The holiday season is time for cranberries. And whenever we see some fresh cranberries, we must bake something! Usually it’s some Cranberry Bars with a nice cream cheese frosting. But we tried something new this time. This recipe was taken from the Tasty Kitchen. It’s a little bit different from what you may consider to be a “pie”. Honestly, I think it’s closer to a cobbler than a pie, and it was made in a cake pan. So, really it’s kind of an upside down cake. Actually it’s closest to a buckle, which is one of the many types of cobblers (I should do a post on the different types of cobblers). But the recipe calls itself a “pie” and who am I to make a pie conform to my definitions of what pie should be? Well, it’s tasty, whatever the name is. Plus it’s very simple to make so you can have a nice dessert in about an hour!
Here’s what you need:
- Butter, for greasing the pan
- 2 c. (heaping) cranberries
- 3/4 c. pecans, chopped (measure, then chop)
- 1 c. all-purpose flour
- 1 2/3 c. sugar, divided
- 1 stick butter, melted
- 2 whole eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 t. almond extract
- 1/4 t. salt
- 1 T. (sanding) sugar
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Butter and 9-in. cake pan. Add cranberries to the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle on chopped pecans, then sprinkle with 2/3 c. sugar.
3. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, 1 c. sugar, melted butter, eggs, almond extract, and salt. Stir gently to combine.
4. Pour batter slowly over the top in large “ribbons” in order to evenly cover the surface. Spread gently if necessary.
5. Bake for 45 – 50 minutes. 5 minutes before removing from the oven, sprinkle surface with 1 T. sugar for a little extra crunch.
6. Let cool and slice into wedges. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.
This time last year was the start of a very sad period in the household. After a very quick, very sudden, very severe illness, one of my dogs named Moby had to be put to sleep. He was 10 years old, but he definitely didn’t act like a senior dog. He was always active; he’d chase squirrels all day in the backyard if you let him. Which made it that much more difficult. One day, he’s running around chasing leaves, two days later he’s gone.
He was rescued from a shelter in Mason, MI where I found him sitting in his own filth. Sitting at the front of his pen, his face was just pressed against the gate, and he was just looking down at the ground. All the other dogs in the place were barking and yelping for attention, all except for him. He clearly was not used to being in a place like that. So how could I turn away the saddest puppy in the place who was covered in his own crap? Of course, he would celebrate his new freedom by throwing up into the middle console of my truck on the drive home.
He was a member of the family for over 10 years and I wasn’t ready for him to go. I had spent years trying to prepare for when Licorice, who was the elder dog at the time, would pass away (Licorice died later on in the year on December 13 at the age of 16, so my holidays just plain sucked last year). But this wasn’t supposed to happen to Moby. That was definitely a horrible day for us. I was at the vet for hours listening to him howl in pain; even morphine couldn’t ease his suffering. So on September 27th of last year, we said goodbye to our little buddy. I was a mess for months; even know I can’t help but get emotional as I’m writing this. What made things even worse, I ended up forgetting Daisy’s 1st birthday which happened to be two days later on the 29th.
As is a tradition in this house, all the puppies get a special cake or meal on their birthday. I know that they probably have no clue as to what’s going on, but it’s important to me to celebrate it. So this year we’re making sure to celebrate Daisy’s 2nd birthday with one of Moby’s favorites.
This recipe for the “Very Berry Drooly Dreams” cupcakes was taken from the Three Dog Bakery cookbook. This cookbook is actually a very good resource if you do like to bake goodies for your furry friends since it contains a nice list of non-dog-friendly ingredients. I’m sure everyone knows about chocolate and onions being toxic to dogs, but did you know that macadamia nuts could have adverse effects on the digestive and nervous systems of your pooch? Grapes / raisins also contain toxins that could damage the kidneys if eaten in sufficient amounts. Just a couple of facts that might be useful for folks out there. Anyhoo, here’s what you need:
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
- 1 c. quick rolled oats
- 1 T. baking powder
- 1/4 c. canola oil
- 1/2 c. honey
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 c. low-fat sour cream
- 1/2 c. skim milk
- 1 c. berries, fresh or frozen and thawed
1. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Coat a standard muffin tin with cooking spray. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl stir together the flour, oats, and baking powder. Set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil and honey. Add the eggs, one at a time, then the sour cream and milk. Gradually add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until just combined. Fold in the berries.
3. Fill the muffin cups about 2/3 full and bake for 30 minutes until a tester comes out clean.
4. Cool on a rack until room temperature before serving. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. You can freeze them, where they can keep for a couple of months. Just thaw before serving.
This recipe has been making the rounds on the food blogs so I thought I’d give it a try. For those who don’t know the story, a fellow food blogger (In Jennie’s Kitchen) experienced a recent tragedy with the unexpected death of her husband Mikey. The two of them have two young girls, ages 8 and 3. This recipe was one of his favorites and she had been meaning to make it for him, but sadly she never got the chance.
In his honor, I made this. But I didn’t make it just for him, but for the folks that I love too. So the next chance that you get, tell those special people in your life that you love them. As Jennie writes in her blog, “. . . hug them like there’s no tomorrow because today is the only guarantee we can count on.”
Creamy Peanut Butter Pie
Serves 10 to 12
8 ounces chocolate cookies
4 tablespoons butter, melted
4 ounces finely chopped chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup chopped peanuts
1 cup heavy cream
8 ounces cream cheese
1 cup creamy-style peanut butter
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 – 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Add the cookies to the bowl of a food processor and pulse into fine crumbs. Combine melted butter and cookie crumbs in a small bowl, and stir with a fork to mix well. Press mixture into the bottom and 1-inch up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan.
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave. Pour over bottom of cookie crust and spread to the edges using an off-set spatula. Sprinkle chopped peanuts over the melted chocolate. Place pan in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling.
Pour the heavy cream into a bowl and beat using a stand mixer or hand mixer until stiff peaks form. Transfer to a small bowl and store in refrigerator until ready to use. Place the cream cheese and peanut butter in a deep bowl. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and gradually beat in the confectioner’s sugar. Add the sweetened condensed milk, vanilla extract and lemon juice. Increase speed to medium and beat until all the ingredients are combined and filling is smooth.
Stir in 1/3 of the whipped cream into the filling mixture (helps lighten the batter, making it easier to fold in the remaining whipped cream). Fold in the remaining whipped cream. Pour the filling into the prepared springform pan. Drizzle the melted chocolate on top, if using, and refrigerate for three hours or overnight before serving.
Notes — I did follow an adaptation of this recipe that makes a 10″ pie. I got that recipe from the blog The Shiksa in the Kitchen.
Here’s a recipe that is always a staple at pretty much all of my big family get-togethers. I was trying to track down a recipe so that I could list it on the blog, but there was just a problem of getting everyone on the same page. So luckily I was able to finally find one that was relatively simple (some recipes involved lots of different tropical fruits and cheese, which was a little weird to me — in my experience, SE Asia isn’t big on the whole cheese thing). You will need a food processor though, but I guess you could grate the cassava by hand.
This recipe I found on the Saveur Magazine website. From the picture in the article, this looks pretty close to what is done in my family, but I think the family recipe has some macapuno in it (here’s a link to a blog that nicely describes what macapuno is). The topping is different, too. The one my aunt makes is a lot more caramelized on top, almost like the topping on creme brulee, but softer. Now, I did make one change to the recipe, mainly for time constraints. I was making this for a party and I wanted to do most of the prep ahead of time so I mixed the batter together the night before and put it in the oven just before dinner was served. Worked out great for me!
Here’s what you need:
- 1 1/2 c. sugar
- 2 T. unsalted butter, melted
- 2 t. salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 14-oz. can coconut milk
- 1 1/2 lbs. peeled cassava, cut into chunks
- 1/3 c. heavy cream
1. Preheat the oven to 350.
2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the sugar, salt, butter, eggs, and coconut milk. Whisk until smooth. Set aside.
3. In a food processor, chop the cassava pieces until it is finely shredded. Stir into the egg mixture, and pour the combined mixture into a 9″ x 13″ baking dish.
4. Bake for 40 minutes until set. Baste with the heavy cream, and then bake for another 40 minutes until browned. Let cool for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.
Notes — I think I might put in a little citrus zest in the next batch. I’m still trying to get closer to what my family version of the delicacy is, so maybe I’ll add some macapuno. You should be able to find some macapuno preserves in any good Asian grocery.