Cranberry Orange Buttermilk Breakfast Cake

Good morning–  Just in case you have a bag of cranberries lingering in your freezer after the holidays here is jus one more cranberry recipe (the last, I promise!!).  I could eat this all year round with mugs of hot tea.

And thinking most of you don’t have those cranberries on hand, blueberries would work just as well!  Perfect coming out of the oven on a lazy Saturday morning…

1 orange
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup sugar + 1 tablespoon
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 cups fresh cranberries
1/2 cup buttermilk*

Grate all the peel off of the orange.  Set aside.

Mix together the oil, 1 cup sugar, egg and vanilla.  Then stir in the flour baking powder and salt.  Fold in the cranberries and orange peel.  And finally stir in the 1/2 cup buttermilk.

Spoon the stiff batter into a 9″ square** baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Pop it into a 350 degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.  Delicious served warm with morning mugs of tea!

*In place of buttermilk, you can use 1 tab. of cider vinegar & then fill the measuring cup to 1/2 cup.  Let it sit a couple minutes to thicken like buttermilk.
**or –I used a 10″ tart dish


Cranberry Almond Baked Oatmeal

Good morning!!  Baking up a pan of oatmeal is a favorite when kids are in the house.  This was our Thanksgiving morning breakfast.  Bake it up.  Set it out with a basket of  berries, brown sugar, bananas and cream and as people wander in one by one breakfast is ready when they are.  Hearty, easy and delish!

2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup  almonds, toasted, chopped*
1/3 cup dried cranberries, minced
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1  3/4 cup milk
2 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
serve with cream or milk

In a large mixing bowl stir all the ingredients together.  Spoon the mixture into a 2 quart baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray and pop it all into a 350 degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes, until the center is firm.

Serve with milk or cream and berries or bananas (or if grand-girls are in the house– chocolate sprinkles).

*Sliced, toasted almonds in bags ready to use at Trader Joe’s.

Orange Cranberry Pecan Butter Cookies

Hey friends– I know the name for these cookies is way too long!  But I wanted you to know up front all the goodies they have tucked inside.

And– the best part of these cookies is that you make the dough ahead, put it in the fridge and then slice and bake as many as you need when you’re ready to eat them.   I made the dough this morning, will slice and bake a few for friends coming in tonight and save the rest of the dough for next week when the kids are arrive!

1 large orange
1  1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup dried cranberries, minced
1/2 cup pecans, chopped fine
garnish:  powdered sugar for dusting

Start by grating all the rind off of the orange.  Set it aside.  The cut the orange in half and juice it.  Set the juice aside for a minute.

Use a mixer to beat together the butter, sugar, powdered sugar, vanilla and orange juice– until it’s smooth and well blended.  Then add in the flour baking powder, salt, cranberries, pecans and orange peel.  Beat with the mixer until it all forms a big sticky ball of dough.

On a lightly floured counter take out half of the dough and roll it into a log bout 2″ thick.  Wrap it in plastic wrap and set it in the fridge.  Do the same with the remaining dough.  Chill it all in the fridge for an hour or more (up to several days…)

When you’re ready to bake– Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Slice the logs of dough into 1/4″ slices and set them on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until they are lightly browned around the edges.  Be sure to eat at least one warm from the oven (the best!).

When they cool you can dust them lightly with powdered sugar shaken through a sieve. Makes about 3 dozen.

Chocolate Cranberry “Fruit Cake”


Hello all– We all know that people have definite opinions about fruit cake.  My dad loved it.  But the rest of us were not so sure.

So this cake is my compromise.  It sort of looks fruit cake-esque.  Little bits of dried cranberries and chocolate bits (I know, not a fruit!).  And then, cream cheese frosting which nothing like a fruit cake.  oh well.

And we ate it after Christmas Eve lunch with the grandparents– such a sweet time with them. There’s just one slice  left on the kitchen counter.  I’m pretty sure it will be someone’s midnight snack.


1 white cake mix
3 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup water
1 cup dried cranberries, chopped to bits*
1 cup mini chocolate chips**

1/2 cup butter (1 stick), room temperature
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 pound box powdered sugar (3 3/4 cups)
1 tsp. vanila
2 to 3 tab. milk

1 cup cranberries
3 to 4  tab. sugar


Mix up the cake according to the directions on the package. Mine called for 3 eggs, 1/2 cup canola oil and 1 cup water. Gently fold in the chopped cranberries and mini chocolate chips.  And scoop the batter into two 8″ or 9″ cake pans that have been sprayed with cooking spray.

Bake the cake layers 25 to 30 minutes at 350 degrees until they ae lightly browned and are firm to the touch. Let the cake layers cool.

To make the frosting, use an electric mixer to beat together the butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla.  Add 2 tablespoons of milk and if it seems a bit stiff still, add the 3rd tablespoon of milk.  Frost the cake layers.

Put the cranberries and sugar into a small zip loc bag and shake until the berries are coated with sugar.  Arrange them on the frosted cake with a bit of greenery ( I used bits of pine from the the back of the Christmas tree!)  Enjoy!

*I like to mince the dried cranberries so they just give a touch of sweetness, but don’t seem gummy.
** Use mini chocolate chips– they won’t sink to the bottom of the cake like the standard chips do.



Sweet Jobay & Jodi– ending up our Christmas Eve lunch and ready to open gifts with the Great Grandparents.


Cranberry Cherry Rolls with Cream Cheese Glaze


Hello all– It seems most every Thanksgiving we find ourselves seated at someone else’s table for a bountiful Thanksgiving feast.  And this year it’s true again.  We’re trekking up to San Francisco to share the day with kids there.

But don’t you know one of the nicest parts of Thanksgiving dinner is the leftovers!  So a couple weeks ago we decided to have an early Thanksgiving with friends– with the bonus of a little turkey, cranberry and stuffing in the fridge over the next few days!

It was the best.  Dear comfortable friends, talking long into the night over our potluck feast.  They brought the chutney, potatoes, asparagus, chipotle sweet potatoes in the door and I roasted a turkey– and baked up these cranberry cherry rolls.  I think they might just right for Christmas morning this year too.



1 package rapid rise yeast (1 tab.)
1 cup warm milk (120-130 degrees)*
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/4 cup oil
1 egg, room temperature**
3  1/2 cups flour

1  1/2 cups cranberries, finely chopped
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup cherry preserves

4 oz. cream cheese
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 or 2 tab. whole milk or half & half
1/2 tsp. vanilla


Put the yeast in a large heat proof mixing bowl (glass is best).  Stir in the warm milk until the yeast is dissolved.  Then add in the sugar, salt, oil and egg.  Mix together.  Next about 1/2 cup at a time, stir in the flour.  When it’s all mixed, knead the dough just 3 or 4 minutes.  If the dough gets sticky, add a bit more flour.

Cover the bowl with a damp dish towel and set it in a warm place to rise and hour & 15 minutes. (I heat the oven to 200 degrees for just 3 minutes and then turn it off while I’m mixing up the dough– then set the bowl in the warmed oven to rise)

While the dough’s rising, chop the cranberries– blender or food processor cuts them to fine bits.  Stir them with the sugar in a bowl and then add the cherry jam.  Set aside.

Take the dough out and punch it down and lift it from the bowl to a counter sprinkled with flour.  Roll out the dough with a rolling pin until you have a rectangle about 10″ by 18″.   Then spread the cranberry mixture over the rolled out dough clear to the edges.

Starting at the long 18″ upper edge, roll the dough toward you until you have a long tube shaped roll.  Then cut the rolls into 1″ slices and put them in a 9″x 13″ baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  (or–I used 2 10″ tart pans instead.)  Makes about 18 rolls.

Pop the rolls into the slightly warm oven to rise for 45 minutes more.

At the end of the 2nd rise of 45 minutes, turn up the heat to 375 degrees and make the rolls for 20 to 25 minutes until they are nicely browned.

While they are baking, whisk together the powdered sugar and 2 or 3 tablespoons of milk (depending on how thick you want your glaze to be).  When the rolls come out of the oven, let them cool about 10 minutes and then drizzle the glaze over the rolls.  They taste heavenly, eaten warm from the oven!

*I microwave the milk for 1 minute and it gets it pretty close to 120–then use a candy thermometer to check the temperature.
**Just microwave the egg for a few seconds if you’re taking it from the fridge.


And here’s the friends– Sue pouring helping with the table before dinner.
Thankful for you– Sue, Paul, Jill, Tim, Jenni, Jim, Jac, Jackie, Janet & my Larry too.


Chocolate Chip Dump Cookies


Hi all– with a “glamorous” name like that, these cookies are bound to be good.  The dump part pretty much describes them.  You open your kitchen cupboard, pull out all the goodies you can locate  and throw them into the batter.

They’re  rather homely, downright lumpy to look at, but on closer examination (with your mouth!), you find they are exquisite– salty, sweet, crunchy, nutty and of course, chocolatey.  I think you’d like them just fine.

1 cup of butter (2 sticks), room temperature
1  1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tab. vanilla
1  1/2 cup flour
1 cup whole oats (oatmeal)
1/2 cup granola
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup walnuts (or pecans), chopped
2 cups chocolate chips
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 cup dried apricots, but to small bits

With an electric mixer, in a large bowl, beat together the butter, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla until creamy.

Throw in the flour, oats, granola, baking powder and sugar and keep beating until it’s all mixed.

Then beat in the coconut, nuts, chocolate chips, cranberries and apricots until it’s all thoroughly blended.

Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray.  And pop the cookies into a 350 degree oven for 13 to 15 minutes, until they are beautifully browned.

Be sure to eat one while they are still hot from the oven (the best!)


Orange Cranberry Scones


Hello friends– I think it’s likely some of you may be as enthusiastic watchers of Downton Abbey as I am.  So I was just wondering if you needed a little snack on Sunday nights for your Downtown Abbey viewing– Maybe these scones would be perfect with a very British pot of tea.  So rich, with a citrusy glaze– I think even the Dowager Countess Violet would approve.

2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tab. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tab. orange zest (one orange)
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
2 eggs
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3-4 tsp. orange juice (from that orange you just zested)

DSC00645Stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and orange zest.

Then with a pastry blender (or in a regular blender), cut in the butter until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs.

Mix together the eggs and cream in a separate cup and then site the eggs/cream and the cranberries into the flour mixture to make a sticky dough.

Turn out the batter onto a counter dusted with a bit of flour and cut into circles with a round cookie/biscuit cutter.  It helps to dip the cutter in flour each time so the dough won’t stick.

Place the scones onto a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  And pop it into a 400 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes until the the scones are nicely browned around the edges.

I ended up with 15 smallish scones.  So beautiful coming out of the oven!

While they are baking whisk together the powdered sugar and orange juice– start with just 3 teaspoons of juice to make it a good consistency to drizzle over the scones.  If it’s too thick another teaspoon of juice.

Serve them warm with pots of tea– and butter and jam. Perfect.

Chocolate Chip Cranberry Bread

IMG_2926Hi friends–  When we were newlyweds back in seminary housing, I got a version of this yummcious cranberry bread from my Canadian neighbor.  I’m sure I’ve made it every Christmas time since.  So I decided to go “wild” this year and sweeten it up a bit with mini chocolate chips–plus all those cranberries, orange peel and nuts– I think it turned the corner from breakfast food to dessert!

2 cups of flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup of orange juice*
the grated peel of one orange
1 1/3 cup cranberries, cut in half
1 cup of walnuts, chopped coarsely (or pecans)
1 cup mini chocolate chips**

IMG_2921First cup those cranberries in half –not as easy at it sounds– they are roll-y little things.  And chop the nuts.  Grate the orange peel off the orange and then juice it.

Then in a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.  Next mix in the eggs and orange juice.  Finally, fold in the  cranberries, walnuts, orange peel and chocolate chips.

Spoon the stiff batter into one standard loaf pan (or two smaller pans) that have been sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake it up at 350 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes until it’s golden on top and cooked through if you test it by poking in a sharp knife.

Love this stuff– So good toasted up for breakfast (with our without the chocolate!).

*I just juice the orange I’ve used to grate the peel off.  If there’s not quite enough juice, just fill out the cup with water.
**Use those mini chocolate chips– the large ones will sink to the bottom of the loaf as it bakes.

Cranberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

IMG_2725Hello there– I made a couple of these coffee cakes for a Thanksgiving breakfast with about 30 girl friends from church.  It was a grand morning.  They all streamed talking and laughing and pulling out phones to show the the latest grand-kid pics.

We sat down to breakfast all over the house and spilling out from room to room.  Then Sue and Carol tuned up their violin and guitar for some sweet Thanksgiving hymns and we talked and prayed through all our Thanksgiving blessings.  I love those friends– so thankful.


Cranberry topping:
1/2 cup sugar
2 tab. cornstarch
1  1/2 cup fresh cranberries
1/2 cup water

Cream cheese layer:
8 oz. cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg

Cake layer:
1  cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup canola oil
3/4 cup sour cream
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla

IMG_2731Make the cranberry topping first.  Stir together the 1/2 cup sugar and cornstarch in a stove top pan until the cornstarch is all dissolved into the sugar.  Then drop in the cranberries and water and bring it to a simmer stirring for 5 or 6 minutes until the cranberries all pop their skins and the sauce thickens.

Set it aside to cool.  (I put it in another cool pan and stuck in the fridge to cool– just because I’m impatient!)

Next, make the cream cheese layer.  With an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese, 1 egg and 1/4 cup sugar until it’s smooth.  Set that aside as well.

For the cake, Stir together the 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder and salt.  Then mix in the oil, sour cream, egg and vanilla.

Spray a 10″ round pan or a 9″ square (I used my 11″ flatter tart pan) with cooking spray.  Then spoon the cake batter into the pan.

Gently scoop the cream cheese mixture over the cake batter.  Then drizzle the cranberry sauce over the top of the cream cheese layer.

Put it into the oven at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes.

Cranberry Vanilla Buckle

IMG_6223Hello friends,  I’ve had a traumatic week.  I’ve lain awake at night, fretting.  I was faced with the daunting task of producing report cards for my hard-working little class of third and fourth graders.  I’ve done thousands of report cards in the last 20 years, but this year we have a newer computerized version that could stump an Apple engineer (I’m talking about you, Brian).  So yesterday I asked a group of my tried and true teacher buddies to come to my room to work on the report cards together after school.  And of course there had to be cake!!  I brought this beautiful cranberry cake and poured some cold apple cider and we set to work.  With their help (I’m talking about you Joanne!) I got those things all printed out– by 8:30 that evening!

But back to the cake!  It was surprisingly moist and tender, with the yummy vanilla and orange peel behind the tart cranberry flavor.  I’ll be making this again (without report cards!) over the Christmas season…


1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 tab. brown sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
1/4 cup butter
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup sliced almonds

1 3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
!/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup canola oil
grated peel of 1 orange
2 eggs
1 tab. vanilla
1/2 cup sour cream
2 cups cranberries, cut into halves and divided

IMG_6213To make the topping, sir together the flour, sugars and salt.  Cut in the butter with a pastry blender (or in a food processor).  Mix in the vanilla (it will be a little lumpy).  Keep the almonds on the side until you add the topping.

For the cake, mix up the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Then stir in the oil, orange peel, eggs, vanilla and sour cream.  Fold just 1 cup of the cranberries into the batter and spoon it into a 9″ baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.  Sprinkle the second up of cranberries over the batter in the dish.  Then cover it all with the topping and finally sprinkle the almonds on top.

Pop it into the oven at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes until it’s nicely browned on top and firm to the touch.

Serve it warm for a Christmassy breakfast– or with whipped cream for dessert after dinner.  I think you’ll love it.

Cranberry Apricot Granola

IMG_5742Hello Breakfast Eating Buddies–  I’m a granola fan, the nuttier and fruitier the better.  At the risk of alienating some of you who are reading– this is kind of the “fruit cake” version of granola– lots of candied fruit and crunchy nuts.  Add a little plain yogurt and it’s breakfast in a bowl.

3 cups whole oats (oatmeal)
1 cup whole toasted almonds, chopped
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
2/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/4 cup currants

Mix the oats, almonds, walnuts, syrup, salt and cinnamon all up in a big bowl and then spread it onto 2 baking sheets, lined with foil and sprayed with cooking spray.   Pop it into a 300 degree oven for 30 minutes, stirring it around once about half way through.

When it’s out of the oven and cooled, mix in the cranberries, apricots and currants.  Store it in an airtight container.  That’s it!  So easy.

Cranberry Cream Tart with Chocolate Crust

IMG_5812Hi friends– Well, I hate to grumble about a photo on my post– but here I go…  This looks like a lumpy mess, but you’ll just have to take it from me, it was delectable!  The crunchy chocolate crust crumbles into your mouth, swathed in sweet creamy filling and enhanced by the sweet/sour cranberries.  I took it to school to share with the teachers and it was a hit!  I hope you give it a try (in spite of the pictures!)


2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs
1/3 cup sugar
6 tab. melted butter

Smash the chocolate cookies to fine crumbs by putting them in a gallon zip loc bag and attacking them with a rolling pin– or give them a spin in a food processor.  Mis the Crumbs sugar and melted butter and pat it all into a 9″ pie dish or tart pan.  Bake the crust at 375  for 10 minutes.  Let it cook completely before you add the filling.

8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 pint (16 oz.) whipping cream
1 tsp. instant vanilla pudding*

With an electric mixer beat the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla together.  In a separate bowl, beat the cream and the pudding mix together until stiff peaks form.  then gently fold the cream cheese mixture with the whipped cream and turn it into the cooled crust.

Cranberry Topping:1
1 cup sugar
2 tab. cornstarch
3 cup3 fresh cranberries (about 1 bag)
1 1/3 cup water

Mix together the sugar and cornstarch in a sauce pan until it’s all blended and there are no cornstarch lumps.  Stir in the cranberries and water.  Cook on medium high heat, stirring all the while until it simmers and the cranberries “pop” (!) and the sauce thickens.  (It’s kind of exciting in a cooking sort of way).  It takes about 3 or 4 minutes.

Cranberry Sour Cream Coffee Cake

IMG_5462Hi there– All the years we lived in Spain we had a fun friend Carolyn, who mailed us peanut butter and books for kids and best of all– fresh cranberries every Thanksgiving!  They were a treasure!  –a little worse for wear having come through the postal systems, but we loved those things  — and all the cranberry bread and cranberry sauce and cranberry cheesecake they would provide.  Thanks once more dear Carolyn!

Now this old family recipe doesn’t use fresh cranberries.  You can just buy a can of them any old time of year and have your cranberry coffee cake.  The sour cream makes it tender and it has frosting!  Who doesn’t love frosting?  Hope you like it as much as we have over the years…

1/2 cup margarine, room temperature*
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream (8 oz.)
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. amaretto or almond extract
1 14 oz. can whole cranberry sauce
1/2 cup walnuts (or more if you like nuts as much as I do)

3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp. amaretto
few drops of water

IMG_5453With the electric mixer cream cream the butter, eggs, sugar and sour cream together.  Then mix in the flour, baking powder, salt and amaretto.  Spoon the stiff batter into a 10″ springform pan (or a 9″x13″ pan) that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Top the cake with the cranberry sauce– I spoon it out and break it into small pieces with my fingers to cover the cake.  Sprinkle on the walnuts and pop it into a 350 degree oven for about 35 to 40 minutes until it is cooked through.

When the cake is cooled mix the powdered sugar and amaretto and a couple drops of water to mix up a thick glaze (just keep adding water one drop at a time until is is the consistency you want).  Drizzle it over the cake and serve it up with something hot to drink.  Perfect.

Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti

IMG_8266Good morning!–  It’s early Saturday here.  I’m so happy I have 3 of our kids still snoozing in the house.  And two more arriving tomorrow.  So the gifts are finally all wrapped, the house clean enough, there’s cranberry bread on the stove top waiting for breakfast and cookies stacked in tins on the kitchen counter.  So many cookies.  And here is a new one that we tried this year…

2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 tab. cornmeal
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 stick butter
2 eggs
1 cup pistachios
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup dried apricots, cut to bits
1 egg white
sanding sugar

With a mixer combine the flour, sugar, cornmeal, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.  Mix in the butter until you have coarse crumbs.  Then add in the eggs and finally the nuts and dried fruit.  Form the dough into two 3″ side logs and set them on parchment paper on a cookie sheet.  Brush the dough with egg white and sprinkle on the sanding sugar. Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes until it feels firm.

Let the logs cool completely.  Then cut them into 1/4 inch slices.  Put them back on the parchment lined cookie sheet and bake 20 minutes more until they are nice and toasty.  Serve them up with a mug of coffee when friends come in or just nibble them standing over the sink in the kitchen when no one is looking.