December 20, 2012

Apple Cranberry Cake

A couple of years ago I met a lady.  Her name is Jeanne Cohick.  It was love at first site.  She was smart, funny, so very kind and just an amazing lady.  She has had many lives, in the sense that she had many careers.  Mom, wife, INNKEEPER!

Yes, innkeeper.  She had me at "I just sold my bed and breakfast".  To which she followed up with..."Why don't you come over and look through my recipes".  What?  Now?  "Sure!"

Seriously, I went into overload and just basked in her recipes.  Here is one that I revised because it's the holidays and cranberries are everywhere.

Now, let me just say, my only experience with cranberries is out of a can, eating them.  I love them when they squish out of the can in their perfect canned shape and they get sliced and served.  I also love the canned ones that don't come out that way.  Although one of my BFF's makes homemade cranberry sauce for the holidays and I always request that she bring that.  I wanted to not have whole ones in the cake, so I had to ask my friend if the are able to be cut in half without squishing them.  She replied with..."you could even bounce them, that is how they come."  Oh. 

Anyhoo, I present Apple Cranberry Cake.

It's a version of the Caramel Apple Cake,but like I said above, it's the holiday season, so I splashed it with some red.  Oh and I had a few blueberries (like 10) that I tossed in because I could. 

It's moist, pretty and could be a breakfast or dessert.  You know I love to multi-task my foods.  I didn't add the icing because I forgot to get half and half, it was still very tasty and now a teensy bit healthier. 


December 12, 2012

Cranberry Chip Cookies

      I stumbled upon the 2nd Annual Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap hosted by Love & Olive Oil and The Little Kitchen.

Life changing, well in my new world of food blogging, it was.  I became a cookie swapper via my foodie/baking love.  I've never done a cookie swap, even with friends in town.  I was so excited to pick a perfect recipe that would go out to complete strangers and hopefully have them love my creation as much as I loved baking them.  This year the Cookie Swap was working with Cookies for Cancer.  A non-profit that raises funds to fight the war against pediatric cancer.

 I tested many before I sent out any and the final choice was some Cranberry Chip Cookies.  To be different, I added 1/2 cup of toffee chips. Just cuz I could.

I love them.   Not only did they ship well, but the zing of the cranberry and the creaminess of the cholocate, made them melt in your mouth good.

I hope that Becky, Gerry and Christina love them too!  From their comments to me, I believe they did.

The other fun part of the Cookie Swap is, of course, the receiving of the cookies!  First up was some Vanilla Chai Crackle Cookies from Joanna at Go Ahead & Snicker.

So good, the smell was gingery/chai like and they made me feel warm and fuzzy.  And the cute little plantable seed paper note card was so unique!

Next up was some Ferrero Rocher Double Fudge with Bailey's Brownies from Camilla at  You had me at Ferrero Rocher.  You had me at the White Chocolate Swirl.  Just sayin'  

Very moist, very rich and again, so very happy I was.

Finally, from Jennifer at Bake or Break, some delectable Brown Butter Snickerdoodles.  Yep, I love anything with "Butter" in the title and these cookies did not let me down. 


As you can see by the picture, I ate and ate before I even thought to take a picture.  Always a sign of immediate love!

Thank you Lindsay and Taylor and Julie, too!  Looking forward to next year already!

December 4, 2012

White Chocolate Peppermint Bark

It is officially Christmas season at our house.  How do I know?  Is it the fact that the Christmas lights are up?  The tree is up, so that must be it.  Nope, Christmas gifts are almost all purchased, so that has to be it.  Nope.  Temperature is still a balmy 80 degrees outside? Nope.

Peppermint Bark has started flowing out of my kitchen like snow melting off of a mountain in the spring.  Yep, that's it...White Chocolate Peppermint Bark is everywhere.  I think Peppermint Bark is so pretty and so refreshing and so, well, pepperminty.

It is so super easy, just melt some white chocolate, pray that I don't get distracted or that it burns and stir it up so it is silky smooth, add some chopped up peppermints and a drop of Peppermint Extract, not mandatory though, spread out on wax paper, sprinkle more peppermint pieces on top and pop in fridge, and viola, 30 minutes later....Christmas Season is here.

I love sending it to friends, even more than cookies.  My only hope is that is not all melted when it arrives.  It *shouldn't* be, but it's still totally edible, just much chunkier.

For a touch more color, I sometimes add some green sprinkles.  Creative, I know.  Then take a crappy picture so the white bark looks yellow.  :-(

Happy Holidays!!!!