Tag Archives: cranberry

Spiced Cranberry Apple Preserves

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When we moved into our house over eight years ago, my husband and I planted a small apple tree. We were new homeowners and knew very little about gardening. We did, however, love  the idea of having fresh apples in our back yard.  So, when we were at the local hardware store and spotted the cute little dwarf macintosh apple trees all lined up, we had to have one.

Fast forward to the present. Our tiny sapling of a tree is now a full fledged apple tree full of apples. (Granted, it is a dwarf apple tree, so it’s not huge.) They always say that the best time to plant a tree is 10 years ago, right? There may be some truth to that saying.

In years past, the apples were very small and rotted or fell to the ground before we ever had a chance to pick them. This year, though, the tree was full of apples. So, on a sunny Saturday morning a few weeks ago, we headed out to the back yard to pick some apples.

I was just hoping for a handful of apples to make a pie, or perhaps an apple crisp.  We got to picking and having a good time (the kiddo LOVES to pick apples), and pretty soon we had two giant baskets full of apples. I didn’t weigh them, but I think there were 30 pounds of apples.Continue Reading

Cranberry Sticky Buns

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Red Star Yeast.  As always, all opinions expressed are entirely my own.

Sticky buns on Christmas morning are a tradition in my family.  When I was growing up, there was a sweet woman in our church who would deliver freshly baked sticky buns each Christmas Eve for us to enjoy on Christmas morning.  After my family moved, my mom kept the tradition going, baking sticky buns herself and dropping them off for us to enjoy.

Over the last few years, I’ve started doing the baking myself.  After one taste of the famous sticky buns at Flour Bakery in Boston, I started making the brioche buns from the cookbook each year. They are always a hit. They’re super rich, so I only make them once a year for Christmas.  But, oh, they are worth it!

This year, I decided to mix it up a bit and work on a new recipe of my own.  I stuck to brioche for the rolls, but I scaled back another recipe that I’ve made in the past. The original recipe made enough brioche to feed an army, so I cut back the recipe to make just enough to fit in a 9 by 13-inch pan.  To make the buns just a bit more festive, I decided to fill them with cranberries and pecans and make a sticky cranberry topping (instead of the usual pecans).

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It took a few tries to get it right (too much dark sugar, not enough cranberries, you get the picture), and I’ve eaten far too many brioche rolls in the past few weeks, but the resulting recipe is definitely a new favorite. The brioche has just a bit of orange zest to compliment the cranberries. And, the cranberry topping is the right balance of sweet and tart.  My family (who quickly became my taste testers when they were visiting a few weeks ago) loved the rolls, and I’m rather smitten myself.

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In addition to developing a new recipe for our annual Christmas sticky buns, this recipe will also be featured on the Red Star Yeast website. Instead of baking one of their recipes this month, they asked me to create one of my own!

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As always, I’ve included step-by-step photos of the recipe to guide you while you are baking. It’s not often that I will tell you that you need a stand mixer to bake bread, but I’d highly recommend it when you are baking brioche.  A hand mixer won’t cut it, and doing it by hand requires a lot of elbow grease. Of course, I’m always happy to answer your questions, and you can always reach out to Red Star Yeast on Facebook and Twitter, as well!

So, tell me… What are your family’s traditions? Do you have a favorite recipe that you make each year? Or, are you looking for something new this year?

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Cranberry Sticky Buns
Makes one 9 by 13-inch pan, 12 rolls
(Loosely adapted from the Flour Bakery + Cafe cookbook and Baking & Pastry)

For the dough:

  • 3 cups bread flour
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons (1 packet) Red Star Active Dry Yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • ½ cup milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

For the topping:

  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ½ cup eggnog (or cream)
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries

For the filling:

  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup pecans
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

To make the dough, combine the flour, sugar, yeast, salt, and orange zest in the bowl of your stand mixer.  Whisk to combine.  Add the milk and eggs. Attach the dough hook to the mixer, and mix on low speed for 3 – 4 minutes, until the dough starts to come together.

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Continuing to mix on low speed, gradually add the softened butter, a tablespoon at a time, mixing until the butter is incorporated into the dough before adding more. Once all of the butter has been added, increase the speed to medium (I use the 3rd setting on my stand mixer) and mix for 15 minutes.  The dough should be smooth and shiny.

Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.

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The next day, prepare the topping for the rolls. Combine the butter, sugar, brown sugar, and maple syrup in a saucepan over medium heat.  Stir occasionally, cooking until the sugar has dissolved and the sauce starts to bubble slightly.  Remove from the heat and whisk in the eggnog (or cream). Let cool for 30 minutes.  Then, pour the topping into a greased 9 by 13-inch pan and sprinkle the cranberries over the topping. Set aside.

To prepare the filling, combine the cranberries, pecans, sugar, and cinnamon in a food processor.  Pulse until the cranberries and pecans are well chopped and all of the ingredients are combined. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

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Remove the dough from the refrigerator and transfer to a lightly floured surface.  The dough will feel a bit like cold play dough. Roll the dough out into an 18-inch by 10-inch rectangle. Spread the cranberry filling over the dough and roll up starting with the long edge.

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Cut the roll into 12 even slices, and place the slices cut-side up in the baking pan, nestling them down into the cranberries and topping. Cover the pan with a damp towel, and let the rolls rise until slightly puffy, about two hours.

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As the rolls finish rising, preheat the oven to 350F.  Bake the rolls for 40 – 45 minutes, until the tops are a deep golden brown. Let the rolls cool in the pan for at least 20 minutes before inverting each roll individually to serve.

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My Kitchen Addiction Disclosure – This post was sponsored by Red Star Yeast.  Though I have been compensated to write this post, all opinions expressed are my own.

Please Note – The links to the Flour Bakery + Cafe and Baking & Pastry cookbooks provided in this post are Amazon affiliate links. If you purchase the cookbook (or another item) after purchasing on my link, I receive a small percentage of the sale price, which helps to keep My Kitchen Addiction up and running. Thanks!

Gingerbread Granola with Cranberries and Pumpkin Seeds

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Most years I try to hold off on getting into a holiday mood until after Thanksgiving… I usually have a very strict “no Christmas music until after Thanksgiving” policy. The Christmas season would start with going shopping with my mom on Black Friday. The house wouldn’t get decorated until later that weekend, or sometimes even the following week.

For some reason, this year I have been ready to get into the Christmas mood a bit early… While we haven’t decorated the house yet (and we won’t until the weekend after Thanksgiving), I confess that I did give in to listening to some Christmas music. I’ve also started playing around with some holiday-inspired flavors in the kitchen.

When it comes to Christmas baking, gingerbread cookies are at the top of my list. I just love the flavor of the dark molasses and the way the warm aroma of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves fills the house while the cookies bake.

Unfortunately, it’s a bit early to get started on the Christmas cookies… I suppose I could freeze some, but I know I would just end up eating them instead.  And, let’s be honest… My waistline can’t handle a whole month of eating Christmas cookies. So, on a whim, I decided to take the flavors of gingerbread and bake them into granola. It was a very successful experiment!

I cannot get enough of the granola… It really does taste like a cookie (though, maybe not quite as sweet), but it’s a whole lot more nutritious.  And, I can eat it for breakfast without feeling any guilt! I eat it plain by the handful, but it’s also quite good on top of some plain yogurt.  I will probably continue to make it all year round to get my gingerbread fix… And, there’s a good chance that some of my friends and family will be receiving some as a Christmas gift this year, too!Continue Reading

Cranberry Muesli Bars

I think I’ve mentioned before that I’m not really a cereal eater. I can’t really explain it… I’ve just never really been into cereal. I think it has something to do with the way it gets mushy in milk.  I am one of those “texture” people… And, the texture of cereal in milk is not one that I enjoy.

So, the little bit of cereal that I do eat is generally eaten plain, straight from the box, or sprinkled on top of yogurt and fruit. I’ve also discovered that I like cereal bars… And, they are super easy to make at home! I have Jennifer Perillo to thank for my rediscovered love of making granola bars.  The recipe in her Homemade with Love cookbook is just perfect… I’ve made the original recipe a dozen times and now I’ve started playing around with different cereals, nuts, and dried fruits.

The swag bags at this summer’s Big Summer Potluck included a bag of gluten-free muesli from Bob’s Red Mill... I knew that there was no way I’d eat it in it’s typical cereal form, but there was no way I was going to let it go to waste.  Instead, I made these easy muesli bars.

One thing that I loved about these bars was that the crispy brown rice cereal adds that nice crisp texture that you’ll find in store bought granola bars.  It’s the perfect balance between all crispy rice (i.e. a rice krispie bar) and all granola. And, if you use gluten-free muesli, they are also gluten-free!

They are perfect for a quick morning breakfast when you’re on your way out the door… And, I also think they’d be a perfect snack for the kids in the afternoon after school. Fortunately, they’re super easy to make, so you won’t have to slave in the kitchen for more than a minute or two!Continue Reading

Cranberry Coffee Cake

I have always loved baking in the mornings, especially in the colder months of the year.  There’s just something about heating up the oven on a chilly morning and baking something for breakfast in my PJs.

Since Miss Madison arrived, though, I haven’t been doing as much early morning baking. Morning baking has been replaced with lots of snuggling (and I am certainly not complaining!).  When I do find some time to do some AM baking, I have to use my time wisely.  I rarely have a lot of free time all at once, so I’m usually looking for a simple recipe that I can put together in just a few minutes.  Then, we can go about our morning routine while breakfast is in the oven.

This coffee cake recipe is perfect for busy mornings.  It’s adapted from a recipe for “Cinnamon Flop” that was passed down to me from my grandmother.  I remember my mom baking it for us on special occasions when I was a kid, and now I can see why. The recipe is quite simple, but it yields a moist and delicious coffee cake studded with a crunchy and sweet cinnamon topping. It was a favorite of mine growing up, and it’s becoming a new favorite all over again!

This time around, I decided to use some eggnog to jazz up the coffee cake just a bit.  While I don’t really drink much eggnog, I always pick up a container of it at the grocery store this time of year for baking.  The original recipe calls for milk, but I thought that some eggnog would make the cake extra rich and give it a bit of holiday flair. To pair with the creamy eggnog, I also added some chopped cranberries to the recipe. Not only do they add another layer of flavor, they also add some pretty color to the cake.Continue Reading