Cranberry Upside Down Coffeecake

Confession. I’m a giant bookworm. It’s a condition that dates back to my early childhood. My parents have time-lapse video from Christmases long past where I don’t move from the same armchair for over 10 hours. I’m a constant figure as the room buzzes with holiday activity around me. Motionless, except the occasional turning of a page. My favorite place to be is completely engrossed in a great novel, oblivious to the world passing me by. As such, it’s no great surprise that I’ve always wanted to host a book club. I was recently given the opportunity to start one with friends, and I jumped at the chance. Books and my best gals? Win-win. Bonus prizes for me include the excuse to use my grandmother’s dainty teacups, and making delicious treats for my guests. I began with this amazing cranberry upside down coffeecake.

Cranberry Upside Down Coffeecake - Bakerlady

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Apple Carrot Bran Muffins

We are having an aerobics session at tomorrow’s MOPS. And, my table is on tap for breakfast foods. I figured I should bring something that’s not laden with sugar, butter and cheese. Drat. These muffins totally fit the bill. They are chock full of fruits and veggies – and almost no fat! They are moist, delicious and practically guilt free! Seriously. These are absolutely fantastic. Yippee! Bring on the workout! I’m ready. I hope tomorrow’s  exercise session is something like the included video. That would make me so happy. And probably would also make me fall on my face…but I’d be happy! [Read more…]

Spiced Cranberry Compote

So, compote is a pretty fancy term for fruit in a sugar syrup. In this case, it reminds me very much of the most awesome cranberry sauce you’ve ever had. Spiced and fragrant instead of just the blah dash of color on the corner of your Thanksgiving plate. Delicious with “Colleen”, my Pumpkin Eggnog Bread Pudding. The post for the bread pudding has a photo of the compote along side it.

Spiced Cranberry Compote

1 1/2 cups frozen or fresh cranberries
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
1 1/2 teaspoons orange zest

1. In a small heavy-bottomed saucepan combine the cranberries, nutmeg, cinnamon, sugar, orange juice and zest. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat then reduce heat to medium. Let cook until cranberries are popped and mixture is a nice compote consistency, about 4 to 6 minutes. Let cool completely before serving.

The compote can be made ahead, refrigerated, covered, for up to 2 days. Remove 1 hour before serving; serve at room temperature.

Copyright 2010 by Kathy Casey Food Studios(r)

White Chocolate Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies

I generally do not like raisins in my baked goods. Oatmeal raisin cookies are pretty much my one exception. However, once I substituted white chocolate chips and dried cranberries for the raisins in this recipe – the plain old raisin variety pretty much bit the dust. These cookies are just how a good cookie should be. Slightly crisp around the edges, but still soft in the middle. These are packed with hearty oat flavor thanks to good old-fashioned oatmeal, and lots of it. You may be tempted to add cinnamon to this recipe (many oatmeal raisin cookies include it) – just try it without, you may be surprised to find you like being able to taste the oats…instead of just spices.

White Chocolate Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies

White Chocolate Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies

1 1/2 C all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
16 T (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 C packed light brown sugar
1 C granulated sugar
2 large eggs
3 C old-fashioned rolled oats (Quick cooking oats may be used, but you’ll lose some of the flavor. Instant oats should not be used.)
3/4 C sweetened-dried cranberries
3/4 C white chocolate chips

1. Adjust the oven racks to the upper-middle and lower-middle positions and preheat oven to 325°. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg together in a medium bowl.
2. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugars  on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3-6 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time until combined.
3. Reduce speed to low and slowly add flour mixture until just combined. Mix in the oats, cranberries and white chocolate chips until just incorporated.
4. Working with 3 tablespoons of dough at a time (or use a lever release ice cream scoop…it’s right about 3 T), roll the dough into balls and lay them on the baking sheets. Space about 2 inches apart. Flatten the cookies to a 3/4 inch thickness using your palm.
5. Bake the cookies until the edges are set and beginning to brown, but the centers are still soft and puffy. 22-25 minutes, switching and rotating the baking sheets halfway through baking. The cookies will look underdone – don’t overbake.
6. Let cookies cool 10 minutes on the baking sheets, then serve warm or transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.

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