Archive for the ‘Holiday’ 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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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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Pecan Snowball Cookies

December 24, 2018

20181223 Pecan Snowballs

These cookies require a little bit of work, because you add a smidge of jam on the inside. However, the work adds a sweet surprise when you bit into each cookie. Yum! This makes about 18 cookies.

You will need:

  • 1/2 c unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 c powdered sugar
  • 1/2 t vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/4 c flour
  • 1/2 c pecans, finely chopped
  • 2 T milk
  • ~1/4 c of your favorite jam
  • 1/2 c powdered sugar

Then you will…

  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter with the powdered sugar.
  2. Mix in the vanilla extract.
  3. Mix in a pinch of salt, the flour, and the chopped pecans.
  4. Stir in the milk, so the dough comes together.
  5. Form a ball with the dough and slightly flatten to form a disk.
  6. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for two hours.
  7. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper
  8. Roll dough into two-inch balls.
  9. Cut each ball in half and use your little finger to make a small indentation in both sides.
  10. Add about 1/4 t of your favorite jam to each dough ball, split between the two sides.
  11. Reseal with your fingers.
  12. Bake for 8-12 minutes or until golden on the bottom.
  13. Allow to cool for 5 minutes and then roll in powdered sugar.
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Holiday 7 Layer Bars

December 23, 2018

I made these with my toddler, who loved sprinkling everything into the pan. It is a sweet combination of dried cranberries, white chocolate, a little dark chocolate and some coconut.

You will need:

  • 1 1/2 c graham cracker crumbs
  • 8 T unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 c white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 c semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 c chopped walnuts
  • 1 c dried cranberries
  • 1 c sweetened coconut flakes
  • 14 oz (1 can) sweetened condensed milk

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8×8 baking dish with parchment paper.
  2. Lightly grease the parchment with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter.
  4. Spread into the prepared pan and light press together.
  5. Sprinkle on the white chocolate chips.
  6. Then sprinkle on the dark chocolate chips.
  7. Next sprinkle on the chopped walnuts.
  8. Then sprinkle on the dried cranberries.
  9. Then sprinkle on the coconut.
  10. Drizzle the condensed milk over the top.
  11. Bake 30-35 minutes, until lightly golden on top. Center should be set.
  12. Cool in the pan at least two hours before removing and slicing.

20181222 Cranberry 7 Layer Bars 01

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Baked Eggs with Leek and Spinach

February 13, 2018

This is a fun brunch dish that goes perfectly with crusty bread, some fresh cut fruit, and your favorite coffee.

You will need:

  • 4 T butter
  • 4 T olive oil
  • 2 medium leeks, rinsed and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 c fresh baby spinach
  • Salt, to taste
  • 8 eggs
  • 1/2 c heavy cream
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1/4 t crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 shredded Parmesan

20171225 Baked Eggs

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large nonstick skillet, melt the butter with the olive oil over medium heat.
  3. Saut̩ the leeks, until soft and tender but not browned (about 6 Р8 minutes).
  4. Add the garlic and spinach.
  5. Continue sautéing until the spinach wilts, about 2 more minutes.
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Spread the vegetables in the prepared baking dish.
  8. Make 8 indentations in the vegetable mixture, leaving a 1-inch gap between indentations.
  9. Carefully crack an egg into each indentation.
  10. Pour the cream into the dish.
  11. Sprinkle with the lemon zest, crushed red pepper, and Parmesan.
  12. Add an extra dusting of fresh cracked pepper.
  13. Bake until the whites are set but the yolks are still runny, 10 to 12 minutes.
  14. Serve with crusty bread.
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