The month of December quietly arrived and the countdown to Christmas now begins. I’m sharing two fabulous recipes that are family favourites. The first is a delicious cranberry sauce takes minutes to prepare – and the smell and taste is so worth the small effort to make! I’m frequently asked by my friends and family to bring this tangy sauce to share at functions and family dinners. This cranberry sauce is great served with roast turkey, chicken or pork. Also add a small scoop to cheese wedges , melted brie or savoury meats on crackers or crostini for festive entertaining.
Homemade Cranberry Sauce
1 package of fresh cranberries (rinsed, remove any berries that are bruised/squished)
1/4 cup raspberry jelly
1/2 cup of orange juice
1/3 cup of white sugar
1/3 cup of brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon of grated orange peel
1 large orange – peel removed – coarsely chopped
Fresh ground pepper/salt
Dash of cayenne
On medium heat and working with a medium sized pot, add cranberries, jelly, juice, white and brown sugar. Stir. Add cinnamon, nutmeg, orange peel and chopped orange. Cook for about 10 minutes – then add just a bit of fresh ground pepper, salt and a dash of cayenne. Cook for an additional 15 minutes on a lower heat. Remove pot from heat and let the sauce rest. Adjust taste ie sweeten with more sugar if sauce is too tart. *Cranberry sauce can be kept in the fridge for about 3- 4 days in a sealed plastic container.
The second recipe is a melt-in-your mouth cookie and a sweet treat to leave for Santa on Christmas Eve! Enjoy some baking with the kids and put on some Christmas music, sip hot chocolate or apple cider and enjoy the magic and beauty that the Christmas season brings. These cookies also make for sweet treats to receive as homemade gifts when shared in festive cookie tins.
Chewy Chocolate Cookies
A top favourite in our home. I submitted this recipe along with a photo of my son Ben baking these cookies - he was just 3 at the time - and it was published in the popular Taste of Home magazine in 2001. This cookie recipe was also the top 5 voted winner in romance novelist Susan Wiggs’ Christmas Cookie Exchange in 2011.
1 1/4 cups butter
2 cups white sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
*2 cups chocolate chips (or add 1 cup of coarsely chopped Baker’s white chocolate and 1 cup of chocolate chips)
Cream butter and sugar until blended. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt; blend with other ingredients. Stir in chocolate chips and drop by the teaspoonful (press slightly with palm) onto greased cookie sheet or lined with parchment. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes (do not over bake as you want a nice fudge like cookie). Let cool on wire racks and store in air tight container.
Until next time: Let’s Eat!