For Thanksgiving I wanted to bring something not so traditional but still with a Thanksgiving feel. I knew there would be pumpkin pies and pecan pies and probably even a chocolate pie so I went with a dessert that wasnt too sweet and not too heavy: Chocolate Cranberry Bread Pudding! This bread pudding is made with brioche bread. Brioche is a very light and buttery french style of bread. I actually used some brioche rolls that i found at Whole Foods Market. I purchased fresh cranberries that i had frozen earlier and chose bittersweet chocolate to keep it chocolatey but not to sweet. I added some cinnamon, clove and cardomom for a little holiday spice. For the whipped cream, i infused the cream with sprigs of fresh rosemary the night before whipping. The rosemary gave the cream a very very lightly herbal taste that paired well with the bread pudding. I sprinkled little Crunchy Valrhona Chocolate Pearls over the whipped cream before serving. This bread pudding is rich and delicious but not heavy. The brioche is key! The light flakey butterey bread is a perfect base for the cream, chocolate and cranberries. The cranberries give a festive look and fresh, tart flavor to the dessert. Enjoy!
I've stocked up on canned pumpkin and have been looking for different recipes when i came across this one for Pumkin Cookies. I added a little to the recipe for a more "spice" flavor but you could leave the extra spices out. The cookies do not spread in the oven. They cook up light and moist. I also added the raw sugar to the out side for a little extra crunch and sparkle. Here is the recipe:
1 cup sugar 1 cup canned pumpkin 1/2 cup shortening 1 tbsp. grated orange peel 2 cups all purpose flour 1 tsp. baking powder 1/2 tsp. baking soda 1 tsp. cinnamon 1/4 tsp. salt 1/4-1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg 1 tsp ground ginger 1/2 tsp ground cloves raw sugar to roll the dough
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Mix sugar, pumpkin, shortening and orange peel. Stir in flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt. Scoop dough into balls approx. 2 tbls. each. Roll in raw sugar to coat. Place on baking sheet (i use a silpat on my baking sheets) and bake until golden brown, approx. 10-12 minutes. Remove from cookie sheet and let cool.
With a medium scoop i got around 18 cookies and baked them for 12-14 minutes. I added the nutmeg, ginger, cloves and raw sugar. You can leave them out it you dont like them.
I've been looking to try out some candy recipes that might be good for Christmas. I found this English Toffee recipe and decided it would be good with sliced dry roasted almonds on top! The recipe is very easy to follow and yields lots of crunchy buttery candy. The dry roasted almonds add a nice flavor with their roasted salty nuttiness. Enjoy!
Carrying on the pumpkin theme, i decided on this Pumpkin Cranberry Loaf. The idea of pumpkin and cranberry together seems like the perfect taste of fall with a harvest-style feeling! This loaf bread is moist and delicious–spicy sweet pumpkin with tart and juicy cranberries. I added freshly grated nutmeg to the recipe and about 1 tsp. of Penzy's Baking Spice Blend. This bread tastes better the day or two after its been baked. The pumpkin becomes more pronounced and the spices seem to blend in and really compliment the sparkling cranberry tartness. It bakes up beautifully in the loaf pan with a nice high top and the color is a rich golden pumpkin speckled with bright red bursts of cranberry throughout. Very festive and fun! This delicious bread would be perfect for breakfast, afternoon tea and
even a dessert. I think it would also make terrific muffins. I can picture them all sitting in a basket ready to go to friends for a little gift. Enjoy!
I love anything pumpkin! A nice spicy pumpkin muffin sounded really good! This pumpkin muffin recipe is okay. It calls for an entire can of Libby's Pumpkin Pix Mix. These muffins definately taste more "pumpkiny" a few days after they are baked. I made these on Friday and they were "eh" but on Sunday they had a much more distinct pumpkin spice flavor to them. The muffin texture is very moist, definately not dry — even after a few days! I made a simple topping by mixing coarse raw sugar crystals with some pumpkin pie spice and sprinkled generously over the tops of all the muffins before baking. The raw sugar stays solid and creates a nice crunchy crust across the tops! Enjoy!