Glazed Double Berry Sugar Cookie Bars

 

Glazed Double Berry Sugar Cookie Bars

Glazed Double Berry Sugar Cookie Bars

Russ saw me making these bars the other day, grinned and said, “I LOVE baking season!”. Lol. He certainly does. Him, the boys, and I admit to a fondness for it myself. It’s funny; the rest of the year, I’m not as big on making cookies. I’m more of a quick bread, yeast bread sort of baker The whole plopping cookie dough down, or cutting, shaping, etc, drives me nuts. I shamefully confess that my attention span is that of a four year old in many ways and standing or sitting still to get something repetitive done isn’t a favored pastime. But at Christmas I’m all about the cookies.

The standing long enough to shape or roll though is exactly why I love bar cookies πŸ˜€ I get the dough in a pan, top with whatever if that is part of it, bake, cut, eat. What could be easier, right? These are delicious. Not really the type you’d put on a cookie tray though, so don’t use them for that. These are the ones you put out with the rest of the desserts. They are large, hearty bars, meant to be eaten with a fork.

Kind of still on topic, do you have your tree up yet? This is the first time in my life I’ve ever had a real tree. I grew up with fakes ones, used them my whole life, but Russ decided this year that he wanted aΒ  real one. I’m not sure how I feel about it. I think I had this vague expectation that the house would suddenly smell all Christmasy and piney. But *sobs* it doesn’t. It’s like having a fake tree in the house, but we have to keep it watered. It IS prettier than the fake tree we had, though. That one had seen better days and I’m pretty sure the mice had attacked it when it was stored in the garage.

Back to the cookies *as she rushes from one topic to the next like a crazed caffeine fueled toddler*, these are fantastic and as I said, perfect for the holiday dessert mix. The crust and topping are similar to a cakey sugar cookie, filled with a sweet and tangy mixture of berry pie filling and chocolate chips. Sugar cookie, fruit, chocolate. Do I even NEED to say more? Seriously; make these. They are wonderful, plus the fact that they use canned pie filling pushes them into the easy category as well, which is always a plus, especially this time of year. *I adapted this from a recipe on the BHG site*

Glazed Double Berry Sugar Cookie Bars

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1/2 cup shortening, room temp
  • 1 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract, divided
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 21 ounce cans of your favorite pie filling- I used cherry and strawberry (you won’t use all of the second can)
  • 1 cup semi sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
  • Glaze-
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond (or vanilla) extract mixed with
  • 2 teaspoons half and half or milk (you may need a touch more cream to get the consistency glaze you like; start with this)
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a large bowl, on low speed, beat together the butter and shortening. Add in the sugar, baking powder, salt, vanilla extract and 1 teaspoon of the almond extract and beat well.
  3. Still using the mixer on low *unless you enjoy being covered with flying flour*, carefully beat in 2 cups of the flour. Get a heavy wooden spoon and use that to mix in that last cup of flour.
  4. Scoop out and set aside 1 1/2 cups of the dough. Press the rest into the bottom of a 15×10 inch baking pan. I find the easiest way to do this with sticky dough is to dump it all in the pan, then lightly flour my fingers to press the dough in, repeating the flouring as needed.
  5. Bake the dough at 350 for 12 minutes. it will be just starting to turn a pale brown at the edges.
  6. While it bakes, stir the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract into the pie filling.
  7. After taking the crust out, carefully spread with desired amount of pie filling. I used about 1 1/2 cans. One can isn’t enough; two is a bit too much. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top, then dollop spoonfuls of the remaining cookie dough evenly over the fruit filling.
  8. Continue baking at 350 for 35 to 45 minutes or until the top is a light golden brown.
  9. Let cool for an hour, then glaze. The glaze is easy peasy. Just whisk together the glaze ingredients, adding more milk if you want it thinner and drizzle desired amount over the pan of bars. When totally cool, slice into squares.

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Glazed Double Berry Sugar Cookie Bars

Glazed Double Berry Sugar Cookie Bars

 

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Sesame Soy Turkey Breast

Sesame Soy Turkey Breast

Sesame Soy Turkey Breast

Ok, who stole 2016? Yes, yes, I know, I’ve done a lot of whining lately about being glad the hot Summer is past and that the cooler weather and my favorite season, Fall, is here. And I stand by those whiny moments.Β  It’s just that today, I was suddenly cognizant of the fact that it’s almost November. Freaking NOVEMBER! Wth? I mean, I knew it was this late in the year, logically. I’m that person who starts looking at Thanksgiving and Christmas pins on Pinterest in August, because it’s fun to mentally prepare my menu. it just didn’t really hit me until it occurred to me that I could probably go ahead and post this so that it was up in time for people to use on Thanksgiving. This year has gone abnormally quickly.

I made this turkey breast a couple of weeks ago and we absolutely loved it. The recipe is lightly adapted from one I found in Food & Wine magazine last year.Β  I’m similar to what I guess most of you are and make my turkey the same way every time because, tradition. But this was a nice twist that I may even be willing to make on Thanksgiving and definitely will use other times of the year because we eat turkey more than just one day a year here, since we love it. My differences from the original are that they used a whole turkey, I used the breast, they melted and then re-chilled the butter mix and spread it under the skin and I left it melted and used it as a baste to make it easier, plus different cooking temps and minor diffs in seasoning.

Sesame Soy Turkey Breast 2

The skin on this gets nice and crispy and if you’re feeling ambitious, you could butterfly the breast and have it 1) cook even faster and 2) have all the skin get crispy rather than have the inevitable bottom skin staying kind of soggy. The flavor here is fantastic; a perfect mix of salty, a subtle sweetness, the richness of sesame oil and butter and a bit of bite from the seasonings. I served this with brown rice, but this would go just as well with noodles or Thanksgiving potatoes.

You know the drill…Β  πŸ™‚

Sesame Soy Turkey Breast

  • 5 to 7 lb turkey breast, rinsed, innards removed, and turkey patted dry
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 -1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup toasted sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger (please make sure it’s fresh. It loses quality if it has been stored in the cabinet for too long)
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (use more or less of this according to your heat tolerance)
  • 1 can (14 ounces) good quality chicken broth
  • Sesame seeds and sliced green onions for garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 400 and line a 13×9 inch baking pan with foil. If you butterfly the breast, you’ll need to use a larger pan plus adjust cooking time.
  2. Make sure your turkey is dry, add to pan and sprinkle it with the salt and pepper.
  3. Melt the butter, then add in the next 7 ingredients (everything but the broth). Stir well to combine and dissolve the sugar and spices.
  4. Using a pastry brush, baste the whole breast with the butter mixture.
  5. Roast at 400 for fifteen minutes, then turn heat down to 375 and add the chicken broth to the bottom of the pan. Baste with more of the butter mixture and continue doing that every fifteen minutes.
  6. Roast turkey until it is golden brown and crispy and has an internal temperature of 165f, about one and a half to two hours, depending on size and whether or not you butterflied it. Be sure you’re not touching the bone when testing. Leave in the pan, very lightly covered with foil, for at least fifteen minutes to allow the turkey to continue to rise in temp and to prevent losing all the juiciness by cutting into it too soon.
  7. You can either serve the breast with the drippings, as we did, or use them to make a gravy. If you have leftover basting sauce, you can use it as a delicious dipping sauce for the turkey. Just make sure to bring it to a boil and let boil for one minute to prevent any cross contamination.
  8. Slice thin and garnish with sesame seeds and green onions.

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Sesame Soy Turkey Breast 3

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White Trash Dip (Recipe Re-Do)

White Trash Dip

White Trash Dip

Lovely name, ehh? But since when did I ever try to convince you that I was classy, prim and proper? You love me like I am, right? Low class, strange, and always doing my best (such as that may be) to give you a giggle.

The first time I made this dip was not long after I started the blog. Lately, I’ve been getting quite a few people coming to it and while that makes me happy, it has, yet again, one of those photos that makes me cringe, cry copious tears of embarrassment, and

want to gouge my eyeballs out so that I don’t have to see it again. Yes, it’s that bad. I love the post I made to go with it because it’s one of my funnier ones (has cuss words; you’re forewarned) but I know that the photo makes baby kitten throw themselves off cliffs. So, it was time to remake this one. Partly because I’ve changed it a little over the years and partly, well, that photo *cries more*

This is one of the worlds easiest dips to make. Why is it called white trash, you ask? Because it’s fairly cheap to make and uses canned chili πŸ˜€ and because this is so not something you’d serve at a classy party with champagne and caviar. This is more beer, chips and family and friends you love gathered together. Perfect for a game or for family movie night, for a Christmas buffet, what have you.

This is creamy, meaty, a little bit spicy (easy to adjust), cheesy, great for digging into when you have the munchies.

You know the drill…. πŸ™‚

White Trash Dip

  • 1 15 ounce can of your favorite chili
  • 2 8 ounce packages cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 teaspoons finely minced jalapeno (omit if you use the typically spicy chorizo, unless you really like the bite) plus extra for garnish
  • 1 lb chorizo sausage, cooked and crumbled (you can also use bacon, which is how I originally posted it)
  • 4 green onions, plus extra for garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 2 quart serving dish (I usedΒ  a souffle dish). Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl, then scoop into the serving dish. Smooth top.
  2. Bake at 350 until browned on top and bubbly, about 15 to 20 minutes. Garnish with green onions and jalapeno. Serve hot.
White Trash Dip

White Trash Dip

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Ultimate Buttery Sour Cream And Onion Mashed Potatoes

Ultimate Buttery Sour Cream And Onion Mashed Potatoes

Ultimate Buttery Sour Cream And Onion Mashed Potatoes



Confession time again. As they say confession is good for the soul, my soul should be doing great by now, ehh? So here goes.

I don’t normally care for mashed potatoes. I know they are one of the American iconic dishes, they use potatoes and Lord knows I love potatoes and they are a traditional side dish to so many meals, especially Thanksgiving. But they just aren’t usually a favorite. I think it’s a textural sensory issue more than anything.

But with these potatoes, I may have to make an exception. While I’m sure I’m not the first person to ever think of it, a month or so ago, it popped into my head that as much as I love sour cream and onion potato chips, why not try it in mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving? So I did a smaller test batch to try it out and I am so very definitely making them this way for Thanksgiving dinner, sensory issues be darned.

These mashed potatoes are creamy and buttery with just enough sour cream and onion flavor to make it interesting. If you want a stronger flavor profile, add a couple of ounces more cream cheese. These are rather like a loaded baked potatoes, but creamy. Oh, so good. They are quick to pull together and as with any mashed potatoes, if you want to make these for the holiday dinner, just make them the day before, cover tightly with foil, refrigerate, then heat them in the oven or even a slow cooker the next day. This can be easily doubled, tripled, quadrupled, quintupled, sextupletted… ok, I’ll stop now. Sorry.

These are NOT diet food, so don’t go read the recipe and faint, please. πŸ˜€

You know the drill… get to cookin!

Mrs. Cupcake, who is going to go eat some more potatoes.

Ultimate Buttery Sour Cream And Onion Mashed Potatoes

  • 2 1/2 pounds russet or Yukon gold potatoes (about 6 to 7 medium potatoes)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temp, divided
  • 4 ounces (half a container) whipped sour cream and onion cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • one green onion, thinly sliced
  1. Wash, peel and cube the potatoes. Place in a pot; cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, then turn down to medium and let cook until a fork easily pierces through a larger chunk. Remove from heat, drain into a colander and set aside for a minute.
  2. In the same pot, combine half of the butter (1/4 cup), cream cheese, milk, salt (use the smaller amount first. You can always add more salt, but you can’t take it back out) and pepper. Place over the still warm burner and let sit just long enough to take the chill off of the milk, about 2 minutes or so.
  3. Dump the potatoes into the pot and mash well. Then use a beater to whip them into a state of frenzied creaminess. See how easy that was?
  4. Spoon into your serving dish; dot with the remaining butter (if you don’t use it all, that’s fine), sprinkle with the sliced green onion and ground black pepper. Enjoy!!
  5. If you want to make them ahead of time, just spoon them into an oven safe serving dish, cover and refrigerate. Set them out the next morning, a couple of hours before dinner, then about 30 minutes before dinner, heat them (covered if you don’t want them to brown, uncovered if you do) in a 350 oven until hot all the way through.

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Ultimate Buttery Sour Cream And Onion Mashed Potatoes

Ultimate Buttery Sour Cream And Onion Mashed Potatoes

 

Elegant & Easy Lemon Almond Cake

Elegant & Easy Lemon Almond Cake

Elegant & Easy Lemon Almond Cake



Twas the week before Thanksgiving and all over the internet, were recipes for pumpkin and pecan and chocolate and all sorts of heavy desserts….

Yes, I’m well aware that that didn’t rhyme at all and didn’t even have a decent rhythm to it, but by the time I typed out “Twas the week before Thanksgiving”, my brain had died out. I tend to take thinking minute by minute, obviously.

Seriously though, I figured I would give all of you a recipe for something a little lighter, something citrusy and not bogged down with 5000 calories. Mind you, if you’re anything like me, it just means one MORE dessert to eat during the holidays, not one DIFFERENT dessert. There is no way I can turn down my pecan pie or pumpkin pie or berry pie. So, I join the throngs of Americans who spend the later hours of Thanksgiving sleeping under a table somewhere, fork in hand, whipped cream smears on my chin and a happy smile on my face.

This cake is so easy to throw together and it really is such a nice change from the heavier things this time of year. The cake itself is moist, with a mild taste of both almond and lemon, along with the gentle crunch of sliced almonds on top. I got the original recipe from the cookbook “Luscious Lemon Desserts”. I changed it in that it didn’t have the almonds on it, I used lemon oil rather than lemon extract, which I don’t care for as it adds a bitter flavor to foods in my opinion, I added more vanilla as well as almond extract in the cake andddddd added a couple tablespoons of actual lemon juice to give it a very mild tartness. All in all, this was delicious and something I can see making year round.

You know the drill…. πŸ™‚

Elegant & Easy Lemon Almond Cake

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon lemon oil (if you absolutely have to sub lemon extract, use 1 1/2 teaspoons)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup almond paste, room temp
  • 1/4 cup (half stick) unsalted butter, room temp
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup thin sliced almonds
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a greased 8 inch cake pan with parchment paper, then grease and flour the paper (or use a flour/oil combination baking spray). Sprinkle the sliced almonds evenly over the bottom of the pan.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. In another small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the milk, lemon juice, lemon oil, and extracts
  4. In a large bowl, beat together the room temp almond paste and the butter. If it doesn’t beat well at first, do what I did- get a potato masher and mush the dickens out of it. It worked great. πŸ˜€ Beat in the sugar until fluffy.
  5. Once the sugar, butter and almond paste are nicely blended, beat in the eggs, one at a time, until well blended.
  6. Alternate adding in the flour mix and the milk mixture, starting and ending with the flour (flour, milk, flour, milk, flour), beating just until well mixed each time.
  7. Spoon the batter carefully over the almonds in the pan, then spread it evenly.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown and a wooden skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan, on a rack for fifteen minutes, then carefully turn it out onto a plate to finish cooling.
  9. When cool, sprinkle the top generously with powdered sugar and cut into wedges to serve.

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Elegant & Easy Lemon Almond Cake

Elegant & Easy Lemon Almond Cake

 

Creamy Homemade Boursin Cheese Spread

Creamy Homemade Boursin Cheese Spread

Creamy Homemade Boursin Cheese Spread



I am a Thanksgiving appetizer junkie.Β  By the time I finish cooking the actual meal, I am so filled up on appetizers that I have no interest in dinner. Of course, the taste testing I just HAVE to do *innocent smile* as I cook doesn’t help either. Mind you, none of this stops me from loading up a full plate just in case. I then eat three bites, cover the plate and become a total turkey pig a few hours later.

But nothing matches appetizers for me. I love small bites, love being able to pick and choose from nibbles of fun finger foods. One thing I particularly love is cheese. Combine that with what all of you know is one of my downfalls, something creamy, and I become a total glutton. Many years ago, I saw a recipe somewhere or another for Boursin cheese and just had to give it a try. The rest is history. Now I make it each Thanksgiving and Christmas. The original recipe has changed much over the years and I don’t even make it as per the recipe anymore.

This cheese is so darn good! If you love creamy spreads, you’ll love it. It goes great on crackers, veggies, and one way I love to use it to stuff chicken or pork chops with it. I’m a total peasant myself; this cheese spread and some Ritz crackers and I’m in heaven. Add in a glass of wine and yeah, baby, I’m good! πŸ˜€

This goes together so quickly you’ll think you missed a step. The most time consuming part; all of three minutes or so, is finely chopping the green onions and the garlic. Such a workout. :-p Then just put it into a pretty serving bowl, set out crackers and others dippers and watch your family and guests go crazy for it. You’re welcome. πŸ˜€

You know the drill….. <3

Β Creamy Homemade Boursin Cheese Spread

  • 2 8 ounce packages cream cheese, room temp
  • 1/2 cup (one stick) unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1/4 cup good quality Parmesan Cheese (not the grated stuff you sprinkle on spaghetti)
  • 3 tablespoons finely minced green onion (about 1.5 green onions should do it)
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dill weed
  • 1 teaspoon Fine Herbes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (do NOT use more without taste testing. This is a simple mixture and easy to over salt)
  1. Β In a medium bowl, combine the butter and cream cheese. Beat well on medium speed until creamy and fluffy. Scrape bowl once, and beat for another minute or so.
  2. Add in all the rest of the ingredients. Beat well to combine. Give it a small taste test for salt and seasoning. Keep in mind the saltiness of any dippers you may use before adding more salt to the cheese.
  3. Spoon into a serving bowl; smooth top. Serve immediately or refrigerate until about half an hour before serving time.

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Creamy Homemade Boursin Cheese Spread

Creamy Homemade Boursin Cheese Spread

 

Maple Butter Pecan Pie

Maple Butter Pecan Pie

Maple Butter Pecan Pie



I’m totally ready to get started with Thanksgiving and Christmas recipes. Hopefully, you’re totally ready to get those recipes, cause it’s probably the vast majority of what I’ll be posting for a while. πŸ˜€

I sometimes think to myself that I wouldn’t be as enamored of the holiday season if it fell in Summer. I mean… “let’s go grill out some chicken for Thanksgiving dinner” or “how about we make some nice cold ice cream to serve on Christmas”?? Those just don’t have the same ring to them, even though I’m well aware that it’s only on this half of the world that is deep into Autumn and Winter when Thanksgiving and Christmas hit. But I’m one of those people who gets sad if it isn’t bitter cold on both days. I want cozy, homey, preferably snowy. Plus, cooking a large meal in the oven and making the house a sauna when it’s not cold out kinda sucks.

I already have two pecan pies up here on the blog. But one can never have too many pecan pies, am I right? I rather like pecan pie, obviously. My husband isn’t fond of it. Yet I let him stay around anyway. Go figure.

I wanted to change up this years pecan recipe for the blog. So when I saw this in an old cooking magazine I have, I had to give it a try. I absolutely love real maple anything and I knew from the ingredients in this that it would be good. It came with it’s own pie crust recipe, but I forgot to get some photos of it, so I’ll post that separately next time I use it. Meanwhile, just use your own favorite 9 inch pie crust; even a store bought one is fine if you swing that way.

This was a delicious pie. Nice glazed looking pecans on top (the recipe called for pecan halves, but I prefer chopped. You do you.), a filling that wasn’t overly goopy nor overly sweet, but has a subtle maple edge to it. It IS pecan pie however; don’t go into this not expecting very sweet πŸ™‚ I love to serve my own piece of pie simply; just the pie, gently warmed, with a small puddle of heavy cream poured over it. Serve this with strong tea or coffee or a glass of milk for the kiddos.

You know the drill… <3

Maple Butter Pecan Pie

  • 9 inch pie crust
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups toasted pecan halves (I used more like just 1 cup because I prefer a higher ratio of filling to pecans)
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten (have them standing by in a large measuring cup)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  1. Preheat oven to 400. Line a 9 inch pie pan with the pie crust; crimp as desired. Gently cover the crust with foil, making sure to press it snugly onto the sides. Dump about a cup or so of either dry beans or uncooked rice onto the foil (you can let these cool afterward and save them in a ziploc bag to use the same way again); spread evenly. Bake the crust for about 15 minutes; until it is set, but not browned at all. Remove from oven, take the foil off and turn the oven down to 325 degrees.
  2. In a medium pot, combine the brown sugar, maple syrup, corn syrup and salt. Cooking, stirring frequently, just until warmed and the sugar has melted.
  3. Slowly drizzle some of the warmed sugar mixture into the eggs, whisking constantly. You want to temper the yolks, but not scramble them by adding hot liquid to it too quickly. Do it nice and slow. When you have about half the sugar mix incorporated into the eggs, whisk the eggs into the pot containing the rest of the sugar mix. Stir in the butter and vanilla extract.
  4. Sprinkle the pecans over the bottom of the crust. Carefully pour the sugar/egg mixture on top of the pecans.
  5. Bake the pie at 325 for 35 to 45 minutes, until the filling is puffed (it will settle back down as it cools) and just off center looks set. It’s ok if there is still some jiggle right in the middle. That will firm as it cools.

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Maple Butter Pecan Pie

Maple Butter Pecan Pie

Easy Pumpkin Cranberry Bread (Recipe Redo)

Easy Pumpkin Cranberry Bread

Easy Pumpkin Cranberry Bread



Both times I posted this, I debated for weeks, WEEKS I say, as to whether it should be called pumpkin cranberry bread or cranberry pumpkin bread. I walked the floors, I lost weight from not being able to eat, I didn’t sleep for days at a time! Why, you ask!? (Pretend you asked) All for YOU! Yes, YOU, dear and faithful reader! All two of you. For this show of love, I believe I should have multiple boxes of Godiva truffles sent to me, along with large cars, house and land deeds and cold, hard cash.

I am redoing this recipe for two reasons- 1) because the original photo I took sucked donkey toes. I mean, we’re talking really really bad. Then, there is 2) which is that as good as the bread was back then, it could still be better. Now however? It’s awesome. It can’t be better. It is pumpkin cranberry (cranberry pumpkin?) nirvana. You eat this and angels weep, but only because they don’t have any. It has the perfect blend of squashy pumpkin flavor and tart sweet cranberry flavor, all mixed up in a perfectly moist bread redolent of warm Autumn spices and a touch of orange for zing.
This is a very easy bread to make. No chopping of this ingredient, dicing of this one. It uses canned pumpkin and canned cranberry sauce. Both of which also add incredible moistness as well as flavor to this.

You know the drill… git to cooking.

Easy Pumpkin Cranberry Bread

  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon fresh orange zest
  • 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 1 (16 ounce) can whole berry cranberry sauce (use a good quality brand; I have found over the years that the cheap store brand ones use more sugar then fruit and it shows in the taste. I prefer Ocean Spray )
  • 1 (16 ounce) can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling; just pureed pumpkin)
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg yolk
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter or use cooking spray on one 8 inch and one 9 inch loaf pan. You can use both 9 inch pans if that is all you have, but you will have much flatter loaves and you’ll need to adjust your cooking time. Over the years, I have found this to be the best combination.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. Whisk well. Set aside for now.
  3. In another bowl, combine the vanilla extract, orange zest and juice, cranberry sauce, pumpkin puree, oil and egg yolk. Mix well until it is relative smooth. You’ll have lumps from the cranberries of course.
  4. Dump the wet ingredients into the dry ones all at once. Use a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to combine them together JUST until mixed. You don’t want a bunch of flour of the bottom of the bowl, but don’t over mix it. That causes tough bread.
  5. Divide between the two prepared pans. Smooth the tops and bake at 350 until a wooden skewer inserted in the middle comes out with just a few moist crumbs, no loose batter, about 45 to 60 minutes. The 8 inch pan will probably finish before the 9 inch.
  6. Let cool in the pan on a rack for ten minutes, then carefully invert it into your protected hand and then re-invert it onto the rack. Let cool for about an hour before attempting to cut.

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Easy Pumpkin Cranberry Bread

Easy Pumpkin Cranberry Bread

 

 

Dark Chocolate Cranberry Orange Bread

Dark Chocolate Cranberry Orange Bread

Dark Chocolate Cranberry Orange Bread

 

I can never do anything normally, can I? Nooooo, not me. Other bloggers post lovely recipes for cranberry orange this and cranberry orange that and make us all run to the store to grab 78 more bags of cranberries to add to the 312 we already have in the freezer because what they create looks so enticing. But not me… I just HAVE to change it up some. Why, you ask? You did ask, didn’t you? I heard someone mumbling out there. Why? I don’t know. I just have to be different. I’m a rebel like that. Or something.

Mind you, I love cranberry orange anything and I may post something a wee bit more “normal” before the holidays are over, but not today.

Tidbit- when my 17 year old son Zach got home from church last night, one of the first things he did was snag a slice (like half the loaf…he’s 17, after all) of this bread. He then wandered to where Russ and I were watching TV and said “Now that’s just weird. This TASTES like Christmas. What the … I took a bite and it just tastes like Christmas.” My reaction was a pleased smile and a “that’s what i was aiming for so I’ll call this recipe a success”. Coming from a young man whose usual response to food is “Snarf….gobble…snort, slurp, kjgJfJfg, more…”Β  I consider this a great reaction.

And he’s right. This really does taste like Christmas. You have a moist bread with a lovely dark chocolate flavor first, then you are hit with the background of orange and cranberry. The bread itself isn’t overly sweet, so the pieces of chocolate are a pleasant surprise when you get them as are the cranberries. Then the glaze just takes this over the top to complete yumminess.

You know the drill… πŸ™‚

I love you guys!

Mrs. Cupcake, who has eaten far more of this than I should have

Dark Chocolate Cranberry Orange Bread

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup full fat sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons orange extract
  • zest from one orange (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (NOT drink mix)
  • 1/2 teaspoon each of baking powder and baking soda
  • 2/3 cup dried sweetened cranberries
  • 2/3 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 inch loaf pan and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs, vanilla extract and orange extract. Beat until combined then add in the sour cream and beat just until combined.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, orange zest, baking powder and baking soda. Dump the chocolate chips and cranberries into the same bowl and give it a quick stir to combine and get all the pieces dusted with the flour. This helps prevent them all from settling down to the bottom of the loaf.
  4. Pour/spoon into the prepared loaf pan (this is a thick batter). Smooth the top. Bake at 350 until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 50 minutes.
  5. Let cool in the pan for about ten minutes, then turn it out onto a rack to finish cooling.
  6. When cool, make you glaze. Combine the powdered sugar and orange zest in a small bowl. Add one tablespoon of the orange juice to it and stir. If it’s still too thick to drizzle, add the other tablespoon of o.j. Drizzle over the cooled loaf and sprinkle with some dried cranberries.

Dark Chocolate Cranberry Orange Bread

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Eggnog Magic Cake

Eggnog Magic Cake

Eggnog Magic Cake




I love eggnog. There; I said it. “I’m Janet and I’m an eggnogaholic”. And I have no plans to seek help. I’m also a fruitcakeaholic , which, when seen eating huge chunks of it and yes, actually enjoying the chunks of candied peel and neon red things which used to be cherries, has been known to make dogs pee themselves and small children scream in terror.
But, back to eggnog. I love it. I tend to go through about 3 half gallon containers by myself during the Christmas season. I snatch one up when I first see it near Halloween and make sure to keep my supply around through January so I have a constant fix. But up until a couple of years ago, I had never cooked with it. I was too busy hoarding my supply… hiring bodyguards, chaining Dobermans to the fridge, setting up motion sensors to catch my sons in the act of swiping my eggnog, to take the time to cook with it.

Hey.. wake up and.work with me here. I can’t be funny ALL the time! Ok, I’ll rephrase… I can’t be mildly humorous, even if only to myself, all the time. I’m bound to have off days.

I got the idea for this cake from my other magic cake, the Snickerdoodle Magic Cake . It occurred to me that store bought eggnog, that sweet, overly thick, utterly delightful product, would make a wonderful magic cake. What, some of you are asking, is a “Magic Cake”? No, it’s not something conjured up by Houdini. It’s called magic because you take a very thin cake batter, bake it and it “magically” separates into three distinct layers, a top and bottom that are cakey and a middle custardy layer. Anyone who has followed my blog for any length of time knows that one of my major weaknesses isn’t so much for sweet, but for creamy. Flan, custards, puddings, savory cream sauces, you name it, they bring me to my knees. So magic cakes are a natural go to for me…and my hips…and my thighs…and my butt. Luckily, my husband likes my tush, so it’s all good.

You know the drill… πŸ™‚

Love you guys!

Mrs. Cupcake Of The Hefty Butt

Eggnog Magic Cake

    • 4 eggs, separated
    • 3/4 teaspoon cream of tarter
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 1/2 teaspoon rum flavoring (optional)
    • 3/4 cup sugar, divided
    • 2 cups dairy eggnog (store bought is preferable in this case over homemade), lightly warmed
    • 3/4 cup flour, whisked together with 1Β  teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg and 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
    • 1/4 cup powdered sugar mixed with 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg for dusting the top of the cake
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line an 8Γ—8 baking pan with foil and lightly grease the foil.
  2. In a small bowl, at high speed, beat the egg whites with 1/4 cup of the sugar and the cream of tarter until stiff peaks form, about five minutes. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, at high speed, beat together the egg yolks and the remaining sugar until pale yellow and creamy looking.
  4. Mix in the flour mixture. Now, use a whisk to slowly whisk in the warm eggnog, then mix in the butter and finally, fold in the egg whites.
  5. Pour this into the prepared pan and bake at 325 degrees until the top is a nice light golden brown and the top is firm but still jiggles some when shaken, about 30 to 45 minutes.
  6. Let cool in the pan until completely cooled or refrigerate, then carefully use the foil to lift the whole thing out onto a board to cut into serving sized pieces. Dust with the powdered sugar/cinnamon/nutmeg mixture. Serve.

Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.