Christmas Countdown- Christmas Morning Cranberry Muffins

Merry Christmas! Nothing says Christmas morning like a tasty baked good. When I saw the title of this recipe I knew I had to try it, especially because I have been on a cranberry kick these days. These muffins are in one of my most used cookbooks, Muffin Mania. If you don’t have one, I suggest you try and get your hands on one, it’s the best muffin cookbook around!

Six Christmas Morning Cranberry Muffins on a red plate with a Christmas plant in the background

Christmas Morning Cranberry Muffins (adapted from Muffin Mania)

1 cup cranberries
1/4 cup white sugar
1 1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp all spice
1 beaten egg
1/2 tsp grated orange peel
3/4 cup orange juice
1/3 cup melted butter or margarine

Coarsely chop cranberries. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup sugar and set aside. Sift together flour, 1/4 cup sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, all spice and make a well in the centre.

Combine egg, orange peel, orange juice and melted butter. Add all at once to the flour mixture stirring to moisten. Fold in cranberry mixture. Bake in greased muffin pan at 375 for 15-20 minutes.

Close up of Christmas Morning Muffins

We hope that you have a wonderful Christmas Day filled with lots of love and good food. Happy Christmas!

Caroline & Claire

Christmas Countdown- The Great Pumpkin Loaf

It’s Christmas Eve!!!! Claire came over to my place today to finish up the Christmas baking. We had a few ideas of what we wanted to bake but due to my poor planning we were limited by the number of eggs I had on hand. We settled on this pumpkin loaf, as both of us have a soft spot for pumpkin. I really like this recipe because it calls for cream cheese in the batter. That makes for an extra tasty treat!

Pumpkin Loaf on a white plate with a red placemat underneath

The Great Pumpkin Loaf (adapted from Jean Pare’s Muffins and More)

4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 1/4 all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice or cloves (I didn’t have cloves!)

Preheat oven to 350. Cream the cheese, butter and sugar in a mixing bowl (I used my stand mixer.) Beat in eggs one at a time until blended. Beat in pumpkin.
In another bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Stir until mixed. Pour into cheese/butter/sugar mixture and stir until just blended. Pour into greased 9×5 greased loaf pan. Bake for 60-70 minutes until tester comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in pan (I skipped this!) Place on rack to cool.

Merry Merry!

 

Christmas Countdown- Triple-Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

Wow, I can’t believe that tomorrow is Christmas Eve. Today was the first of my five days of vacation and I had the good fortune to spend it with great friends. I also managed to fit in a hair appointment and a Christmas manicure, I figure in the midst of all the festivities self-care is essential! Last night S. and I made these awesome cookies. I had been looking for something delicious that included cranberries and I think I hit on a new go-to recipe.

Nine Triple-Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies on a red Christmas plate with a Merry Christmas Card in the background

I love these cookies because of the contrast between the tartness of the berries and the sweetness of the chocolate. Also, any recipe that calls for three kinds of chocolate chips gets an A+ from me. The recipe is available here. All the best in your final preparations for Christmas.

Caroline

Triple Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies Close up shot on red plate

 

 

Christmas Countdown- Maple Squares

Well, Christmas is getting closer and I for one am becoming increasingly excited. Today I finished work for the holidays and I am looking forward to the next five days where the focus will be on festive fun! Earlier in the week I was looking for something quick and delicious as I was pressed for time. When I was at a loss for what to make I headed over to the good folks at King Arthur Flour. Ever since they provided me with excellent online chat assistance, I have been a fan. When I saw these squares I knew that KAF once again hadn’t let me down.

Nine maple squares on a red christmas plate with a gold plant pot in the background

What I loved about these squares was that they were super easy and super delicious. You can’t really ask for much more than that when you still have shopping, wrapping and more baking ahead of you. Head on over to King Arthur for the recipe.

Caroline

Close up view of nine maple squares on a red Christmas plate

Christmas Countdown- Lemon Bundt Cake with Lemon Curd Cream Cheese Frosting

Earlier this week I attended a lunch-time  Hanukkah party where my colleague treated us to latkes, homemade apple sauce and hummus. It was truly delicious. In preparation for the party I did a little research and I learned more about Hanukkah, including the tradition of eating fried foods (hence the latkes). I was a bit overwhelmed by recipes that involved frying and I was tempted by these marshmallow dreidels  but I ended up making this lemon cake. Nothing says Hanukkah like a lemon cake, right?

Lemon Bundt Cake

Now you may be wondering where the  delicious lemon curd frosting is. Well, here it is in a slightly fuzzy photo of a mini-bundt.

Fuzzy Mini Lemon Bundt with Lemon Curd Frosting

I could wax lyrically about this frosting, lemon curd and cream cheese where have  you been all my life???? Let’s face it, the frosting was what sold me on this recipe. The cake itself was ok, a bit on the dry side but I take full responsibility for that, as I think I baked it for too long. I highly recommend this frosting (or icing if you will) for any Hanukkah or Christmas feast. The recipe is available here.

Caroline

Christmas Countdown – Lime Coconut Squares

Hello again! Less than a week to go until Christmas and Caroline and I have decided to bring back the Christmas countdown that we had last year. Over the next few days, we will share some of our baking that we are doing to prepare for the holidays.

As I write this, I am in the midst of making another recipe that has already been featured on the blog and I have already messed it up but hopefully it will come together! I hope this is not a sign for future baking over the course of the week!

My first contribution are lime coconut squares from The Globe and Mail. I had great success with the these cookies from last year from The Globe and Mail and so I was excited to try this recipe. Since our mum is not a big fan of chocolate, I decided these would be a nice addition to my usual chocolate based desserts.

I just popped these into the freezer for safe-keeping. These squares are very lovely. They are tart but the coconut and shortbread base offer a great balance. These will definitely be something I make again and would also be nice in the middle of summer for a light fresh treat!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Well hello! Long time no chat! Caroline and I took a little hiatus over the summer and I am feeling the need to restart the baking goodness! And what a better time of year to start things fresh than Thanksgiving weekend and a new pumpkin treat!

Our family didn’t get to have our turkey dinner this weekend as we were spread out across the province with busy work schedules. So I was here in Ottawa and celebrated  Thanksgiving with some of my new family! Unfortunately, Neil had to work and he had asked me to bake him some cookies. I figured a festive fall cookie was in order.

I found this recipe that looked delicious! The cookies were super easy to make and they were done in 12-13 minutes. The frosting was delicious and I may have had a few spoonfuls from the bowl when I was done frosting them all.

Rhubarb-Brown Sugar Plain Cake- TWD

Well, it’s been a while since I posted but let me tell you I came back with a real winner. I loved this plain cake and I pretty much stuck to the recipe other than substituting rhubarb for blueberries. It’s rhubarb season here and it seemed a shame to not use local produce as the earth seems to have finally woken from its winter slumber. I picked the rhubarb at my Aunt’s house last weekend when we were in town for Claire’s wedding shower.

Let’s talk about this cake. Now I was a bit skeptical of the fussiness, I mean beating egg whites seemed like a bit much for a “plain” cake but I was wrong. It wasn’t too much as the cake was light and delicious and I assume the egg white peaks had something to do with this.  I made the cake this morning and brought it into work. There was only one piece left at the end of the day so I think it was a hit! A couple of people asked for the recipe, here’s hoping that the egg white beating doesn’t dissuade them.

Thanks to Cindy of Everyday Insanity for choosing this recipe. And of course a big thanks to Dorie for giving us this little gem. I can’t wait to make it for my family, they are going to love it!!!

Caroline

TWD Brown Sugar Bundt Cake

I can’t believe I almost forgot to write this post! It is late on Tuesday evening but I am squeezing this post in before the deadline:)

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of spending the weekend in Toronto visiting my TWO (!) nieces, as well as spending some quality time with my mum on Mother’s Day weekend.


To celebrate Mother’s Day, Caroline and I hosted a brunch for our mum and big sister who welcomed the arrival of her second beautiful girl just last week! So this was definately a weekend to celebrate. Our brunch included a variety of yummy food and drinks, in particular, this bundt cake! This cake was a big hit with everyone (except with my niece who thinks that if it isn’t made of chocolate than it’s not that great). I omitted the nuts and used apples instead of pears but otherwise stuck to the recipe. This cake was definately a great brunch cake since it is not too sweet but if you were interested in making it a bit sweeter, it would be great with a glaze. Caroline and I were plotting a blueberry version with a lemon glaze to make in the future!

Thanks to Peggy from Pantry Revisited who chose this weeks recipe. It was definately a recipe I would likely have not chosen on my own but really enjoyed. You can find this recipe on Peggy’s blog or on page 179 of BFMHTY.

Cornmeal Shortbread-TWD

I know, I know, we have been failing badly here at Bake With Us in the posting department. We could blame a lot of things: end of the semester, wedding planning, illness, work, etc. It just wasn’t a priority in the grand scheme of things. But things are looking up and so here we are back TWD’ing.

A slice of cornmeal shortbread

Let me just say that I loved this shortbread. It was delicious. I halved the recipe and used a ceramic mold that I had been gifted by a dear friend one Christmas. It was a short-cut, I admit, but inspired nevertheless. The mold worked out really well, so pretty!

cornmeal shortbread on cooling rack

cornmeal shortbread & my easter present to myself

Head on over to Valerie’s beautiful blog for the recipe or check out the other Tuesdays with Dorie bloggers to see what they did with these treats. And of course thanks to Dorie for another great sweet.