Many years in the past, I have been one of those people who is organized, prepared, and ready for the holidays weeks in advance. This year is quite different. I’ve had a busy schedule and a lot going on, and I haven’t really had much time to prepare for Christmas. So, as I am getting in the holiday spirit and getting prepared for Christmas, I thought I’d take you along for the ride.
Over the next two weeks, I’ll be celebrating with 12 days of Christmas themed blog posts that will be full of giveaways, holiday tips, recipes, and more… After all, Christmas is a time for sharing! What could be a better way to celebrate the holidays than to share some of my favorite things with all of you?
One of my favorite parts about Christmas is the baking. I love baking and sharing recipes with my friends and family. Lately, there’s been quite a bit of online debate about baking from scratch. Until now, I have mostly stayed out of the conversation. But, I will remain silent no more.
If you read my blog regularly, you probably already know that I do almost all of my cooking and baking from scratch. I bake from scratch for two reasons - I can control the ingredients (i.e. no junk) and I enjoy it! For me, it works.
But, here’s the thing… I recognize that not everyone enjoys measuring out baking powder and flour. I’ll admit, there are even times when I’m not really in the mood to deal with baking from scratch. It happens. I used to avoid baking entirely in times like that because I was still concerned with the quality of ingredients. I just can’t bring myself to bake junk in my kitchen. Period.
Enter Naturally Nora baking mixes. I first came across Naturally Nora last summer at the Big Summer Potluck. A box of the cake mix was included in the swag bags, and I was intrigued by the short (and uncomplicated) list of ingredients. In fact, they were all ingredients that I had in my pantry, just pre-measured! So, one afternoon when I was exhausted and craving sweets (which isn’t all that out of the ordinary), I decided to give it a try… And, it was wonderful!
I was pretty sure I’d have to search high and low to find more of the Naturally Nora mixes, though… Here in Central PA, my grocery shopping resources can be somewhat limited. But, I was happy to discover the a few of the mixes in the natural/organic section at my local grocery store!
So, a few weeks ago, when I was given the opportunity to try a larger selection of the Naturally Nora products, I jumped at the chance. The cake mixes were wonderful, but the brownie mixes quickly became my favorite. Who doesn’t love a warm pan of gooey brownies?
After devouring the first batch of brownies that I made, I decided to use a second box to come up with a fun holiday recipe. Since I am a cranberry fanatic, my mind instantly wandered to cranberries, and I wound up with a cranberry cobbler topped with brownies. It’s easy, it’s festive, and you won’t have to worry about feeding your friends and family baked goods full of preservatives and other junk! If you are in the mood to bake from scratch, though, this recipe would work with your favorite homemade brownie recipe, as well!
12 Days of Christmas Giveaway!
I’ll share the recipe with you in just a moment… But first, let me announce the first giveaway in my 12 Days of Christmas celebration! Naturally Nora was kind enough to provide 3 additional boxes of their brownie mix for me to share with you so that you can try this recipe for yourself!
Here’s what you need to do to enter…
- Like Naturally Nora on Facebook
- Stop back here and leave a comment letting me know your favorite way to enjoy brownies… Do you like them cakey or gooey? Do you add fun mix-ins or prefer them straight up?
You have until Friday, December 10th at 10:00pm EST to enter the giveaway (US residents only, please)… I’ll choose 3 winners and announce them over the weekend!
Holiday Cranberry Brownie Cobbler
(Serves about 12)
- 3 cups fresh cranberries (or thawed, if frozen)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon corn starch
- 1 orange, zest and juice
- 1 box Naturaly Nora fudgy brownie mix
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 2 eggs
- Vanilla ice cream (optional)
Begin by preheating the oven to 350°F. Spray a 2 1/2 quart baking dish (or similar size) with cooking spray.
Combine the cranberries, sugar, vanilla extract, corn starch, orange juice, and orange zest in a mixing bowl. Toss evenly to coat and pour into the prepared baking dish.
In a separate mixing bowl, mix up the brownie batter combining the brownie mix, water, canola oil, and eggs. Pour the brownie batter over the cranberry mixture in the baking dish and spread evenly on top (as best as you can).
Bake for about 1 hour, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (or mostly clean since the cranberries will make the center very moist). Allow to cool for at least 10 – 15 minutes. Serve warm topped with vanilla ice cream.
My Kitchen Addiction Product Review Policy and Disclosure-
I received this product (Naturally Nora baking mixes) at no cost from the manufacturer (or a representative PR firm) for the purpose of testing and reviewing the product. Unless otherwise specified, I do not accept monetary compensation for reviewing or writing about products. I only review products that I have personally tested and used in my kitchen/home, and all opinions expressed are my own.