Archive for ‘Dessert’

February 22, 2011

Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles

Get excited. Some steamy snickerdoodles are coming at ya! This is the classic snickerdoodle recipe, with a slight spin on it. By kicking up the cinnamon sugar coating with some pumpkin spice, these snickerdoodles truly come alive…and leave you with the reminiscent taste of the holidays. What could possibly be better? I don’t know about you, but I am obsessed with all things spice. For example, I am really not a fan of fru fru drinks at Starbucks–normally I stick with the Americano or drip coffee–but as soon as the holiday season comes around and the Pumpkin Spice Latte and Gingerbread Latte hit the menu, I can’t help but to drag myself in there and order the ridiculously overpriced, and over-caloried drink. Why? Because they are just so darn delicious, end of story. Anyways, as I put an end to my tangent, I do love the holiday spice, which is why these snickerdoodles are near and dear to my heart…or should I say sweet tooth?

Here’s the method:

First, combine all the wet and dry ingredients, as described in the directions below. The dough should be firm, before rolling into balls. If it’s not, just cover it with plastic wrap and throw it in the fridge for an hour.

Next, combine the sugar and spice, and drop the dough ball into the heavenly mixture.

Now, get the ball rollin’. As Spongebob Squarepants would say, “bring it arrrround town.” Yes, that show is still a favorite.

Completely coat the dough with sugar and spice. Sometimes, I even dip it twice to make sure every inch is covered. But shhhhhh that’s a secret. No one has to know.

Finally, place on the cookie sheet and pop in the oven for 8-10 minutes and look just how lovely they will turn out!

Just an FYI, these little beauties may tempt you to eat them all up right off the spatula, so brace yourself. Snickerdoodles are always the best right out of the oven! However, the great thing about this recipe is that even after a few days they stay soft and chewy, so they will be tasty up until the last one in the jar.


  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups  sugar
  • 2 large eggs

1 tsp pure vanilla extract


  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

*Little Yellow Note: I halved this recipe to make a small batch so I would have half as many reasons to eat junk food. I just made sure to keep the same amount of vanilla, because it is such a lovely ingredient.


1. preheat oven to 400 degrees F

2.  In a bowl mix together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Sifting these into the bowl is a grand idea, to chase away those clumps!

3. Beat the softened butter and sugar until smooth, a couple minutes will do. Add each egg one at a time, beating well. Add the vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture and beat until the dough is smooth. If the dough is soft, cover and refrigerate until firm (about an hour)

4. Shape the dough into 1 inch round balls, or whatever size you would like them to be, just make sure that they are consistent, to ensure even baking.

5. Once shaped, drop them into the bowl with the combined sugar, cinnamon, and pumpkin spice.

6. Roll the dough balls in the sugar spice mixture and place on the cookie sheet, spacing them an inch or two apart.

7. Bake the cookies for about 8 – 10 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown. The edges will be firm and the centers will be a little soft, this is what you will want. Remove from oven and place on a torn open brown paper bag (or wire rack, if you are fancy and have one of these).

From the Little Yellow Kitchen


February 17, 2011

Enoteca Adriano: the Burrata and the Pope’s Pillow

Pope's Pillow dessert

I know that we probably cannot rave about this place enough, but Enoteca Adriano, never ceases to amaze; which is why we swooped up the last 7 o’clock reservation on Valentine’s night at this adorably romantic Italian spot. It’s really too bad that the boys were preoccupied that night, but fear not, we just took each other out for the occasion!

Burrata Enoteca

Apparently, we were the only friends who faced this minor dilemma, because everyone else in the entire restaurant was happily coupled, romantically gazing at each other, comfortably positioned hand in hand. It might be an understatement to say that, yep, it was awkward and we sure felt out of place, but the food and service was nothing but the best.

Tonight, we decided to try the Burrata Enoteca as an appetizer, which is my new favorite thing. Basically, it is a big hunk of delicious creamy  fresh mozzarella. It’s more solid on the outside, but when you cut into the center, the consistency is soft and creamy. This hunk of glory was placed on top of a large slice of wonderfully cured prosciutto, accompanied by some roasted heirloom tomatoes and wilted garlic spinach, and tied together with a simple balsamic-olive oil drizzle.

We. nearly. died. It was THAT good.

Then we split the Spaghetti Polpette (translated: spaghetti and meatballs), which was just what we were looking for, after finishing such a rich and decadent appetizer.

Just as we were winding the evening down (and finishing the great bottle of wine we brought along…gotta love no-corkage Monday’s), Chef Franco came out to greet us! After expressing a mutual adoration for the Enoteca and the Little Yellow Kitchen, he came equipped with two glasses of the tastiest dessert wine, Lungarotti, and a much anticipated Pope’s Pillow. This dessert, presentation and flavor profile, is unparalleled. It is big enough to use as a pillow to catch a snooze on…and the mascarpone cream filling would sure be able to provide adequate neck support. YUM.

Needless to say, Enoteca Adriano is such a jewel in Pacific Beach (a place mostly known for its rowdy bars and influx of young college kids), quietly perched a few blocks away from the madness, on Cass Street. If you live in or ever visit San Diego, you must stop by. The amazing Chef Franco will surely greet you with open arms and will send you off with a happy tummy and a “Grazie Mille”. What more could you ask for.

This is the “neck support” I was talking about. That puff pastry square is jam-packed with mascarpone goodness.

This dessert wine brings me back to the time I  spent living in Siena.

Lungarotti, Vino Dolce from the Umbria Region, Italy

I think this is the point we had to stop eating, to prevent immediate food coma… we still had to ride our bikes a few blocks home.

Fresh berries, everywhere!

The End. We got home just in time to pass out to the Bachelor. Perfect.

FYI– Here is:  Enoteca Adriano’s Facebook fan page, and here is From The Little Yellow Kitchen’s Facebook fan page... we are friends you should be too!


From the Little Yellow Kitchen



February 14, 2011

Valentines Day Vanilla Bean Mini-cake

Valentine’s Day. It’s usually a lover’s holiday, right? Well this year, both of our men are studying too hard to celebrate so we decided to have our own party. Chrissy and I are going to Enoteca Adriano again to celebrate something a bit different. This year it isn’t just about the men in our lives, it’s a celebration of all the things we love in life. Mainly great Italian food and neon pink mini cakes with Nutella filling…

This isn’t just any mini cake. It is a vanilla bean mini cake with a Nutella filling and topped with a pink vanilla cream cheese frosting. Try coming up with a recipe title for that…

First you’ll want to mash together the sugar and butter with a spoon — mashing it prevents too much mixing which makes dense cakes.

Beat in the other ingredients.

Spoon the mixture into your giant cupcake holders (found at your local cooking store) filling them half way and bake!

Once they are done you will use a pastry bag and tip to squeeze some Nutella into each one:

Do us a huge favor and don’t use a Ziploc bag like we did. This WILL happen:

Major blowout on the side of the bag. There was no rescuing these poor little cakes. Good thing we love Nutella.

Oh, and we didn’t learn from our lesson the first time and tried yet another baggy. The decorating tip proceeded to shoot out of the bag and into the center of a cake.

They should look more like this:

Moving on to the Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting. Try not to to eat it all before you top your mini cakes. This sounds like an easy thing to do but trust me on this one. You will need to hide it from your significant other, the kids, your mom, brother and the dog or it won’t last 5 minutes.

Check out those vanilla bean seeds! MmmMmMm.

Don’t forget to check out the other ingredient challengers for something RED! Ya, I know. Our’s ended up neon pink. Apparently adding more food coloring doesn’t constitute a more red hue.

How to make a vanilla bean mini cake with a Nutella filling and topped with a pink vanilla cream cheese frosting:

Cupcake Ingredients: Makes 12-18 gigantic cupcakes

1 cup flour

1 3/4 tsp baking powder

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup sugar

1 stick butter, softened

2 eggs

1/2 cup milk



1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. In a medium bowl, combine flour and baking powder.

**Little Yellow Note: Remember that it’s always best to sift the dry ingredients, to ensure there are no clumps!

3. In a mixing bowl, combine sugar and butter together with a spoon. Beat in eggs, one at a time, mixing well. Add the vanilla.

4. Beat in the dry ingredients with the creamed butter mixture.

5. Add milk and mix in by hand (you do not want to over-beat the batter!)

6. Spoon into gigantic cupcake holders, filling them up halfway (these holders are free-standing and do not require a muffin pan).

7. Bake for 18-20 minutes, testing with a toothpick.

8. While still warm, pipe the Nutella into the center of the cupcake. Let cool.

Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:

**Little Yellow Note: we halved this recipe from the Cake Dutchess, and added a little extra cream cheese and substituted vanilla bean paste for vanilla extract.

  • ¼ cup butter (1/2 stick), softened
  • 6 oz of Philly cream cheese (3/4 of a package), softened
  • 1-2 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
  • red food coloring (as much as needed)
  • colored sprinkles to top


1. Beat the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add in the vanilla bean paste, along with desired amount of powdered sugar (to taste) and drops of red food coloring and beat until desired sweetness and color is reached.
2. Top cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting and lots of Valentine’s sprinkles!

From the Little Yellow Kitchen,

Chrissy & Lauren

February 13, 2011

Chocolate Peanut Butter Dirt Cup Delight

Dirt cups may have been my favorite dessert on the kids menu growing up.  I got to dig through the Oreo cookie crumb layer then dive into the chocolate pudding and then…hey look! A gummy worm! Mmmm.

We decided to recreate this basic dessert since its so delicious but add our own little zest by including a layer of peanut butter and subbing out gummy worms for gummy bears. Gummy bears are way cuter. Plus, you can bite of their heads and switch their colors around. Sort of like this…

We are the two best friends that anyone can have....we're even willing to switch heads

I thought about naming this recipe Adult Dirt Cups – almost as if I had matured or something –because of the slight alterations and serving it in a sexy martini glass. Then I started switching gummy bears heads around and reverted back to a more suiting name.

We had this pudding left over from a scrumptious Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie my mom made me for my birthday. What better use of it than to make more chocolate peanut butter creations?! I think we have a problem...

Add that puddin’ and let it rest a while.

Layer on the peanut butter and try not to think about the calories. It will be worth it, promise.

Top it off with some Oreo crumbles,

and cute little bears.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Dirt Cup Delight


  • 1 pouch of chocolate pudding
  • crushed up Oreo cookies — be sure to lick the frosting off, you’ll just need the cookie part
  • peanut butter
  • gummy bears


Cook pudding according to directions. Scoop it into your preferred serving dish. Let cool in the refrigerator for a couple of hours.

Put a layer of peanut butter over the pudding. Top with crushed Oreo cookies – don’t include the frosting.

Lay your gummy bears on top, or push them into the pudding for a gummy bear surprise!

What was your favorite dessert on the kids menu growing up??

From the Little Yellow Kitchen,


February 10, 2011

Grapefruit Olive Oil Cake for the Soul

The first thing I do when I get home each day is take off my uncomfortable work clothes, pull on my sweats and a T-shirt, and cook. But today was a tad different, Chrissy and I took a romantic relaxing walk down to the beach to check out the sunset. Being cooped up in an office all day really makes me crave sunshine. Check out this post-sunset pic…


Remember those grapefruits I told you about? Well I found something else really amazing to do with them, thanks to Smitten Kitchen! She has such creative recipes and her Blood Orange Olive Oil Cake really got a lot of attention today, we couldn’t resist trying it out with our own little twist on things.


You: “Oh no you did not put grapefruit inside cake!”

Us: “Oh yes. We did.”


Boy, oh boy is Chris going to enjoy this one.

Do you want to know how to make it? Do ya? Ok.


Collect the zest from 2 grapefruits and combine it with the sugar. This fantastic zesty sugar made me wonder what else I could make with it. Hm…any ideas?

Grapefruit juice and yogurt mixture


+ Zesty Sugar




Whisk in eggs and olive oil.



Now you must supreme a grapefruit. I just learned that this is the fancy name for peeling and dissecting a segmented fruit. The ultimate goal is to get rid of the chewy membrane and end up with 1/4 in. chunks of lush citrus.



Mix together the dry ingredients. Add Dry –> Wet. Then fold your supremed pieces of grapefruit into the batter.



Bake and serve!

This cake was just the right amount of sweet and sour when we topped it off with some powder sugar and grapefruit compote. I can’t wait for breakfast!


Grapefruit Olive Oil Cake

From Smitten Kitchen – with a little of our own zest

  • 3 ruby red grapefruits
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Honey-grapefruit compote, for serving

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan. Grate zest from 2 grapefruits and place in a bowl with sugar. Using your fingers, rub ingredients together until zest is evenly distributed in sugar.

Supreme a grapefruit.

Halve remaining orange and squeeze juice into a measuring cup; you’ll will have about 1/4 cup. Add buttermilk or yogurt to juice until you have 2/3 cup liquid altogether. Pour mixture into bowl with sugar and whisk well. Whisk in eggs and olive oil.

In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Gently stir dry ingredients into wet ones. Fold in pieces of orange segments. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Smitten Kitchen said to bake cake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until it is golden and a knife inserted into center comes out clean. Ours was in for 50 and was a little bit too brown around the edges. Cool on a rack for 5 minutes.

Serve with powdered sugar and honey-grapefruit compote.

Honey-grapefruit Compote: Supreme 3 more grapefruits. Drizzle in 1 to 2 teaspoons honey. Let sit for 5 minutes, then stir gently.


Little Yellow Note: Now go check out Smitten Kitchen for more awesome recipes like this one!

From the Little Yellow Kitchen,