Archive for the ‘Holiday’ Category


Cinnamon Monkey Bread

March 26, 2020

This cinnamon monkey bread is scrumptious! My kids kept calling it doughnut cake, but either way it was gone before we could lick our fingers clean. It’s also simple with only¬† 5 ingredients and a perfect recipe for kids to help prep. We served for a holiday brunch treat along with fresh berries and whipped cream.

20191228 Cinnamon Monkey Bread 02

You will need:

  • ~20 oz buttermilk biscuit dough (I used Pillsbury homestyle), cut into quarters
  • 1 c sugar
  • 2 T ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 t ground nutmeg
  • 8 T unsalted butter, melted

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease a bundt pan.
  2. In a gallon Ziploc bag, combine the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  3. Add the biscuit pieces to the bag.
  4. Close the bag and toss to coat the biscuit pieces.
  5. Spread the biscuit pieces in the prepared pan.
  6. In a small bowl, mix together any leftover sugar with the melted butter.
  7. Pour the butter mixture over the biscuit pieces.
  8. Bake 30-35 minutes or until golden and cooked through.
  9. Remove from the oven and wait 5 minutes, before you invert the monkey bread onto a plate.
  10. Allow to cool at least another 5 minutes before serving, as the caramel sauce will be very hot.

Beer Roasted Pork Shoulder

February 3, 2020

This will make your house smell sooooo good, and it is the perfect centerpiece for a celebration or special gathering. Try is with some Kasespaetzle.

201912225 Roasted Pork Shoulder 01

You will need:

  • 1 c chicken stock
  • 2 yellow onions, chopped
  • 3 lb boneless pork shoulder roast
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 t pepper
  • 1/2 t ground mustard powder
  • 1/4 t ground marjoram
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 t caraway seeds
  • 12 oz lager
  • 1 t cornstarch

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Pour the chicken stock into the bottom of a roasting pan.
  3. Spread the onions on the bottom of the pan.
  4. Cut a diamond pattern into your pork roast on fat side.
  5. Rub with salt, pepper, mustard powder, marjoram, and the minced garlic.
  6. Place the fat side down in a roasting pan.
  7. Sprinkle with the caraway seeds on top of the roast.
  8. Roast for 1 hour and flip the roast so that the fat side is up.
  9. Increase your oven temperature to 425 degrees. Baste with the lager.
  10. Roast another 30-45 minutes, until the pork is 165 degrees in its thickest part.
  11. Allow the pork to rest for 15 minutes.
  12. Whisk the cornstarch into the bottom of the roasting pan until smooth.
  13. Bring it up to a simmer and allow to thicken slightly.
  14. Season with salt and pepper, if needed.
  15. Slice the pork and serve with the onion gravy.

201912225 Roasted Pork Shoulder 02


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


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


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


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


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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