have a delightful, flavorful liquor at the ready for cocktails.  I like mine mixed with cranberry juice.  But I'm sure it would be great with apple cider, made into a hot toddy, or with ginger ale.  It's cocktail time!

apple spice whiskey | pale yellow

Print the Recipe!

Apple Spice Whiskey

Adapted from Shutterbean

Yield - 12 ounces

 

14 ounces rye whiskey

1 cup dried apples

1 cinnamon stick broken into two pieces

2 pimentos, whole

4 cloves, whole

2 star anise, whole

  1. Add all the ingredients to a 16-ounce mason jar.  Store in a cool dark place for 3-7 days, shaking once a day.

  2. When finished, strain the liquid into a clean jar.

  3. I enjoyed my cocktail 2 parts apple spice whiskey to 1 part cranberry juice over ice.  I bet it would also be great with plain seltzer or ginger beer!

  4. Don’t throw away those apples!

apple spice whiskey | pale yellow

PS - The spice bottles are from my grandparent's house.  I cleaned them and painted on chalkboard paint and then wrote the spices on them.  I love how it looks!

Lactation Cookies

Tracy Byrne

lacation cookies | pale yellow

Hello friends.

If ever there was a recipe that was less Pale Yellow, it's this one.  Babies aren't really my thing, either is lactation.  Don't get me wrong, I love a good baby, I just do not have one or plan on having one in the immediate future.  Luckily my friends are having lots of adorable babies for me to hold and then give back when they get fussy.  Perfect.

lacation cookies | pale yellow

I suppose I should not say Pale Yellow is anti-baby, these gender reveal cupcakes once graced the pages.  Previously the blog was filled with booze cupcakes for birthdays, but now people are mature and need cookies to help the milk pump out.

lactation cookies | pale yellow

According to my source, the new mom who requested the cookies, they seemed to work.  Regardless of whether or not you are trying to feed a baby, the cookies taste pretty yummy.  They are crispy and chewy.  The yeast and flax seed add a nice nutty quality.  Chocolate chips are a must.  Because the recipe makes so many cookies and with all the oatmeal, these are almost a health cookie!  Whether making a batch for yourself or a new mom, these are a hit!

lactation cookies | pale yellow

Print the Recipe!

Lactation Cookies

Adapted from Mom 365

Yield - 5-6 dozen

 

4 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons flaxseed meal

2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup sugar

1 cup packed light brown sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

3 cups oats (I used a mix of steel cut and old fashioned)

12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

4 tablespoons brewer’s yeast

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F and line all your cookie sheets with parchment paper.

  2. Mix the flax seed and water together in a small bowl and let it set for 5 minutes; it will become gelatinous.

  3. Beat together the butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment until light and creamy; about 3-4 minutes.

  4. Add the eggs one at a time and mix well.  Add the flaxseed mixture and vanilla.  Mix until creamy and scrape the bowl as needed.

  5. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt; mix until just just combined.  Add the oats, chocolate chips, and brewer’s yeast and mix on low until combined.

  6. Use a 2-tablespoon scoop to portion the batter onto the parchment paper.  Bake for 10-12 minutes until just set.

  7. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.a  Store in an airtight container or in a freezer bag.  The cookies freeze well which is good because one batch makes a lot!

lactation cookies

Chai Tea Lattes

Tracy Byrne

chai tea lattes | pale yellow

I had a cold last week and I try to treat cold as naturally as possible, that means lots of rest, fluids, vitamins, and clementines.  When looking for a recipe for this month's SRC, I found a recipe with ginger which is know to be healing.  So is garlic, but I'm not crunchy enough to put that in my tea.

Chai lattes can be great and they can be boring or just plain bad.  Coffee shops can be hit or miss, but now I can make them at home.  A strong tea with spicy flavor smoothed out with creamy, frothy almond milk.  Almond milk is my go to non-dairy milk and I love how frothy it can get from a little whisking; it feels decadent without being so.

chai tea lattes | pale yellow

This Mama Cooks has lovely recipes focused on, you guessed it, family, cooking, and most importantly, healthful recipes.  Before settling on the chai, I was strongly considering the vegetable quinoa made with frozen veggies for maximum ease.  But then I got sick and wanted fresh ginger!

chai tea lattes | pale yellow

Making chai is much easier than I anticipated and completely tasty.  I have chai tea bags but they just not as good, this is definitely the recipe for homemade chai.  And it must have worked because I feel better now!

chai tea lattes | pale yellow

Print the Recipe!

Chai Tea Lattes

Adapted from This Mama Cooks

Yield - 2-3 drinks


4 cups water

8 whole cloves

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

4 whole allspice berries

1 inch piece of fresh ginger

4 black tea bags

1 teaspoon honey

2 cups almond milk

  1. Add the water, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, and ginger in a medium saucepan.  Allow the mixture to simmer for 10 minutes.

  2. Add the tea bags to the water and allow to steep for another 10 minutes.

  3. Whisk in the honey and then strain the mixture.

  4. Add the almond milk to a small saucepan and whisk until frothy and warm.

  5. Add the tea to a cup and top with warm almond milk and the almond milk foam.

  6. Sprinkle with cinnamon and stir.

chai tea lattes | pale yellow

I do what I want 2015 - v.1

Tracy Byrne

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I broke my blog.  I tried to switch from a Wordpress hosted site to a Squarespace hosted site and I don't think it worked out correctly. It was actually done because I'm writing this from Squarespace, but it just doesn't seem right.  The breaking of my blog followed by the driving back to New York left me overwhelmed and unable to cope.

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So I watched a TV, hours and hours of TV.  Prison Break!!!  Why did I not know of that show previously? It consumed two weeks of my life and I'm in love with Wentworth Miller.  Here is the most accurate summary ever via pinterest.  Now I'm watching Grey's Anatomy; the acting and drama are just as bad as I remember, but I can't stop.  Can't. Stop.

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Grad school started yesterday, so my TV watching should be ending now that I have a calendar full of commitments.  In news that can only be classified as awesome - I'm going to Namibia for two weeks in July for grad school!  Obviously I'm over the moon at this next large and exciting travel adventure/opportunity.  I'll be studying great cat conservation, true story.

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In an effort to improve my overall health and ready myself for hiking after cheetahs, I joined the local Y.  It's been a blast realizing how out of shape I am and taking 5:45 AM spin classes twice a week.  Favorite quote so far, "You're here working and everyone else is sleeping."  It's the right sort of motivation.

As for New Year's Resolutions, I'm not really down with that, but I love the idea of a word or phrase for the year.  The past few years has been "Today I choose joy," because I needed the reminder that happiness is a constant choice and the phrase has served me well.  It was time for a change.  "I do what I want" is a perfect phrase because with that as your reason, people don't argue.

"I'm buying you lunch for your birthday."

"Thank you, but you don't have to do that."

"It's ok, I do what I want."

Discussion over my friends.  The phrase is enabling me to say yes to everything I want to do for no other reason than that's what I want to do and say no for the same reason.  It took me thirty years to figure out that it's ok to do what I want and I'm embracing that theme 120% in 2015.  So who's going to join me in doing what they want?

Easy Vegetable and Bean Soup

Tracy Byrne

Easy Vegetable and Bean Soup 1

Let's start our New Year right; veggies and bean.  Easy and delicious.   Healthful.  A recipe so good and tasty I made it several times throughout the fall.  Since a batch makes so many servings, it makes a for a simple week of lunches.  

Easy Vegetable and Bean Soup | Pale Yellow

I love the different textures from the veggies and beans; the lentils make the soup seem almost creamy. Can we talk about how weird 2015 seems?  I type it lot for work, but it seems like this mysterious time of the future.  It's hard coming to terms with this new year, I'm losing track of years and how much time has passed?  Is this what it feels like to get older?  My mom has been talking about her and my dad's trip to NC for their "30th" wedding anniversary this spring.  Here's the issue, I'm already 30 and they'll be celebrating 35 years.  Oh the confusion and fun!  Maybe eating loads and load so bean and veggie soup will improve memory!

Easy Vegetable and Bean Soup | Pale Yellow

One Year Ago - Apple Cider Doughnuts

Print the Recipe!

Easy Vegetable and Bean Soup

Pale Yellow Original

Yield - 4-5 lunch servings

2/3 cup dried lentils, I used red & green

2/3 cup dried beans, I used black & pinto

1 dried bay leaf

1 tablespoon olive oil

5 ounces chopped white onion, I used frozen

5 ounces chopped red & green pepper, I used frozen

1/2 cup chopped carrot

1/2 cup chopped celery

1 quart (4 cups) low-sodium vegetable stock

2 generous pinches of salt

plenty of freshly cracked pepper

  1. The night before add the lentils and beans to a 1-quart mason jar with the bay leaf.  Add water to fill and let the beans soak overnight.
  2. Add the olive oil to a medium soup pot with a lid to let heat.  Saute the onions and peppers until soft.  Stir in the carrots and celery.
  3. Drain and rinse the legumes and add to the pot with the bay leaf.  Stir in the vegetable stock and season generously.  Lentils need a lot of salt.
  4. Cover and cook for 1 1/2 - 2 hours, letting the soup simmer on low.  Check the doneness of the beans, they should squish in your fingers when cooked through.
  5. Let cool and portion for this week’s lunches!

*Alternatively, add the drained beans, veggies, stock, and seasoning to a crock pot and cook on high for 5 hours.  Check the beans for doneness.  Even easier!

easy vegetable and bean soup | pale yellow

Best of 2014

Tracy Byrne

After all the hits of 2013, 2014 was a little slow on Pale Yellow.  However, after checking my stats from WordPress, I'm actually up 9,000 views from last year.  So after all, not a bad year.  There was a lot of quinoa salads and overnight oats; not as many cupcakes.  It's hard to believe I've been blogging for three years and this past one was the most stressful.  Going back to school has cut into my free time drastically.  Imagine that, lol!  I hope 2015 allows me to focus on quality or quantity because I still enjoy this hobby very much! Here are the top 10 posts from 2014(all made it 2013, whoops!):

vanilla pudding shots // pale yellow
Eggnog Cheesecake Bars | Pale Yellow

Chocolate Covered Cherry Mini Cupcakes

Tracy Byrne

Chocolate Covered Cherry Mini Cupcakes | Pale Yellow This summer I spent almost three solid weeks with my family and despite the sad circumstances, it was lovely to spend so much time with my mom, aunts, cousins, and the rest of the crew.  Maybe that is why I needed to go back to Michigan for Thanksgiving, I was craving all the family time.  My first week in Michigan for Christmas has been filled with a ton of family togetherness and I've adored every minute of it! Chocolate Covered Cherry Mini Cupcakes | Pale YellowLast Saturday started with my mom and I sharing a bit of wine, Sunday was the birthday party for my cousin's and grandpa, Monday was cookie baking & a MSU basketball game, Wednesday/Thursday consisted of Christmas shenanigans, and Friday was a family fun day at the Henry Ford Museum and Slows BBQ.  And the rest of the weekend was filled with friend time.  Needless to say, it has been busy and a blast!

Chocolate Covered Cherry Mini Cupcakes | Pale YellowDespite the busy, there has been plenty of time for baking; there is always time for baking!  My cousin requested something with chocolate and fruit and this is what I came up with at the last minute.  I'm not personally a fan of cherry, but the rest of the family really enjoyed these little cupcakes.  The chocolate cupcake base is a perfection of soft, moist, rich crumbs that is super moist and flavorful; a truly light chocolate cupcake.  The frosting is not too sweet, but is creamy and full of cherry flavor.  The chocolate-covered maraschino cherry is a bit messy (and would be much cuter with a stem), but a delightful garnish!  It's cupcake time for all your cherry-loving cupcake friends!Chocolate Covered Cherry Mini Cupcakes | Pale YellowPrint the Recipe!

Chocolate Covered Cherry Mini Cupcakes

Inspired by Confections of a Foodie Bride

Adapted from Chocolate Cupcakes with Peppermint Swirl Frosting and Tie Dye Cupcakes

Yield - 30 mini cupcakes

 

Chocolate Cupcakes

3/4 cup flour

1/3 cup cocoa

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 + 1/8 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 egg

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

3/8 cup buttermilk

1/3 cup hot coffee

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F.
  2. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, soda, powder, and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer.  Mix together on low with the paddle attachment.
  3. Beat together the eggs, oil, vanilla, and buttermilk in a small bowl and add to the dry ingredients.  Mix until just combined and then scrape down the sides.
  4. Turn on the mixer and add the hot coffee slowly until well combined.
  5. Fill cupcakes liners with 1 1/2 tablespoons of batter and bake for 10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean.
  6. Turn out of the cupcake tin and allow to cool completely before frosting.

Chocolate Covered Cherries

1 jar maraschino cherries (about 30)

5 ounces bittersweet chocolate

  1. Drain the cherries and save the juice.
  2. Melt the chocolate in double boiler.
  3. Dip each cherry halfway in the chocolate and place on wax paper to cool.  Refrigerate to harden completely.

Whipped Cherry Frosting

1 1/2 cups whole milk

7 1/2 tablespoons flour

juice from 1 jar of maraschino cherries

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

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the milk and flour.  Keep whisking until the mixture becomes smooth and thick resembling pancake batter.  Pour in the cherry juice little, by little while mixing to keep the mixture thick.
  2. Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely.
  3. Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy - the mixture will stay grainy, it’ll be ok.
  4. Add in the cooled flour/milk mixture and beat until the entire frosting is light and fluffy and no longer gritty.  If the frosting is runny, refrigerate for about 15 minutes and then rewhip.
  5. Add to a piping bag with a large round tip and pipe a dollop.
  6. Place a chocolate covered cherry on top.Chocolate Covered Cherry Mini Cupcakes | Pale Yellow

Chocolate Peppermint Blossoms

Tracy Byrne

Chocolate Peppermint Blossoms | Pale YellowCan we do one more holiday cookie?  Let's do another holiday cookie!  I'm sure there are plenty of you out there with more holiday parties to attend this weekend and I want to make sure you have fresh cookies for your tray.  If you can snag a bag of these kisses, they may be 50% off, double bonus - easy Christmas Cookies with on-sale ingredients! Chocolate Peppermint Blossoms | Pale YellowThese cookies were made for the annual cookie exchange and caroling event with my church group.  The weird thing about this event is that in the past I would be embarrassed about singing out in the open and openly celebrating the season, yet something has changed.  Without irony and without embarrassment I can celebrate and rejoice in my faith!  And it was fun and filled me with the holiday spirit (and Spirit).  A great night!

Chocolate Peppermint Blossoms | Pale YellowAn easy cookie with a brownie-ish base and a  kiss on top, nothing can go wrong.  The cookies are a little bit crispy and a little bit chewy.  A minty chocolate kiss on top is the perfect compliment.  Either whip up a batch  this weekend or save them for next year, no matter what, this a wonderful cookie! Chocolate Peppermint Blossoms | Pale Yellow

Two Years Ago - Sugar Cookie Trees and Wreaths

Print the Recipe!

Chocolate Peppermint Blossoms

Adapted from Buckeye Cookies

Yield - 36 cookies

 

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

2 eggs

1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

36 Hershey Mint Chocolate Truffle Kisses, unwrapped

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a double boiler, melt the the chocolate and butter until smooth.  Meanwhile, whisk together the eggs, vanilla, and sugar in a medium bowl.
  3. Slowly add the melted chocolate to the eggs, stirring the whole time until well incorporated.
  4. Sift in the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Stir until completely mixed in.
  5. Use a 1-tablespoon scoop to portion the dough on the parchment-lined cookie sheet.  The cookies do not spread much, so the dough can be fairly close together.
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until just set.  Let sit on the cookie sheet for 2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
  7. Place a kiss in the center of each cookie.  Allow to cool completely, the kisses will melt and re-harden.Chocolate Peppermint Blossoms | 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

Salted Caramel Fudge

Tracy Byrne

Salted Caramel Fudge | Pale YellowIt's been a busy weekend.  Friday I ran around and did important things like oil changes and gift giving and packing.  Saturday was spent driving back to Michigan and listening to Serial.  I listened to the whole series in a day and I believe that is the best way to do it; it made the drive much, much easier.  I'm satisfied that Sarah gave her opinion and I agree with her, but look forward to what the future can hold.  Saturday night was filled with family silliness and Sunday was my cousins' and grandpa's birthday party.  Needless to say, it has been a non-stop start to Christmas break! Salted Caramel Fudge | Pale YellowWhenever I arrive in Michigan, one of the first things I do is load up on wine.  Every trip has lots of get-togethers and parties and wine is essential.  So I went Trader Joes and was a little bit judged.  "Are you hosting this holiday or is it just for you?"  Totally just for me!  I laugh it off as a "home for the holidays" type of situations, but really Trader Joes?  You know we go there for your cheap and delicious wine!

Salted Caramel Fudge | Pale YellowI don't think I bought enough wine PS, it's going to be a long two weeks!  At least there is plenty of fudge to eat.  I wanted to make homemade fudge from scratch without any sweetened condensed milk.  I cheated a bit and used caramel squares, but I think that is okay since my candy thermometer was already engaged elsewhere!  The fudge is rich, creamy and sweet.  The caramel topping is perfectly salty and lovingly sticky.  Despite the number of steps involved, you get a lot of fudge for your efforts.  Holidays = fudge, make it happen!Salted Caramel Fudge | Pale Yellow

Print the Recipe!

Salted Caramel Fudge

Adapted from Joy the Baker

Inspired by Amy’s Cooking Adventure

Yield - 96 pieces

 

1/2 cup  (1 stick) unsalted butter

2 cups packed dark brown sugar

2 cups sugar

1/2 cup light corn syrup

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt

10 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips

1/2 cups mini marshmallows

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

10 ounce bag caramels, unwrapped

2 tablespoons heavy cream

fancy sea salt for sprinkling

  1. Spray a 9x13” pan with baking spray and then line with parchment paper leaving 2 wings.  Spray the parchment paper as well.
  2. In a medium saucepan melt together the butter, brown sugar, sugar, corn syrup, heavy cream, and salt over medium heat.  Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat so the mixture simmers for about three minutes.  Stir occasionally.  Stir in the chocolate chips until melted.
  3. Use a candy thermometer to monitor the heat of the mixture.  Cook until it reaches 234 ˚F.  Remove from the heat and let rest for about 10 minutes.
  4. While the fudge is cooling, melt the caramels with the heavy cream.  Stir and heat until the caramels are melted and smooth.
  5. Back to the chocolate fudge; stir in the marshmallows and vanilla.   Stir for at least five minutes until the mixture is lighter and fluffy.
  6. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and spread evenly.  Pour the caramel over the top and swirl with a knife.
  7. Sprinkle generously with fancy sea salt.
  8. Let cool for about 20 minutes before refrigerating to cool completely.  Cut into squares and enjoy!Salted Caramel Fudge | Pale Yellow

Candy Cane Brownie Bites

Tracy Byrne

candy cane brownie bites | pale yellowI almost didn't share this recipe, it seemed too easy.  But then I remembered that people like easy, simple recipes that can be whipped up in a few minutes.  The first time I made these brownies, it was after work to bring to a church group meeting I had to leave for in about an hour and a half.  In less than 90 minutes I had homemade, from scratch brownies cut and ready to go! candy cane brownie bites | pale yellowThis brownie recipe is my absolute favorite and is so versatile.  It's dressed up for Christmas with a little peppermint extract and crushed candy canes on top.  Cut into small pieces it makes a for a delightful hostess gift of shared treat.  The holidays feature so many desserts, it's best to provide everyone with small bites!

candy cane brownie bites | pale yellowI brought these to Andrea's lovely holiday party and a guest asked me if they were soft.  Two questions - where does one find non-soft brownies? Who would bring hard brownies to a party?  Clearly my sarcasm could not be contained!  These brownies are deliciously soft, moist, fudgy, peppermint-y, and easy.  Whip up a batch now, anyone can do it!

candy cane brownie bites | pale yellowTwo Years Ago - Eggnog Cookies

Print the Recipe!

Candy Cane Brownie Bites

Adapted from MMMMM Brownies

Yield - 8” x 8” pan, 36 bites

 

1/2 cup sugar

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons water

1 teaspoon instant coffee

10 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips

2 eggs

1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract

2/3 cup flour

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 mini candy canes crushed

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 ˚F.  Grease an 8” x 8” square pan and line with parchment paper leaving an overhang.  Grease that too.
  2. In a medium saucepan melt the butter, sugar, water, and instant coffee.  When melted add in the chocolate chips and stir until combined and melted.  Add in the eggs one at a time and then the peppermint extract, stir to combine.  Add in the flour, soda, and salt mixing until just combined.
  3. Pour the brownie batter in the prepared pan and sprinkle with the crushed candy canes, press them in slightly.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the top is shiny and crusty and a toothpick comes out almost clean.  DO NOT OVER BAKE!
  5. Let cool slightly and then slice and serve.  For bites, I remove the whole brownie from the pan and cut into 9 large pieces.  Then, I cut each ninth into 4, placing in a mini cupcake wrapper for maximum cuteness.candy cane brownie bites | pale yellow

Eggnog Cheesecake Bars

Tracy Byrne

Eggnog Cheesecake Bars | Pale YellowI love eggnog, absolutely and completely!  Almost every Christmas season I try to make the most eggnog-y of eggnog treats and always end up disappointed.  It's not that the recipes aren't tasty, because they are, they are just not eggnog-y enough.  I'm not ashamed to admit I can drink eggnog straight up!  Obviously I try to limit the indulgence, but that doesn't stop the cravings. Eggnog Cheesecake Bars | Pale YellowThis is a delightfully eggnog-y recipe!  I'm sure the original recipe had enough eggnog flavor for the average person, but I wanted to ensure there was plenty of eggnog flavor for me.  I used all the tricks I could think of like adding rum extract (obviously rum is essential in eggnog!) and extra fresh nutmeg; the results are super!Eggnog Cheesecake Bars | Pale Yellow

The base is crumbly and moist while the middle is lovingly smooth and creamy.  A crumb topping on top is perfect for providing a little crunch and texture.  Throughout the filling and crust there is significant proportion of fresh nutmeg and eggnog flavor.  These eggnog cheesecake bars are my favorite thing on the cookie tray this year!Eggnog Cheesecake Bars | Pale Yellow

One Year Ago - Easy Turtles

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Eggnog Cheesecake Bars

Adapted from Annie’s Eats

Yield - 25 pieces

 

Crust

2 cups flour

2/3 cup sugar

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2-3/4 of a fresh nutmeg, grated

12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold

6 tablespoons eggnog

Filling

8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

1/4 cup sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon rum extract

1/4 of a fresh nutmeg, grated

1/2 cup eggnog

  1. Crust - Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F and grease an 8x8” pan with shortening.  Line the pan with parchment paper and grease the paper as well.
  2. Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg in a medium bowl.  Cut the butter into small pieces and incorporate into the flour mixture with a pastry blender.  Blend until you have pea-sized pieces.
  3. Stir in the eggnog with a fork until the dough is shaggy.  Squeeze a bit with your hands to incorporate the loose flour.
  4. Press 2/3 of the dough into the bottom of the prepared pan as evenly as possible.  Set aside.
  5. Filling - In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese until smooth.  Add the remaining ingredients, one at a time, beating to incorporate each.  Scrape the bowl as needed.
  6. Pour the filling over the crust.  Use the remaining dough to make crumbles on top of the filling.
  7. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the filling no longer jiggles and the topping just begins to brown.
  8. Let cool completely on a wire rack.  Refrigerate to firm up before cutting and servingEggnog Cheesecake Bars | Pale Yellow

Tangerine Cranberry Shortbread Cookies

Tracy Byrne

tangerine cranberry shortbread cookies | pale yellowShortbread cookies are apparently my jam for late 2015, they are so easy and fun to roll out.  There is no need to worry about spreading either because of the lack of baking powder and soda.  The dough rolls out smoothly and the delicate flavor of the plain shortbread lends itself to anything your heart images. tangerine cranberry shortbread cookies | pale yellowIn addition to my love of shortbread, I've been loving on cranberries!  In fact, I'm sipping on a delightful cranberry mimosa right now!  Totally in the Christmas spirit!  Cranberries and oranges (or in this case, tangerines) are a perfect match of sweet and sour; both are plentiful and in season.  It's nice to have a fruity component to the Christmas cookie tray.

tangerine cranberry shortbread cookies | pale yellowWhen I was thinking of cookies for my holiday tray, I wanted representation from all the flavors of the season.  Peppermint, ginger, cranberry, vanilla, nutty, and eggnog all needed to be included, and they are!  There is also a variety of textures like crunchy, creamy, and tender.  Tangerine cranberry shortbread cookies take care of the cranberry and crunchy categories and are perfect for your non-chocolate loving friends.  A delightful addition to my Christmas plate!

tangerine cranberry shortbread cookies | pale yellowTwo Years Ago - Pumpkin Truffles

Print the Recipe!

Tangerine Cranberry Shortbread Cookies

Adapted from Oh Sweet Day

Yield - 60 2” cookies

 

Cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

zest of 2 tangerines (or 1 orange)

2 cups flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

heaping 1/4 cup dried cranberries

Glaze

1/4 cup fresh tangerine juice (2 1/2 tangerines)

1 1/3 cups powdered sugar

  1. Cookies - In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment beat the butter until creamy.  Add in the powdered sugar and mix on low until just combined.  Beat in the vanilla and zest.  Scrape down the bowl.
  2. Sift the flour and salt into the butter and mix until just barely incorporated.  Finely chop the cranberries and add those to mixer.  Gently fold in.
  3. Knead the dough slightly so it comes together and then wrap in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  5. I wanted thinner cookies, so I rolled the dough on a well floured surface to 1/8” thickness and used a 2” round cutter to make disks.  These baked for 8 minutes.  If you want thicker cookies, they will bake a bit longer.
  6. Cookies should barely brown.  Let cool completely on a wire rack.
  7. Glaze - Whisk together the tangerine juice and powdered sugar until smooth.  Feel free to add more/less powdered sugar for a thicker or thinner glaze.
  8. Drizzle the glaze over each cookie and allow to dry fully before packaging.tangerine cranberry shortbread cookies | pale yellow

Christmas Vanilla Sprinkle Sugar Cookies

Tracy Byrne

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

Buckeye Cookies

Tracy Byrne

Buckeye Cookies | Pale Yellow for the FB Cookie Swap 2014So many cookie swaps, so little time!  Today it's the FB Cookie Swap from the lovely Julie of The Little Kitchen and Lindsey of Love and Olive Oil.  After last year's fun, I could resist doing it again!  Instead of peppermint + chocolate, I went with another one of my favorite pairings chocolate + peanut butter. Buckeye Cookies | Pale Yellow for the FB Cookie Swap 2014I sent out some great cookies, no bragging intended.  But they were really, really tasty!  I had to make a double batch so I would have plenty to mail out plus enough to save for photographing when I was able to get some weekend sunlight.  This time of year is brutally limited for natural light.  I ate at least one of these cookies everyday for breakfast without fail, I couldn't resist.  These cookies have everything a traditional buckeye has plus a brownie base.  To be fair, I know they sort of look like turds, but the inside is beautiful!  I'm just going to call it like I see it...Buckeye Cookies | Pale Yellow for the FB Cookie Swap 2014A crispy, fudgy bottom with a sweet, creamy peanut butter filling is hard to resist; add chocolate on top and I'm swooning!  I'm glad I had so many cookies leftover for eating and sharing with local friends!  I hope Ruthy of Omeletta, Susan of That Susan Williams, and Stephanie of Steph's Bite by Bite enjoyed them as much as I did!

Buckeye Cookies | Pale Yellow for the FB Cookie Swap 2014When you're receiving a dozen cookies from three different bloggers PLUS eating leftover cookies in your own kitchen, it is best to share the bounty with coworkers.  Surprisingly, not everyone was okay with eating cookies from strangers.  The weird thing is, even though I don't know anyone in the swap IRL, it does not seem strange and the bloggers seem familiar.  Everyone is in their kitchen doing their thing and blogging about it just like me.  I love that we are able to share are goodies with others.  It's the best we have until smells and tastes can be transmitted through the interwebs!fbcookieswap2014_woodLGI was super fortunate to receive an amazing selection of cookies!  Mieke of Mieke Z Mackay sent lovely oatmeal cookies with chocolate chips and nuts; salty sweet deliciousness!  Amy of Club Narwhal sent delightfully dunk-able biscotti; chocolate and vanilla with cranberries and pistachios!  Last, but not least, Tux of Brooklyn Homemaker sent some divine gingerbread linzer cookies with a white chocolate-orange ganache filling; I can't wait until he posts the recipe so I can make another batch!  A successful cookie swap for 2014, I can't wait for 2015.  As Lynn said, "I must be doing something right!"Buckeye Cookies | Pale Yellow for the FB Cookie Swap 2014

Print the Recipe!

Buckeye Cookies

Adapted from OMG Chocolate Desserts

Yield - 56 cookies

 

16 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

4 eggs

1 1/4 cups sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups creamy peanut butter

2 cups powdered sugar

10 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

1 tablespoon shortening

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a double boiler, melt the the chocolate and butter until smooth.  Meanwhile, whisk together the eggs, vanilla, and sugar in a medium bowl.
  3. Slowly add the melted chocolate to the eggs, stirring the whole time until well incorporated.
  4. Sift in the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Stir until completely mixed in.
  5. Use a 1-tablespoon scoop to portion the dough on the parchment-lined cookie sheet.  The cookies do not spread much, so the dough can be fairly close together.
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until just set.  Let sit on the cookie sheet for 2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
  7. While the cookies are baking, mix together the peanut butter and powdered sugar until well combined.  Roll into small balls.
  8. As soon as the cookies come out of the oven, while they are resting on the cookie sheet, smush a ball of peanut butter in the center of each cookie.
  9. Once cookies are cooled completely, melt the semisweet chocolate chips and shortening together in a double boiler until smooth.
  10. Dip the top of each cookie in the chocolate and let harden on a rack before packaging.Buckeye Cookies | Pale Yellow for the FB Cookie Swap 2014

Chocolate Dipped Pistachio Shortbread

Tracy Byrne

chocolate dipped pistachio shortbread | pale yellowThe last week has reeked havoc on my kitchen.  Every night has a sink full of dishes and flour on the floor.  But it's all worth it because I can now bring you seven straight days of holiday cookies and treats.  Holiday baking is my favorite time of year! chocolate dipped pistachio shortbread | pale yellowIt's always a struggle between old favorites and new recipes.  My only limitations are the hours in the evening and Tupperware. Here is one new recipe inspired by the SRC Cookie Carnival.

chocolate dipped pistachio shortbread | pale yellowA Cookie Carnival?  How could I resist?  The Secret Recipe Club did a holiday cookie post and I could not resist.  I was assigned Karen from Karen's Kitchen Stories.  Her blog is lovely and features recipes she makes for her family.  We have similar styles in that we both love to share recipes, slightly adapted, from cookbooks, blogs, and magazines.  Blogging is fun hobby that allows us to share treats with others.

scr club christmasThese cookies are gorgeous, easy, and super tasty!  Their light green color is perfect for a Christmas cookie tray and I love the saltiness from the pistachios on the outside.  The cookies have everything you want - crispy, crunchy, salty, sweet, and chocolate!  The flavor is a subtle pistachio taste that is delightful!

chocolate dipped pistachio shortbread | pale yellowTwo Years Ago - Candy Cane Truffles

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Chocolate Dipped Pistachio Shortbread

Adapted from Karen’s Kitchen Stories

Yield - 24-32 cookies

 

2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/4 cup sugar

1 box (3.4 oz) instant pistachio pudding mix

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

8.2 ounces flour

10 ounces bittersweet chocolate

1 tablespoon shortening

1/2 cup pistachios, chopped finely

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F and grease a 9x13” pan with shortening.  Cut a sheet of parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pan and grease that as well.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment until light and fluffy.  Add in the pudding, salt, and vanilla.  Mix until well combined and scrape the bowl as needed.
  3. Add the flour and mix on low until just combined.
  4. Press the mixture as evenly as possible in the prepared pan.  If your hands get warm and sticky (mine always do), wet them with cold water and dry.
  5. Bake for 35-45 minutes until the edges just begin to brown.  Remove from the oven and immediately use a bench scraper or knife to cut the shortbread into pieces.
  6. Let cool completely in the pan.
  7. Melt the chocolate and shortening in the bowl of a double boiler until smooth.  Chop the pistachios while the chocolate is melting.
  8. Dip a third of each cookie in the chocolate and then press into the chopped pistachios.  Let dry on a cooling rack with parchment paper underneath to catch drips.
  9. Allow the chocolate to harden before packaging.chocolate dipped pistachio shortbread | pale yellow

Shortbread Dipped in Chocolate and Peanut Butter

Tracy Byrne

Shortbread Dipped in Chocolate and Peanut Butter | Pale YellowCookies, cookies, cookies!  They have been churning out my kitchen at a rapid pace.  I finally made time to decide on recipes for my Christmas cookie plate and have started baking.  It feels good!  However, the flour all over the floor and never-ending sink-full of dishes does not feel so good.  I'm really missing the dishwasher right about now. Shortbread Dipped in Chocolate and Peanut Butter | Pale YellowNext week will be cookie week; six straight days of cookies that could adorn your holiday dessert table.  After a fall of not blogging as much as I would like, I'm trying to make up for it in December.  Clearly I have extra time without reading and writing about the conservation issues facing the world's biomes.

Shortbread Dipped in Chocolate and Peanut Butter | Pale YellowThese cookies are the result of trying to use up my hoarded stock of peanut butter chips and chocolate chips.  Whenever they are on sale, I tend to buy a few bags, but the drawer I keep them in is now over filling.  In fact, due to a recent $2.99 sale on Ghiradelli chocolate chips, my stash is now kept in a grocery bag #BakerProblems.

Shortbread Dipped in Chocolate and Peanut Butter | Pale YellowI'm beginning to adore shortbread cookies.  They are crisp and almost melt in your mouth with a touch of sweetness.  The initial plainness lends itself well to adding any and every flavor.  Look out for some more shortbread cookies coming your way, they are an easy and delightful way to add variety to the Christmas cookie line up!

Shortbread Dipped in Chocolate and Peanut Butter | Pale YellowTwo Years Ago - Pecan Bark

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Shortbread Dipped in Chocolate and Peanut Butter

Adapted from Dine and Dish

Yield - 30 cookies

 

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

pinch of salt

1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped out

1/2 cup powdered sugar

2 cups flour

1 cup peanut chips

2 tablespoon coconut oil, divided

1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

  1. Preheat to oven to 350 ˚F and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Add the butter and salt to the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment.  Split the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds from inside, add to the butter.  Beat until pale yellow and then beat in the powdered sugar until well combined.
  3. Add the flour and mix until just combined.  The dough will appear crumbly, but stays together if your squeeze it into a ball.
  4. Flour your surface and rolling pin.  Roll the dough to 1/4” thick and cut into circles.
  5. Place the circles on the lined cookie tray.  Bake for 18-20 minutes or until the cookies just begin to brown.
  6. Let cool completely on a wire rack before dipping.
  7. Melt the peanut butter chips and 1 tablespoon coconut oil in a double boiler.  Dip part of each cookie into the mixture and place on a wire rack.  Refrigerate the wire rack and cookies to speed up the hardening process.
  8. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate chips with the remaining tablespoon of coconut oil.  Dip the cookies and allow to harden on a wire rack.Shortbread Dipped in Chocolate and Peanut Butter | Pale Yellow

Chocolate Cupcakes with Peppermint Swirl Frosting

Tracy Byrne

chocolate cupcakes with peppermint swirl frosting | pale yellowTwo Years Ago - Boozy Cupcakes Print the Recipe!

Chocolate Cupcakes with Peppermint Swirl Frosting

Yield - 10 cupcakes

Chocolate Cupcakes

3/4 cup flour

1/3 cup cocoa

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 + 1/8 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 egg

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

3/8 cup buttermilk

1/3 cup hot coffee

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F.
  2. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, soda, powder, and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer.  Mix together on low with the paddle attachment.
  3. Beat together the eggs, oil, vanilla, and milk in a small bowl and add to the dry ingredients.  Mix until just combined and then scrape down the sides.
  4. Turn on the mixer and add the hot coffee slowly until well combined.
  5. Fill cupcakes liners with a not quite full basic ice cream scoop and bake for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean.
  6. Turn out of the cupcake tin and allow to cool completely before frosting.

Peppermint Swirl Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting

100 grams of  egg whites

1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar

pinch of salt

3/4 cup (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract

red food coloring

mini candy canes for garnish

  1. Add 1 inch of water to a small saucepan.  Add the egg whites, sugar, and salt to the bowl of a stand mixer.  Place the bowl in the saucepan.  Heat and whisk until the mixture is smooth and no longer gritty.
  2. Move the bowl to the stand mixer with the whisk attachment.  Beat on high speed until the bowl is cool and the meringue is whipped.
  3. Add the butter one tablespoon at a time while the mixer whisks on high speed.  If the frosting becomes runny or curdles, just keep beating at it will smooth out.
  4. Beat in the extract.  Remove half the frosting.  To the remaining frosting add a bit of red food coloring, mix until the desired color is reached.
  5. Add the red to one disposable piping bag and the white frosting to another piping bag.
  6. Place both piping bags in a larger piping bag with a large star tip.  Squeeze lightly until both colors are coming out.
  7. Swirl on each cupcake.  Decorate with a mini candy can if desired.

Carrot Oatmeal Cookies with Cranberries and Chocolate Chips

Tracy Byrne

carrot oatmeal cookies with cranberries and chocolate chips | pale yellowI come from a family of sweet tooth-s; everyone takes "small slivers" of each dessert and there are always plenty of cookies, pies, cakes, and puddings at family gatherings.  My grandpa keeps a stock of sweets like Honey Buns and a full cookie jar.  Since he moved into a new place, I wanted to make sure he had some sweet treats to keep him full. carrot oatmeal cookies with cranberries and chocolate chips | pale yellowWhile perusing Cookie Princess's blog Secrets from the Cookie Princess for this month's Secret Recipe Club, I looked for a recipe that would be "grandfather" friendly!  A recipe with oatmeal, carrots, and cranberries just scream grandparents, but trust me, people all ages will enjoy these cookies.  I added chocolates because, why not!  With the applesauce, carrots, and oatmeal, it almost feels like you could justify eating these cookies for breakfast.  Do it!  That's my favorite part of the holiday season, eating cookies every day for breakfast; at least these are healthier!

newsrcbannerI still haven't finalized my holiday baking list, there are too many ideas and recipes with too little time.  Now that I'm done with grad school for the semester, I can have all fun!  These cookies are all the fun too!  They are super moist from the applesauce and tender from the oatmeal and carrots.  The cranberries and chocolate chips add texture, flavor, and interest.  Finally, the cinnamon and freshly grated nutmeg add the best of flavors.  It's time to make cookies!carrot oatmeal cookies with cranberries and chocolate chips | pale yellow

One Year Ago - What I Learned This Week #9

Two Years Ago - Vanilla Vodka Chai Cocktail

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Carrot Oatmeal Cookies with Cranberries and Chocolate Chips

Adapted from Secrets from a Cookie Princess

Yield - 38 cookies 2-tablespoon cookies

 

1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

3/4 cup sugar

1 egg

2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 of a whole nutmeg grated

3/4 cup flour

1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats

1 cup shredded carrots

1 cup dried cranberries

1 cup mini chocolate chips

  1. Cream together the butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment until light and fluffy.  Add the egg, applesauce, and vanilla and beat until well combined.  Scrape the bowl as needed.
  2. Add in the baking powder, soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Mix until well incorporated.  Add the flours and mix until barely combined.  Mix in the oats, carrots, cranberries, and chocolate chips until just mixed.
  3. Stir with a rubber spatula to make sure everything is well incorporated.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour or overnight.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F and line your cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  5. Use a two-tablespoon scoop to portion the dough on the cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.  Bake for 15 minutes or until just set.
  6. Move to a wire rack to cool completely.carrot oatmeal cookies with cranberries and chocolate chips | 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

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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