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13

Cranberry Cake

cranberry cake stacked for carole knits

A few weeks ago, while attending an event at our Town Hall, I had a bite of something truly delicious. There was a table laden with all kinds of goodies: brownies and cookies and more . . . but there was also this plate of squares that looked yummy. And they were chock-full of cranberries. I had one and I was instantly in love with it. It was cranberry-y and almond-y and moist and just simply wonderful. I knew it wasn’t just an ordinary treat so I started working my way around the room, asking who had made it. I quickly realized it was made by someone that a) I know and b) I admire and c) is married to a local cranberry grower.

But of course.

I got the recipe and I made this cake for our Christmas Eve gathering. Every piece I put out disappeared. And everyone raved about it. It was, in other words, a hit.

The good news is that around these parts, cranberries aren’t just for Christmas and I happen to have a big ole bag of them in my freezer – courtesy of that particular woman who is married to that particular grower, I might add. So I made the cake again this weekend and I’m sharing the recipe with you. It’s partly because I want you to try it but it’s also because I want to make sure I don’t lose the recipe.

Not that I would ever do that.

Ahem.

So here you have it, the best cranberry cake ever.

cranberry cake for carole knits

Cranberry Cake
3 eggs
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 tsp almond extract
2 cups flour
2 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries

With a stand mixer, beat eggs with sugar until slightly thickened and light in color, about 5 minutes. Add butter and extract; beat 2 minutes. Stir in flour, just until combined. Stir in cranberries. Spread in a greased 13×9 inch baking pan. Bake at 350° for 45-50 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool completely and cut into squares.

Devour.

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19

Peanut Butter Balls

There are treats I only make at Christmas time and Peanut Butter Balls are one of them. Even though everyone loves to eat them, well, they are kind of a pain in the ass to make. This year, though, Hannah helped me and they worked up very quickly. I think this is probably a recipe that everyone has already since it’s an oldie (my mom made them when I was a kid and I think I’ve had them as part of Christmas for about 40 years now) but it’s also a goodie so I’m going to share it here.

Plus, it gives me an excuse to show you how I made them extra pretty this year.

peanut butter balls for carole knits

Peanut Butter Balls

3 cups Rice Krispies
3 1/2 cups of powdered sugar
2 cups of peanut butter
1 stick of melted butter.

Combine all of the above ingredients. I find the easiest way is to mix the cereal, powdered sugar and peanut butter together and then slowly add the melted butter. I do all of this in my stand mixer and it goes together pretty quickly – plus the mixer crushes the cereal a bit and that’s a good thing.

Once the ingredients are all mixed then form the mixture into small balls. I use my smallest scoop, I think it’s a teaspoon size, to make the balls quickly and then I roll them with my hands to make them smooth.

Melt 2 cups (or more if necessary) of chocolate chips in the top of a double boiler. I also thin the chocolate with a bit of shortening to make it more . . . dippable. And yes, that is so a word. Dip each peanut butter ball completely in the chocolate and put on a waxed paper lined baking sheet to set up.

Once the chocolate has set you can melt some white chocolate and then drizzle it over the top. I did this by putting it in a small sandwich bag and then making a teeny tiny snip in one corner. Then I just went back and forth over the rows with the white chocolate and then I sprinkled them with green sugar. This little extra effort really makes them look Christmas-y and special for the season.

Enjoy!

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16

Easy Sugar Cookies

The other day Kim asked me about the cookies in my picture from Ten on Tuesday. They are a simple drop sugar cookie – no rolling, no icing, no fuss. For Christmas I dipped them in some melted chocolate and then sprinkled them with Christmas sprinkles but I don’t even usually bother to do that. Anyway, I promised Kim I’d send her the recipe and I’m guessing you all might want it, too, so here it is.

chocolate dipped sugar cookies for carole knits

Drop Sugar Cookies

  • 1 1/3 cups flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350°. In small bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. In large bowl, with mixer at medium speed, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla until blended. Reduce speed to low; beat in flour mixture just until combined, scraping bowl with rubber spatula.

Drop dough by heaping teaspoons, 2 inches apart, on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake until edges are browned, about 10-12 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Eat. Share. Love.

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14

Cranberry Nut Bread

While I’m not a huge fan of banana bread – meh – or even pumpkin bread, for that matter, I happen to lurve cranberry bread. I especially lurve cranberry orange bread. With nuts, please. As you know, cranberries are plentiful around here these days so the other day I made a Cranberry Nut Bread.

cranberry orange bread for carole knits

 Cranberry Nut Bread

Ingredients:

2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon grated orange peel
2 tablespoons shortening
1 egg, well beaten
1 1/2 cups cranberries, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.

Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a medium mixing bowl. Stir in orange juice, orange peel, shortening and egg. Mix until well blended. Stir in cranberries and nuts. Spread evenly in loaf pan.

Bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 15 minutes. Remove from pan; cool completely.

I have to say – I didn’t have any orange juice but I did have oranges so I squeezed them and used fresh orange juice and I can’t believe the difference that made. So much orange-y flavor! I’m going to use fresh orange juice from now on.

And now – go forth! Make cranberry nut bread!

Comments (16)

9

Wordless Wednesday: Apple Cake

apple cake for carole knits

Okay, not wordless because I know you’ll ask.

Recipe here.

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