Archive for the ‘Dessert’ Category

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Cranberry Cookie Bars

December 24, 2019

20191216 Cranberry Cookie Bars 02These sweet, rich treats are a great way to celebrate the fresh cranberries that you will find in the store in the late fall and winter. They will disappear quickly!

You will need:

  • 2 c unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1/2 c brown sugar, packed
  • 1 T plus 2 t vanilla extract
  • 1 T ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 c flour
  • 12 oz fresh cranberries, picked through for any stems, rinsed and patted dry (you can substitute frozen — but use them frozen!)

Then you will…

  1. Line a 9×13 baking pan with foil and lightly grease.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter with sugars until light and fluffy.
  3. Mix in the vanilla, salt, and cinnamon.
  4. Mix in the flour until incorporated.
  5. Using your hands, spread 3/4 of the batter into the prepared pan. Allow it to come a little up the sides.
  6. Spread the fresh cranberries on top.
  7. Crumble or drop the remaining batter on top of the cranberries.
  8. Allow to chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  9. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  10. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until golden and set.
  11. Allow to cool for a half hour in the pan before you try to remove the cookie bars.
  12. Then allow to finish cooling on a wire rack before cutting.

20191216 Cranberry Cookie Bars 01

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Sugar and Spice Cookies

December 10, 2019

These figure cookies are lightly crispy and delicious. They are full of warming spices like you would find in gingerbread, building on a sugar cookie base.

You will need:

  • 1 c unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 c brown sugar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 2 t ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 t ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1/4 t ground cloves
  • 1/4 t ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 t ground cardamom
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 c flour

Then you will…

  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar until smooth and fluffy.
  2. Mix in the egg and vanilla extract.
  3. Mix in the ginger, cinnamon, baking powder, cloves, nutmeg, cardamom and salt.
  4. Mix in the flour.
  5. Form a ball with the dough and flatten slightly. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 20-30 minutes.
  6. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  7. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface until it is about 1/2-inch thick. Cut into desired shapes.
  8. Place onto the prepared baking sheets and bake until starting to turn golden, about 8-10 minutes.

20181225 Sugar Spice Cookies 01

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Cranberry Nut Cake

November 4, 2019

This buttermilk cake studded with fresh cranberries and white chocolate and full of ground walnuts. I loved the combination of sharp tartness, creamy sweetness, and nuttiness.

20181229 Cranberry Chocolate Cake 04

You will need:

  • 3/4 c brown sugar
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 1 orange, zested
  • 8 T unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 1 t ground cardamom
  • 1/2 t ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/2 c buttermilk (substitute: combine 1 T lemon juice with cup of milk and let sit for 5 minutes; stir and use)
  • 1/2 c walnuts, finely ground
  • 1 1/2 c flour
  • 12 oz fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 c white chocolate chips
  • 3 T cinnamon sugar

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease and 8 or 9-inch springform and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugars with the orange zest to release the orange oils.
  3. Cream the butter into the sugar mixture.
  4. Mix in the egg, vanilla, baking powder, cardamom, cinnamon and salt.
  5. Mix in the buttermilk, ground walnuts, and flour.
  6. Fold in the cranberries and white chocolate
  7. Spread in the pan and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
  8. Bake 45-60 minutes, until golden and set in the middle.
  9. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan.

20181229 Cranberry Chocolate Cake 02

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Pumpkin Cake

October 21, 2019

The weather has turned crisp. The leaves are changing colors, and pumpkins keep popping up on front steps. It’s perfect weather for ooey, gooey desserts.

You will need:

  • 7.5 oz (1/2 can) canned pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 c milk
  • 1/4 c butter, melted
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 t ground cinnamon, divided
  • 1/2 t ground ginger
  • 1/4 t ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 t ground cloves
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/4 c flour
  • 2/3 + 1/2 c brown sugar, divided
  • 2 t baking soda
  • 1 c chopped pecans
  • 1 1/2 c boiling water

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 9×9 baking dish.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the pumpkin, milk, butter, vanilla, 2 teaspoons of the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and salt.
  3. Mix in flour, 2/3 cup of the brown sugar, and the baking soda.
  4. Spread in the prepared pan.
  5. In a medium bowl, mix together the remaining 1/2 t of cinnamon, 1/2 c brown sugar, and the pecans.
  6. Sprinkle the pecan mixture on top of the batter.
  7. Pour the boiling water on top.
  8. Bake for 30-35 minutes. The center will be set, but there should be a softer layer underneath.
  9. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving. This softer layer will make a delicious sauce for the cake when you scoop it out.

20191016 Pumpkin Cake 02

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Sour Cream Blueberry Coffee Cake

August 11, 2019

20190728 Sour Cream Blueberry Coffee Cake

I am a sucker for coffee cake, and summer is such a sweet time for blueberries. I love the crunchy exterior of this coffee cake and hope you do too!

You will need:

  • 1 c (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 c sugar
  • 1 c brown sugar, divided
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c sour cream
  • 1 1/2 t vanilla extract
  • 2 t ground cinnamon, divided
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1 3/4 c flour
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries (or 1 c frozen blueberries)
  • 1/2 c chopped pecans

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease a nonstick Bundt pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter together with the sugar and 1/2 cup of the brown sugar. 
  3. Beat in the eggs.
  4. Then beat in the sour cream, vanilla, 1 teaspoon of the ground cinnamon, baking powder and salt.
  5. Beat in the flour until just blended.
  6. Fold in the blueberries.
  7. Gently spread a third of the batter into the prepared Bundt pan.
  8. In a small mixing bowl, combine the remaining 1/2 cup of brown sugar with the remaining teaspoon of cinnamon and the pecans.
  9. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture over the batter. Using a knife, gently swirl the mixture into the batter.
  10. Gently spread the remaining batter in the pan.
  11. Bake for 60 to 75 minutes. Tester should come out clean.
  12. Allow to cool completely in the pan on a wire rack before inverting to remove from the pan.
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S’mores Cookie Bars

May 23, 2019

What’s not to love about graham crackers, chocolate and gooey marshmallow? These are simply delicious cookie bars that come together quickly and disappear almost as fast.

You will need:

  • 1 c unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 c brown sugar
  • 3/4 c granulated sugar
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 t ground cinnamon
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 2 c graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 1/2 c flour
  • 7 oz container marshmallow fluff
  • 1 1/2 c semisweet chocolate chips

20190426 Smores Bars 02

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9×13 baking dish with foil and lightly grease with nonstick cooking spray or vegetable oil.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugars until smooth and integrated.
  3. Mix in the vanilla and eggs.
  4. Mix in the cinnamon, baking powder and salt.
  5. Mix in the graham cracker crumbs and flour.
  6. Spread a touch more than half of the dough in the prepared pan.
  7. Spoon drops of fluff on top of the dough; try to spread as much as possible given the stickiness.
  8. Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top of the fluff.
  9. Spread the remaining dough on top.
  10. Bake 35-45 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the bars are set.
  11. Allow to cool in the pan.

20190426 Smores Bars 03

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Strawberry Bunny Cake

April 11, 2019

Growing up, my grandparents made a Bunny Cake every Easter. I recall being dazzled by the cake year after year. It was always so special looking…plus it was served on an extra big tray (and what little kid doesn’t get excited about that?!). This past Easter my mom and I made one at my house. We baked, frosted, and covered it with coconut the evening before. Then my mom added some fresh fruit to make the bunny face before serving. It was a huge hit with the whole family (and inspired some pretty wide toddler eyes too!).

20180331 Bunny Cake 02

You will need:

  • 1 1/2 c unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 3/4 c sugar
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs, room temperature and lightly beaten
  • 1 c milk, room temperature
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 2 3/4 c all purpose flour
  • 3 c hulled and chopped strawberries
  • Favorite white frosting (we used two containers of whipped vanilla frosting from the store)
  • 14 oz sweetened coconut flakes
  • Berries for decorating (we used strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries)

20180331 Bunny Cake 04

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of two 9-inch cake pans with parchment paper and grease with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Mix in the vanilla and eggs until smooth and well blended.
  4. Mix in the milk, baking powder and salt until well combined.
  5. Mix in the flour and beat until smooth.
  6. Fold the chopped strawberries into the batter.
  7. Divide the batter between the two prepared cake pans.
  8. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out mostly clean. The sides should be have begun to come away from the pan.
  9. Cook the cakes on a wire rack for 15 minutes.
  10. Turn the cakes out from the pans and remove the parchment paper lining.
  11. Allow to cool completely on the wire racks.
  12. Cut one of the cakes into two ears and a bowtie(the cake between the “ears” will become the bowtie; see the first photo above).
  13. Set the cakes on a large serving platter (in a pinch, you can use a large foam board covered in plastic wrap).
  14. Frost with your favorite frosting.
  15. Sprinkle coconut on top and gently press it into the frosting.
  16. Just before serving, decorate with fresh fruit to make the bunny’s face.

 

20180401 Bunny Cake

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