Christmas Recipes

Christmas Recipes
Christmas Recipes

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Italian Recipes
Italian Recipes

Dessert Recipes

Dessert Recipes
Dessert Recipes

Vegan Cranberry Coffee Cake

Vegan Cranberry Coffee Cake

There was a period of time that my neighbors were vegan. They sort of surprised us and when they made their decision; it happened when we had more time and were dining almost every weekend together. Or maybe it was just summertime and we had more opportunities to hang out and feast. Either way, it became an interesting and delicious challenge figuring out what to prepare for them.  This cranberry coffee cake is the sort of dessert I would make for them whenever we would be dining together.

When they became vegan, I began to read every book that was out there about veganism. I explored every single website that I could find. I scoured them for the best cakes and cookies. I tried my hand at vegan baking and fell in love n with it. I still bake a vegan dessert here and there and my kids love them. Actually, everyone loves them. There really is no differentiation in the flavor. If I didn't say, "hey, this is a vegan dessert!" it would be practically impossible to discern from a non-vegan dessert. A note on the sugar: be sure to use vegan sugar to make this truly vegan. That is the most frequent email I get when I post a vegan dessert. As I mentioned, I have read up on vegan baking and know that conventional sugar is not considered vegan. So be sure to research the ingredients you use if you'd like to make it truly vegan.
Vegan Cranberry Coffee Cake

I stumbled upon an apple cake on Vegan Yum Yum. It became a huge hit. I love the cake batter and used it for this cranberry cake. It's a simple coffee cake that is really lovely. It's so easy to put together. The batter is a great recipe for the kids to make with you. The filling gets a little dangerous with cranberries popping so don't let the little ones do that part.

I know Thanksgiving has gone in a flash, as well as the entire month of December. But I'm still fixated on recipes made with cranberries. I still can find them at my market, so it's ok to post another cranberry recipe, right? Or maybe you planned ahead and froze some bags? If you can't get a hold of cranberries, make the apple version.

But, hey! Guess what? My neighbors are vegan again. It seems to have been decided to try again at least for a month. This is what I baked for them during our most recent dinner together. With all the decadent holiday baking and feasts that are happening these coming weeks, something a little lighter is just what I prefer to have a bite of when I am craving something sweet. It became my daughter's favorite cake and it was the most requested cake the month of November in the Cake Duchess kitchen. Soon the cookie baking madness will get very intense. I have already started my biscotti baking! Love biscotti!! For now, I share with you this delicious and wonderful cranberry cake.  

a note on the sugar: be sure to use vegan sugar to make this truly vegan. That is the most frequent email I get when I post a vegan dessert explaining to me about sugar. As I mentioned, I have read up on vegan baking and know that conventional sugar is not considered vegan. So be sure to research the ingredients you use if you'd like to make it truly vegan.

Thanks for stopping by today! I hope your holiday planning is going well. I appreciate your support!!

Vegan Cranberry Coffee Cake

by Savoring Italy
Prep Time: 30-40 minutes
Cook Time: approx 60-80 minutes

Ingredients (1 8-inch round cake)
  • 2 1/2 Cups Flour
  • 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil (or coconut oil)
  • 2/3 cup rice milk (or regular milk) + 2 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar (or lemon juice)
  • 2 Tbs cornstarch mixed with 1/2 Cup Water
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
cranberry filling
  • 16 ounces of fresh cranberries (2 cups)
  • 1 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • one navel orange (add the juice of 1/2 and cut the other 1/2 in chunks and add to the cranberry mixture in the pan)
  • 1 sliver of fresh ginger (or 1 tsp ground ginger)
for topping
  • 2 Tbs sugar mixed with 2 tsp Cinnamon, for topping
prep the cranberry filling: In a medium sized bowl, rinse the cranberries with cool water, and remove any stems or blemished berries. Drain the cranberries in a colander.

Heat water and sugar to boiling in 3-quart saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves.. Continue boiling 5 minutes longer, stirring occasionally.

Stir in cranberries. Heat to boiling over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Continue boiling about 5 minutes longer, stirring occasionally, until cranberries begin to pop. Simmer for about 20 minutes. 

Don’t worry if every single cranberry does not completely pop. When the sauce is cooked, spoon out the orange pieces and the ginger sliver. Pour sauce into bowl or container.

Chill in the refrigerator for about one hour.

Preheat oven to 350 F.

prep cake batter:
In a small bowl, add the milk and vinegar and give it a whirl. Let sit a minute. In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients of the cake and whisk together. In a medium sized bowl, mix together the oil, milk, water/cornstarch mixture, and vanilla. Mix well. Incorporate the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, scraping the sides of the bowl with your spatula.

Spread 1/2 of the batter in the bottom of a 9×11 greased baking dish. (I used an 8 inch cast iron skillet)

Spoon on the cranberry filling evenly over the top.

Spoon the rest of the batter over the top in clumps, leaving some of the cranberry filling showing through.

Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture.

Bake for about 60-80 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Check the cake after 45 minutes. Cover with foil for the last portion of baking to prevent over-browning. Remove cake from oven and good luck letting it cool before serving. The cinnamon sugar smell will have you hypnotized with desire before it cools.


Holiday Breakfast Wreath-#twelveloaves

Holiday Breakfast Wreath

Whoa! Where did 2013 go? I don't know about you…but I'm not ready for any thing that has to do with the holidays. I'm not the best planner and most often work best under pressure. But when it comes to baking sweets for the holidays, I start my planning early! I couldn't wait to bake this holiday breakfast wreath for our #TwelveLoaves December.

My favorite time of year is baking at Christmas time. The kids really love to participate; especially with the Christmas cookies.

#TwelveLoaves December is dedicated to the Holidays!! Last December I shared this Christmas Stollen. Which is not a typical stollen. But delicious, nonetheless.  Some other Christmas breads I've baked and shared here:

Pandolce Genovese

Daring Baking's Challenge: Christmas Stollen

Finnish Pulla

and my Bundt Panettone (ok, it's not the traditional panettone...but it was wonderful and fun in a bundt pan!)

Holiday Breakfast Wreath

This bread is a recipe I found on the kitchn.  I love that site! I used my dough recipe that I use in many sweet bread recipes. The technique for this wreath is the same one used in this Estonian Kringle . I also used a similar technique for my Mexican Hot Chocolate Bread .I changed the filling around a little.  I used cherries (the kitchn uses cranberries in theirs). Next time I will use dried cranberries instead. It was the first thing my daughter asked when she took a bite..."mom, why didn't you use cranberries?"

Holiday Breakfast Wreath

*some baking notes: When I roll it out into a log, I then transfer it onto the parchment lined pan. I slice it in the middle and form my wreath. It really could use another set of hands to make it go a little smoother. It is not that neat while you are moving the pieces one over the other in a sort of twist. It may seem like all hope is lost when some filling parts fall out. You may throw up your hands and want to toss it out the window...but don't! It doesn't have to look completely perfect.

And somehow, when you feel you haven't done your best turns out beautifully. The bread is rustic and gorgeous.

It's delicious and completely addictive. It's big enough to share some with your neighbors. I think the next time I bake it I will divide the dough in 1/2 and make two wreaths.

Looking for holiday bread inspirations? Here are some delicious ideas from the #TwelveLoaves bakers:

#TwelveLoaves-Holiday Breads. November was a delightful month of spice breads. December #TwelveLoaves is here and we are celebrating Holidays! Share your  December Holiday Bread (yeast or quick bread). Let's get baking!

#TwelveLoaves is a monthly bread baking party created by Lora from Savoring Italy.

Holiday Breakfast Wreath

by Savoring Italy
Prep Time: approx 2 hours
Cook Time: 30-35 minutes

Ingredients (1 wreath)
  • For the Dough:
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 (1/2 ounce) envelope active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (100 to 110 degrees)
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 1/2-5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • For the Cherry-Almond Filling:
  • 1 cup dried cherries (or dried cranberries), soaked in 1/2 cup brandy or other liqueur
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup finely chopped blanched almonds
  • 4 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon peel
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • To add on before baking:
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup almond slivers
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon-sugar
  • For the Sugar Glaze:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
dough directions:
Heat the milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until it just begins to boil. Remove from heat and let stand until cooled to room temperature. Meanwhile, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water in a large bowl.

Add 1 Tablespoon of the sugar and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the remaining 2 Tablespoons of sugar, eggs and butter. Beat in cooled milk. Gradually add the flour and salt, scraping down side of bowl, until a soft dough forms.

Turn dough onto a floured work surface and knead the remaining flour into the dough, adding more flour if too sticky. Knead for about 10 minutes until smooth. The dough will be soft.

Grease a large bowl. Place the dough in the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.

Line a baking pan with parchment paper and spray a muffin tin with baking spray; set aside.
Drain the cherries from the liqueur. In a food processor, pulse together the fillings ingredients (except for the cherries). When finished pulsing, dump ingredients into a bowl. Stir gently the cherries into the filling; set aside.

Punch down the dough.

Dump the dough out onto a floured surface, roll the dough into a 9- by 30-inch rectangle. Spread the filling over the dough to leaving a 1-inch border on all the sides.

Brush the borders with water. Tightly roll the dough into log, rolling toward the clean border; pinch the seam to seal.

Cut the ends of (I ended up with 5 small rolls).

Place the ends in the muffin tin (or a small loaf pan sprayed with baking spray).
Place roll seam-side down on the baking sheet. Cut the log in half lengthwise with a chef's knife.
Twist the two halves together, crossing one over the other a few times. Pinch the end together, then tuck both pinched ends under the loaf slightly. From the twists into a wreath.

Cover the wreath loosely with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place until plump, 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Uncover the wreath and brush with melted butter (do same with the small rolls).
Toss on the almond slivers and sprinkle on cinnamon sugar.

Bake the bread, rotating the baking sheet halfway through, until golden brown (a thermometer inserted into the middle should register 170 degrees F to 175 degrees F), 30 to 35 minutes. (check the rolls as they may be done a few minutes before)If you have any butter left, brush some on the bread hot of the oven and sprinkle on more cinnamon-sugar mixture. While the bread is baking, combine the glaze ingredients; set aside.

Carefully transfer the wreath to a serving plate. Drizzle on the glaze.

*This can be prepared 2 days ahead of time (if you can resist eating it!). After baking wreath, cool completely and wrap it tightly and carefully in foil paper. Store at room temperature then re-heat at 350° for 10-15 minutes. Drizzle on the glaze…enjoy!

Cranberry Streusel Quick Bread

Cranberry Streusel Quick Bread

So what do you do when the cranberries are finally gracing your local markets? You bake with cranberries. You bake a lot with cranberries. You bake one cranberry streusel quick bread after the other, because that is what is most requested.


Very Easy One Pot Chicken and Rice

 Very Easy One Pot Chicken and Rice

What to make for dinner? That is a question I am often thinking about. Some evenings it is the usual as I mentioned before (pasta, Asian style noodles or a stir-fry). Some nights I like to make something that is made in one pot or pan. Like a great soup or stew. A  pizza or a delicious rice dish.


Coconut Cake - #FoodMemory Guest Post with Magnolia Days

Coconut Cake

I have to say I wasn't sure what to expect from the posts and recipes my friends would share with me about their loved ones they lost. I knew the posts would have delicious recipes, because every blogger I've shared here so far is very talented. The stories left me in complete wonderment; a joyful wonderment. The wonderment of awaiting the arrival of a sweet surprise.

One of the first people to respond to my request to participate in the series was Renee, from Magnolia Days. If I told you she had her story written, cake baked, and had it all sent to me within a matter of days, I would not be exaggerating.

Renee is amazing. She is kind and forever helpful. Everything Renee does is done with care and attention to detail.

Renee's blog is full of delicious recipes. Some favorites of my favorite recipes of are hers are her: apple strudel,   dulce de leche bundt cake, and her cheddar jalapeno sourdough bread.   When you pop over to her blog you will see for yourself!

With  Thanksgiving fast approaching, I am feeling that deep nostalgia for my dad. I am also feeling ever so grateful for my friends and my family. I am grateful for my friend Renee taking the time to share a memory of her dad and bake the most beautiful coconut cake. I have to say that coconut cake was a favorite cake of my dad's, as well.

So let's not wait a second is my friend Renee and her story.

Hello! I’m Renee from Magnolia Days. You may have seen me mentioned a few times here on this lovely blog. I’m one of the regular participants in Lora’s Bundt-A-Month and Twelve Loaves challenges. It’s been such fun to be a part of groups filled with passionate bakers. I was honored when Lora asked if I would contribute to her “Food Memory” series she started after receiving a great response to the tribute to her father in her post “An Italian Cake and Grief”.
Coconut Cake

Food memories and my dad – the two are so connected and intertwined for me it is hard to think of one without the other. I grew up watching my dad cook, grill, garden, fish, and enjoy the simple pleasures of it all. I remember riding on the tractor with him as he tilled the garden. There was the smell of the earth being churned up as the tines dug through the ground. It meant a few months later we would be stringing beans, shelling peas, husking corn, and slicing tomatoes.

The garden would soon stop producing in the fall. Another season would be upon us and family discussions of holiday meals would arise at the table. After I became older and started baking the conversation always lead to the same suggestion. My dad would lift his fork, point it at my mom or me and say “you could make a coconut cake”. Oh how he loved coconut cake. The holidays would not be the same without it.

We would make the same cake for him each time. It’s a recipe we got from someone (I forgot who) 30+ years ago. It was a simple one using a cake mix for the layers and then a mixture of sugar, sour cream, and coconut for the frosting. I had continued problems with the mixture on the top and sides of the cake. It never seemed to hold right. It usually dripped down and wound up as a puddle at the bottom. So I set out to change it up in a way I knew my dad would approve and to make the layers from scratch. The solution came with using a seven minute frosting for the top and sides and the mixture as the filling between the layers.

An important note: this cake takes three or more days to make. You need to plan ahead. The filling needs to soak into the layers for three days before you frost the top and sides of the cake. The result will be the most incredibly moist coconut cake with a fluffy frosting.
Coconut Cake

I lost my dad two years ago. I miss him greatly and have such fond memories of him with food and so much more. I’ve written about my dad and shared some of his recipes on my blog. His cornbread and beef stew are two of my favorites.

Thank you so much Lora for including me in your Food Memory series! I thoroughly enjoyed baking this cake and reminiscing over the times I enjoyed one with my dad.

Thank you, Renee, for being a part of #FoodMemory. Your cake is stunning!

You can find more of Renee on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google Plus.

My other Food Memory guest posters:

Paula from Vintage Kitchen Notes and her Brown Butter Apple Cinnamon Crumb Bars

Shulie from Food Wanderings and her Shakshuka

Heather from Girlichef and her Sweet Brown Butter Cornbread. 

Coconut Cake

by Savoring Italy
Prep Time: approx 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes Total time

Ingredients (12 servings)
    For the coconut filling
    • 12 ounces frozen coconut, thawed
    • 2 cups sugar
    • 8 ounces sour cream
    • For the yellow cake layers:
    • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 3 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
    • 1 1/4 cups sugar
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 3 eggs plus 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
    • 1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
    • For the seven minute frosting:
    • 1/3 cup water
    • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
    • 3 large egg whites
    • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
    • Pinch of salt
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • Sweetened coconut flakes for garnish
    or the coconut filling:
    Stir together coconut, sugar, and sour cream until blended. Chill. This can be done a day in advance.

    For the yellow cake layers:
    Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 8-inch round cake pans. Note: You can also line the bottom of the pans with parchment for easier release.

    Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.

    In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy using an electric mixer on high speed.
    Add vanilla and beat to combine. Add eggs and egg yolk, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

    Add flour mixture in three additions, alternatively with milk in two additions, mixing on low speed until just combined. Do not over mix.

    Divide batter evenly into prepared pans. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

    Cool cakes in the pans for 10 minutes. Remove cakes from pans and cool completely on a wire rack.

    For the seven minute frosting:
    Note: Wait to make this after the cake has chilled for three days (see assembly instructions).

    Bring about an inch of water to a simmer in a saucepan.

    In a heat-proof bowl (metal or glass), add the water, sugar, egg whites, cream of tarter and salt. Whisk to combine. Set bowl over the simmering water and mix with a handheld electric mixer on low speed. 
    A whisk attachment works well however you can use regular beaters. Increase the speed to high and beat mixture until it holds stiff peaks, about 5 to 7 minutes.

    Remove the bowl from over the pan and set on kitchen towel. Continue to beat until mixture is cool, glossy, and billowy, about 2 minutes more. Beat in vanilla. Use immediately or refrigerate in a sealed container.

    For cake assembly:
    Cut the cake layers in half horizontally to make 4 layers.

    Place one cake layer on a cake plate. Top with 1/3 of the filling. Repeat layers ending with the top layer of the cake (top and sides of cake are frosted later).

    Wrap or seal cake and refrigerate for three days.

    Frost top and sides of cake with seven minute frosting. Garnish with sweetened coconut flakes.

    Store cake in the refrigerator.

    National Bundt Day 2013-A Bundt Cake Roundup

    National Bundt Day

    Hey! Did you know that bundt cakes have a national holiday? I did and last year I baked a bundt cake. I baked this very delicious November bundt cake for the big day: Gingerbread Apple Bundt Cake.

    Besides this spicy gingerbread bundt cake, I have baked quite a number of different bundts and shared them here on the blog over the years.  I think you will find something for everybody here in this roundup of my bundts. For the chocolate lovers and the lemon lovers, there is a bundt for you! Zucchini? Yes...even zucchini! There is plenty of pumpkin love and even a bundt cake panettone you could try for Christmas next month. These are most of the bundts I have baked for my #BundtaMonth group that was started just for creating a different bundt a month.

    This roundup is for my bundt cake loving friends...enjoy!
    National Bundt Day

    September 2012 - Chocolate Zucchini Swirl Bundt Cake with Chocolate Glaze
    National Bundt Day

    September 2012 - Apple Zucchini Bundt Cake with a Crunchy Limoncello Glaze

    October 2012 -Pumpkin Streusel Bundt Cake with a Pumpkin Glaze

    November 2012 - Vanilla Bundt Cake with Caramel Glaze

    December 2012- Araby Spice Limoncello Bundt Cake with Limoncello Glaze

    December 2012 - Bundt Panettone

    March 2013 Coconut Banana Bundt Cake with Rum Glaze

    April 2013 - Chocolate Cherry Bundt Cake

    May 2013- Blueberry Buttermilk Bundt Cake

    June 2013 - Double Chocolate Swirl Bundt Cake

    July 2013- Caramelized Apple Bundt Cake

    August 2013 - Peach Cinnamon Swirl Bundt Cake

    September 2013 -Devil's Food Bundt Cake with Caramel Glaze

    October 2013 - Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Salted Chocolate Caramel Sauce

    Jam Bundt Cake with Peanut Butter Glaze

     This is not the full compilation of my bundt cakes. If you enter bundt cake in my search button, the rest will appear for you to look thought-have fun!


    Sweet Brown Butter Cornbread - Food Memory Guest Post w/ All Roads Lead to the Kitchen

    Sweet Brown Butter Cornbread
    It's hard to believe I've been writing on this little space online for almost 4 years. Many things have happened in my life since I started this blog. Of course my readers that have followed along or those that just recently found me know how special my dad was to me and how I have written a little about his loss this year.

    I have been comforted by my friends and the stories they've written for my Food Memory series. It's interesting with the amount of food blogs that one can find, some just resonate with you. At least that's how it is with me. One of the blogs I came across in the beginning of my blogging career was Heather from All Roads Lead to the Kitchen. I'm sure it was an incredible bread of hers that first compelled me to explore her blog a little. It was also her way of writing and her sweet personality that shines through in her posts. I was lucky enough to meet Heather this summer at the Food and Wine Conference. Heather was sweeter than I imagined she would be. Heather has put together a special story about her grandmother. I think you'll enjoy it as much as I have.

    Here is my friend Heather and her special Food Memory story for us:

    Food is an entirely sensory experience.  The feel of dough being kneaded into silky perfection in your hands.  The sound of meat sizzling when it hits a hot skillet.  The scent of cinnamon wafting from the oven door.  The sight of a holiday meal spread across the table.  The taste of a tomato just plucked from a vine, hanging heavy with the heat of summer.  Food can introduce you to new cultures, but it can also grab your heart and twist it into submission.  That is why I'm so honored to be sharing this story with Lora's Food Memory series today.
    Sweet Brown Butter Cornbread
    I was in 9th grade biology class when I saw my dad standing outside the classroom door.  I don't remember leaving the school, or if my mom, brother, and sisters were already in the car waiting.  I don't remember the 45 minute drive to the city that meant the beach, fireworks, blue moon ice cream, and (most of) my dad's side of the family.  I just remember peering hesitantly at my grandma; her red hair curled and too much makeup caked on her face.  A face that, by the way, I barely remember wearing any makeup in life.  I'd never lost anybody, really lost anybody, before.

    Looking back now, I feel fortunate that although my grandma passed away when I was so young, I have lots of memories of her.  Those were the days when we would actually load the whole family into the car and make the trip to one, or both, sides of the family for the holidays.  Sometimes, just because.

    My dad's mom and dad were divorced before I was even born.  I always felt slightly strange about that.  I didn't know anybody else whose grandparents were divorced.  I don't think it was as common back then.  Even though they were divorced, they still lived in the same town.  We would always visit both of them.  Though I'd love to talk about my grandpa, today I'm remembering the feisty, half-Cherokee, half-Scottish woman who had rows of jewel-toned jams lining her pantry, a can of bacon grease next to the stove, and a couple of ponds down the street where we would go fishing for Bluegill.
    Sweet Brown Butter Cornbread
    Grandma used her cast-iron skillet to cook pretty much everything.  I loved seeing it sitting on one of her burners, freshly seasoned and ready to be used.  She would always put me to work, snapping some beans or peeling some potatoes while she prepared the meat; meat that she would always get from the local farmers or farm market.  Her food was always good old fashioned, down home, country food.  Even though she lived in Michigan, she was raised in Arkansas, and I'm betting that's where she learned to cook.

    To this day, I can't see seasoned salt without my mouth watering in anticipation of some of her simple,  yet amazing, thin seasoned pork chops.  She'd fry 'em up in her cast-iron skillet while some from-scratch biscuits or cornbread were in the oven.  There was a big table in her kitchen that I'd set while the kitchen was filling with the scents of sizzling pork and warm bread.

    Once the table was set, she'd send me to the pantry to pick out some her homemade jam to set alongside the soft butter on the table.  As I ran my finger lazily down the row, the late day sun would glint off glass, throwing rainbows onto the wall next to the jars.  I'd carefully pull one out to see what was behind it.  But in the end, I always chose the same one, if it wasn't already gone: Boysenberry.  It was my favorite.

    When we lost my grandma, we also lost all of the recipes in her head.  A smell, a site, a song, a game, a color would light that spark of nostalgia, and we'd talk about her pork chops for days.  I still pull a batch of warm buttermilk biscuits out of the oven, and find myself longing for a jar of Gram's Boysenberry jam.  And I have never been able to recreate that sunny yellow, slightly sweet, perfectly grainy cornbread that lives in the rainbow-headband-wearing ten year old inside my head.
    I've tried many times over the years.  My cornbread winds up either too sweet or not sweet enough, too cakey or too crumbly, too hard or not yellow enough.  And although this recipe comes close, it still isn't what I've been searching for for so many years.  But it's so good, that I had to share it.  The browned butter adds a beautiful nuttiness that complements the sweet bread to a tee.  It leans more towards the cakey side, yet it's fairly dense...perfect for soaking up a bit of butter when it's pulled from the oven.  Or for showing off some deep purple Boysenberry Jam.

    While I'm bummed that I was too young to even think about writing down grandma's recipes, I know that her memory will live on through the glimpse of a thin-cut pork chop.  It will live on through a display of jams crafted lovingly by hand.  It will live on through the process of trying to develop the perfect recipe.

    Thank you, Heather. You really brought me back to your childhood reading about your grandma and her special cornbread, her pork chops and homemade sweet jam.

    Heather is quite the bread baker. I found her first through an incredible bread she made (not sure exactly which one it was because there are so many!). If you like Mexican food, you have to check out her "She made-Ella hace" series.  Some favorite recipes of mine from Heather are her beautiful pane bianco, decadent German chocolate cake , and these fun roasted banana and coconut popsicles.

    You can find more of a Heather on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+.

    My other Food Memory guest posters:

    yield: serves 8-10print recipe
    Sweet Brown Butter Cornbread

    Sweet Brown Butter Cornbread

    prep time: 10 MINScook time: 25 MINStotal time: 35 mins
    Browned butter adds a nuttiness to this sweet cornbread that you will find irresistible.


    • 3 ounces unsalted butter, divided
    • 1 1/3 cups lukewarm milk
    • 1/2 cup honey
    • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
    • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 cup masa harina (corn flour)
    • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
    • 1/3 cup raw/turbinado sugar
    • 1 tablespoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt


    1. Preheat oven to 400° F. Place an 8 to 10-inch cast-iron skillet in the oven. Put 2 ounces of the butter in a small skillet over a medium-low flame and let it melt and start to turn lightly brown. As soon as it smells nutty, and before it turns dark, remove it from the heat and set aside.
    2. Whisk the milk, honey, and eggs together in a large measuring cup with a spout; set aside.
    3. Whisk flour, masa harina, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl. Make a well in the center, and pour in the wet ingredients. Beat by hand, with a wooden spoon, until just combined.
    4. Drizzle in the slightly cooled browned butter, and beat again until it is well distributed.
    5. Use a potholder to carefully remove the hot skillet from the oven; drop in the remaining 1 ounce of butter, and swirl it around to coat the bottom and sides of the pan.
    6. Immediately pour in the batter. Return to oven and bake until golden and cooked through, 25-30 minutes (depending on the size of pan you used - check it with a toothpick in the center, it should come out clean).
    7. Serve warm, slathered with Boysenberry Jam, alongside Gram's Seasoned Chops and green beans. Of course, this is also good with plain butter, honey butter, or cinnamon-honey butter.
    Created using The Recipes Generator

    Sweet Brown Butter Cornbread

    Raspberry Jam Bundt with Peanut Butter Glaze

    Raspberry Jam Bundt with Peanut Butter Glaze

    Raspberry Jam Bundt with Peanut Butter Glaze is a lovely cake to enjoy on an afternoon break.  There are no baking failures in my house. If something doesn't turn out perfectly, we will still happily eat it. I'm not talking about a pumpkin bread that has no fluff factor because it's missing the baking soda. That goes right in the garbage. But I'm talking about this raspberry bundt with peanut butter glaze.

    Upon first glance, you may think it was intended to look as tempting as it does with the raspberry jam drizzling down the sides. You may think I melted a little of the jam and drizzled it on myself for the photos.

    Nope. I sure didn't!

    I think I left the cake about 5 minutes too long in the oven and some of the jam oozed all the way to the bottom of the pan and when I flipped it out...this is how it looked. I was intrigued. I wanted to take a bite before I added the peanut butter glaze but I had to be patient.

    My kids, not so patient. My kids who I can't remember when the last time they ate a peanut butter and jam sandwich were arguing over the bowl with the peanut butter glaze.

    "Mom!!!! It's not fair! You gave the bowl to him after you finished it for the cake...that's so NOT fair!" answer, "I thought you don't even like peanut butter." She doesn't really like it. But the glaze was so good and she also thought the cake was SOOOO good even though it reminded her of a PB & J sandwich.

    Go figure!

    So here is my idea for Jammy November for #BundtaMonth. A very easy and moist bundt that has a little bit of raspberry jam (was supposed to be in the middle but ended up on the top!) in it. A little bit of a peanut butter glaze drizzle...this is good. Really good! Go ahead and ask my neighbors who are huge PB and fans. They loved it!
    Raspberry Jam Bundt with Peanut Butter Glaze

    Raspberry Jam Bundt with Peanut Butter Glaze

    Raspberry Jam Bundt with Peanut Butter Glaze

    by Savoring Italy
    Prep Time: approx 15 minutes
    Cook Time: approx 55-60 minutes

    Ingredients (10-12 servings)
    • 1 1/2 cups sugar
    • 1/3 cup canola oil
    • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
    • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (I used Limoncello)
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup buttermilk
    • 2 Tablespoons sour cream
    • 1/2 cup raspberry jam (or your favorite jam)
    peanut butter glaze
    • 2/3 cup confectioner's sugar
    • 1 Tablespoon peanut butter
    • 1 Tablespoon milk
    Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour your bundt pan (regular 10 cup bundt pan). I personally prefer to use baking spray for bundt pans.

    Combine first 3 ingredients in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, beating until incorporated. 

    Stir in vanilla, lemon rind, and 2 tablespoons lemon juice (or limoncello).

    In a large bowl, combine flours, powder, soda, and salt; set aside. In a small bowl, gently combine the blueberries (and blackberries if you're using them) with the extra 2 Tablespoons flour. 

    Combine buttermilk and sour cream. 

    Add flour mixture and buttermilk mixture alternately to butter mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.

    Spoon half the batter into prepared bundt pan. Spoon the jam on top of the batter, leaving a little border of batter around the sides. Spoon on the rest of the batter and smooth it out with a spatula. Bake at 350° for 55 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

    Remove cake from pan; cool on wire rack. Whisk together the peanut butter glaze ingredients. Add more milk if batter is too thick a teaspoon at a time. Drizzle on the glaze.


    Ginger Pull-Apart Bread -#TwelveLoaves

    Ginger Pull-Apart Bread
    Oh, yeah! Fall and spices! Spices and fall...don't they go hand in hand? As soon as the seasons start to change, I can't wait to start baking with cinnamon and ginger and nutmeg. Pies and breads and soups-every thing has spice in them and it makes me smile! Like this ginger pull-apart bread.

    HUGE SMILES :) all around with this fantastic bread. When the theme "spice" was chosen in our #TwelveLoaves baking group, I had a feeling ginger and I would be baking together once again. I couldn't wait to test out some recipes. I baked and baked and tested and tested.
    Ginger Pull-Apart Bread

    The spice baking continued for a few weeks; until this recipe was what I decided to share with the group.

    Ginger Pull-Apart Bread

    #TwelveLoaves November-Spice. October #TwelveLoaves was about baking with Root Vegetables. It was quite a delicious month! Temperatures are dropping and it is the right moment to explore bread and SPICE! Share your November Spice Bread (yeast or quick bread). Let's get baking!

    #TwelveLoaves is a monthly bread baking party created by Lora from Savoring Italy.

    Are you hungry for amazing bread? Check out what the Twelve Loaves bakers have created this month:

    Ginger Pull-Apart Bread

    I've shared a couple of pull-apart bread recipes here before-one sweet, one savory After finally baking another sweet pull-apart bread I came to the conclusion that it must be baked more often. I found this recipe in Donna Hay magazine last year and I vowed to make it one day soon. A year later...hey, at least I did it! I used my super simple basic sweet dough recipe. I'm not going to lie and say it's a cinch to put together.

    Let me explain a little further, the dough is a cinch. It just takes a little time and patience to wait for it to come together. If you are home doing nothing on a cold fall weekend day, start the dough.  Take your time, and wait for the yeast to work its magic.  Or you could make the dough the night before and let it rise in the fridge.  The stacking of the pieces part  is not that complicated. I included a few photos to show you the process. There really is no mistaking in the pieces. It doesn't matter if they are not the same size. I've seen recipes where they say you have to measure and make sure each piece is accurate. I didn't measure and I love the uniqueness of this not so perfectly shaped bread. I did mark each section a little with my pizza cutter (or knife) before slicing to make sure the sections looked around the same size. On the last cutting parts, I did use a very sharp knife to cut the piles of dough instead of the pizza cutter.

    The dough ended up making one regular loaf pan and a smaller one. Can I tell you about the aroma while it was baking? Ok...have you ever been to a donut shop? Is that a silly question? It reminded me of a donut shop. This smelled like the most amazing fall spice donuts while it was baking. I was dizzy in anticipation. I kept pacing back and forth watching the bread through the oven door. It couldn't finish baking fast enough! Taking a photo of a pull-apart bread is an interesting feat. The jagged layers are so pretty and that is what I tried to capture. I think the only shot that shows how cool it really looks is the one I posted here without the glaze. But that glaze, oh...that glaze. I am also reminded that I need to make cream cheese glazes a little more often. I love this bread and as you can tell from my post, I love baking with spices!

    Ginger Pull-Apart Bread

    by Savoring Italy
    Prep Time: approx 2-3 hours
    Cook Time: approx 30-35 minutes

    Ingredients (1 loaf)
    • 1 cup whole milk
    • 1 (1/2 ounce) envelope active dry yeast
    • 1/4 cup warm water (100 to 110 degrees)
    • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
    • 1/2 cup raisins
    • 4 1/2-5 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    to sprinkle on the dough
    • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
    • 1 Tablespoon finely grated lemon rind
    • 4 Tablespoons melted butter
    lemon cream cheese icing
    • 4 ounces cream cheese
    • 2/3 cup confectioner's sugar
    • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
    Heat the milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until it just begins to boil. Remove from heat and let stand until cooled to room temperature. 

    Meanwhile, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water in a large bowl.

    Add 1 T of the sugar and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.

    Beat in the remaining 2 T sugar, eggs, butter and raisins. Beat in cooled milk. Gradually add the flour and salt, scraping down side of bowl, until a soft dough forms.

    Turn dough onto a floured work surface and knead the remaining flour into the dough, adding more flour if too sticky. Knead for about 5-10 minutes until smooth. The dough will be soft.

    Grease a large bowl. Place the dough in the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours. When dough is almost finished rising, preheat the oven to 350 F.

    Deflate the dough and roll it out on slightly floured work surface to a rectangle about 12 inches tall and 20 inches long. Brush on the melted butter. Sprinkle on the sugar-ginger mixture.
    Slice the dough vertically into six equal-sized strips.

    Stack the strips on top of one another and slice the stack into six equal slices once again. You’ll have six stacks of six squares.

    Layer the dough squares in the loaf pan like a flip-book. Place a kitchen towel over the loaf pan and allow in a warm place for 30 to 45 minutes or until almost doubled in size. 

    Place loaf in the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top is very golden brown. The top may be lightly browned, but the center may still be raw. A nice, dark, golden brown will ensure that the center is cooked as well. 

    Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 20 to 30 minutes. Run a butter knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the bread and invert onto a clean board.

    Place a cake stand or cake plate on top of the upside down loaf, and carefully invert so it’s right side up.

    To make the icing, place the cream cheese, confectioner's sugar and lemon juice in a food processor and process until smooth (or beat with an electric mixer). Drizzle over the cooled loaf.