Cranberry Ginger Cream Scones

Cranberry Ginger Cream Scones

Cream scones studded with dried cranberries and candied ginger are simple to make with an impressive taste.

Cranberry Ginger Cream Scones

TGIF, people!!

Did anyone else have a weird, stressful week? I am headed home this afternoon for my first wedding dress fitting this weekend and am so glad for a weekend full of things like best friends, no-chip manicures and Cranberry Ginger Cream Scones after a week like this one. Can I get an “amen”? (Hashtag: Priorities.)

Freaky Friday Blog Hop

In case you are looking for a little bit of an internet-retreat from the “real world” this weekend, I’ve got an extra surprise for you: Today I am joining several of my blogging friends for a fun “Freaky Friday” blog hop. Each of us made a recipe from another blogger in the group and are sharing that recipe on our sites today. Visit each of the blogs to learn more about all of us and snag some really great recipes!

Today’s recipe for Cranberry Ginger Cream Scones is a variation on a Cream Scones recipe from Debi over at Life Currents. Much like myself, Debi is an advocate for “getting back to real foods and methods.” Many of her recipes are healthy, but even those that are more indulgent – like these scones – are made with real ingredients. She is a big believer in home cooking, hates celery (preach, sister!), and loves using seasonal, local produce as much as possible. I’m definitely going to have to try her Smoky Cheese Chowder recipe soon (because cheese), as well as this super easy Pizza Tarts recipe (pizza.tarts, people!).

Cream Scones

So now, let’s chat about these Cranberry Ginger Cream Scones. I have shared some scone recipes with you before – Whole Wheat Sweet Potato Scones was one of the very first recipes on my site, and Blueberry Lemon Yogurt Scones are, frankly, pretty hard to beat – all of which used butter in addition to your liquid (usually buttermilk). While I will always love this method (because butter), cream scones are even easier to make, as the heavy cream provides both the fat and the liquid for the recipe. Seriously, these scones couldn’t be easier and yet the light, airy texture and indulgent taste are sure to fool your family and friends into thinking you spend hours slaving away to make them. They’re the perfect weekend brunch treat!

Head on over to Life Currents to see what recipe Debi made, and be sure to check out everyone else’s sites as well! You’ve got a lot of great recipes in your future.

A Dish Of Daily Life 
An Affair from the Heart 
Aunt Bee’s Recipes 
Big Rigs ‘n Lil Cookies 
Café Terra Blog 
Full Belly Sisters 
Honey & Birch
Life Currents
Pic Nic
Simply Sated 
The Foodie Affair 
Who Needs A Cape?

Cream Scones with Dried Cranberries

5.0 from 6 reviews
Cranberry Ginger Cream Scones
 
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Total time
 
Cream scones studded with dried cranberries and candied ginger are simple to make with an impressive taste.
Yield: 8 scones
Ingredients
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • 2 heaping tablespoons finely chopped candied ginger
  • 1 heaping teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 ¼ cups heavy cream
  • Additional cream + turbinado sugar, for topping
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir in the dried cranberries, candied ginger and orange zest. Gently stir in the cream, mixing until just combined.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead lightly 5-10 times, until the dough just comes together and loses some of its stickiness. Gently pat the dough into a circle about 8 inches wide and ¾ inch thick. Cut the circle into 8 wedges.
  4. Place wedges on the prepared baking sheet, about ½ inch apart. Brush the tops lightly with additional cream and sprinkle with a bit of turbinado sugar. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the tops are golden brown. Move to a wire rack to cool or serve warm.
  5. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

 

Granola Cookies

Granola Cookies

Stuff your healthy granola into a perfectly chewy Granola Cookie. You can thank me later.

Granola Cookies

I mean, c’mon.

Do I really need to go into a long description about these cookies? Do I need to write you paragraphs about how chewy they are? Must I tell you that the brown sugar and butter do magical things to the already-magical granola? Is it necessary to tell you that a smidgen of almond extract take these beauties over the top?

The name really says it for itself, doesn’t it?

Granola. Cookies.

If you think you like oatmeal cookies – which I do – then you simply must try making Granola Cookies. They are everything an oatmeal cookie should be, taken to the next level.

It truly is one of my greatest gifts to be able to take something perfectly healthy for you, such as last week’s Coconut Ginger Almond Granola, and turn it into something…well, significantly less healthy.

But sometimes, you just gotta do what you gotta do. And some days, you just need a cookie.

Granola Cookies

5.0 from 1 reviews
Granola Cookies
 
Yield: 18 giant cookies
Ingredients
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup lightly packed dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 cups granola
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugars together on medium speed until lightened in color and creamy, about 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the eggs, vanilla and almond extract; beat on medium speed until well combined.
  3. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Add to the wet ingredients and mix on low speed until just combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add in the granola and mix until just incorporated.
  4. Use an ice cream scoop to scoop about ¼ cup of dough at a time onto the prepared cookie sheet. These make very large cookies, so leave at least 2 inches of space between them - you will likely be able to fit no more than 6 cookies per sheet.
  5. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until the edges are golden and the centers are set. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. Store in an airtight container for up a week - if they last that long.

 

Christmas Spice Cake

Christmas_Spice_Cake3

Holiday cake filled with dried fruit, nuts, and spices. It’s the perfect cake to share with friends this Christmas season!

This post is sponsored by Diamond of California. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting brands that make this site possible.

Christmas_Spice_Cake3
I can’t seem to get through Christmas without sharing a family recipe with you.

Last year I shared Brown Sugar Fudge, a recipe from my friend Kathleen’s grandmother. Two years ago it was Fruitcake Cookies, a favorite of my Uncle Mike. Three years ago, we delighted in Maureen’s Rice Krispie Cookies, which you need to make immediately.

This year, I decided to focus on a cake recipe from my great-great-great-grandmother. That’s a lot of greats.

Mama Florence was my great-great-grandmother’s stepmother. I honestly don’t know a whole lot about Mama Florence, aside from the fact that she made this cake every year and that it was a Christmas staple for my momma’s family when she was growing up.

This recipe was not just a simple matter of making the recipe, photographing it and sharing it with you, however. Nope – when I say that I have my “great-great-great-grandmother’s recipe”, what I mean in this particular instance is that I have a “list of ingredients for my great-great-great-grandmother’s recipe with no instructions whatsoever and in some cases no measurements, either.”

Christmas_Spice_Cake
So, this was quite the experiment on my part, consisting of me piecing together this recipe with what I know about baking and sending up a prayer to all of the southern grandmothers who have ever loved me as I placed these cakes in the oven.

I knew the real test would be feeding the cakes to my grandmother, the only one who really remembers what Mama Florence’s recipe (or at least my great-grandmother’s version of the recipe) tasted like.

After the first bite, her face lit up like a Christmas tree. Bingo.

I am giving you this recipe now, because these cakes should be made at least 2 weeks in advance of serving them. YES. 2 weeks. That was not a typo. Once the cakes cool, you will wrap them up and, every 2-3 days, spritz them with a little bit of brandy. Wrap them back up and come for a visit again in a few days. Just don’t be like my great-great-grandmother, who one year took small bites of the cake every time she went to booze it up. By the time she went to serve the cake for a party, she had eaten almost all of it! #Oops

With the rich spices, molasses, pecans and dried fruits highlighted by the subtle flavors of orange and brandy, this is sure to be a cake your family and holiday guests will request every year.

Christmas_Spice_Cake4

5.0 from 1 reviews
Christmas Spice Cake
 
Holiday cake filled with dried fruit, nuts, and spices. It's the perfect cake to share with friends this Christmas season!
Ingredients
  • 1 pound golden raisins
  • 1 pound chopped dates
  • ¼ pound currants
  • 2 cups brandy, divided
  • ½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • ½ cup molasses
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 5 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ tablespoon EACH nutmeg, allspice, cloves and cinnamon
  • ½ pound Diamond of California Pecan Chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9x5-inch loaf pan and an 8-inch ring pan OR 3 8x4 inch loaf pans. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the raisins, dates and currants. Add ½ cup of the brandy and the orange juice. Cover and soak overnight, or cover lightly with plastic wrap and microwave on high for 5 minutes. If microwaving, allow to cool.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add the orange zest, molasses and vanilla and beat until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until combined after each addition.
  4. Sift together the flour, salt, baking soda and spices. Slowly add to the wet ingredients, mixing on medium speed until just combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then fold in the dried fruit and pecans.
  5. Divide the batter between the prepared pans. Bake cakes for 1 hour to 1 hour, 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  6. Cool cakes in the pans, then gently remove from the pans (run a knife along the edges of the pan before attempting to remove). Allow to cool completely.
  7. Place the remaining brandy in a spray bottle. Spritz the tops of the cakes with the brandy, then wrap tightly in heavy duty foil. Store in a cool, dark place for 2-4 weeks, unwrapping and spritzing with the brandy every 2-3 days.

 

Man-Bait Biscuits {+ an announcement!}

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Mile-high sweet potato biscuits are hearty enough to feed the man in your life (but fluffy and delicious enough to keep everyone else coming back for more as well).

Sweet Potato Biscuits
Welcome to the holiday season, friends! Before we dive into Christmas cakes, candies and appetizers (and there will be plenty of those, I can promise you that), I have a special recipe and a special announcement.

Yes!
This past Tuesday, Alex (formerly known ’round these parts as “Boyfriend”) took me out to the end of Navy Pier, got down on one knee, and asked me to be his wife.

I said yes.

Yes!
And so, on April 18 (maybe we did a little planning before the official proposal…), I will walk down the aisle and say “I do” to my best friend and the best man that I have ever known.

In case any of you were wondering, I feel fairly certain my cooking did a lot to influence the beginning of our relationship. In fact, I attribute a lot of things to my Sweet Potato Biscuit recipe.

Mile-High Sweet Potato Biscuits
When Alex and I started dating, I was living in Chicago while he was living in Iowa, about 3 hours away. The first weekend he stayed with me in Chicago, I made Sweet Potato Biscuits for breakfast on Sunday morning before he left. It was soon after this that I met his family (and discovered that he had already told them that I made the best biscuits he had ever had) and our relationship really took off.

Was it all thanks to the biscuits? That’s a tough call to make…but I’m certainly not discounting their powers.

And so, in honor of our engagement and entering this next big adventure, I share with you the recipe that made my man fall in love. Make them for breakfast this weekend – I can bet you that your sweetheart will love them, too.

Fluffy Sweet Potato Biscuits

4.8 from 5 reviews
Sweet Potato Biscuits
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Yield: 8-9 biscuits
Ingredients
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • ½ cup cooked, mashed sweet potato
  • 1 cup buttermilk
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients with a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles a coarse meal with a few pea-sized pieces of butter remaining.
  4. In a large measuring cup, whisk together the sweet potato and the buttermilk. Pour into the dry ingredients and stir to combine, just until barely combined.
  5. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Dough may be sticky; if so, lightly flour the top of the dough. Use your hands to bring the dough into a ball, then gently pat into a disk. Fold dough in half, turn it 90 degrees, and pat out again, flouring the dough as needed. Fold in half again. Repeat this process 1 more time. After the last fold, roll dough to 1-inch thick. Cut with a biscuit cutter; press cutter straight down, then twist to remove the biscuit. Re-roll dough as necessary, noting that rerolled biscuits will not get quite as much "lift" as the first batch. Cut 8-9 biscuits.
  6. Place cut biscuits in a 10-inch ungreased cast iron skillet, or close together on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until golden on top.

 

Pumpkin Pie Thumbprint Cookies

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Sweet sugar cookie thumbprints filled with pumpkin pie filling. Consider these your portable pumpkin pie – because that’s clearly a necessity. 

Pumpkin Pie Thumbprint Cookies
I don’t know how else to explain the origins of this recipe other than to say that I woke up with the idea in my head a few weeks ago.

I’m not saying some genius idea just came to me in my dreams…but maybe I am. I dunno. I’m going to just leave that one open to interpretation.

Just kidding — I totally had a genius idea come to me in my dreams. What I can I say? I dream about cookies more often than I would care to admit.

I actually wasn’t sure this recipe was going to work. I wasn’t sure if the ratio of cookie-to-filling would end up being right, if the filling and cookie would set at the same time, if the filling would even stay in the cookie thumbprint…there were a lot of things up in the air about these little suckers. But, after a few pans of finagling, I pulled out a pan of perfect thumbprints, with the cookie just barely cooked through – still a bit pale, even, a little like myself – and the filling just perfectly set. It made for a perfect soft cookie with just the right amount of pumpkin pie filling. A two-bite pie, if you will. Stick that pie in your pocket, take it with you wherever you go*.

Pumpkin Pie Cookies
I took this batch of cookies to my personal trainer, because what good are personal trainers if you can’t feed them your excess baked goods? She took one look at the container, ripped it open and inhaled a cookie in one swift motion. That’s some cookie affirmation, right there. She then proceeded to share the cookies, because she has more self control than I do. This is why she gets the cookies.

If you’re having a crowd of family in and out of your house this week, I highly suggest making a batch of these cookies to have on hand. They’re a piece of pie cake to make, and are easier to divvy up to passing family members than an entire pie. They might even become a new Thanksgiving tradition.

*Warning: I do not actually recommend sticking these cookies in your pocket. That would be a mess. Just stick them in your pie-hole instead. xoxo

Thumbprint Cookies with Pumpkin Pie Filling

5.0 from 1 reviews
Pumpkin Pie Thumbprint Cookies
 
Yield: 18-20 cookies
Ingredients
For the cookie dough:
  • ⅔ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cups flour
For the filling:
  • ⅓ cup + 1 tablespoon pumpkin puree
  • 1 egg white
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
  • Pinch of cloves
  • 2 tablespoons evaporated milk
Instructions
Make the cookie dough:
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on medium speed until fluffy, about 1 minute. Add the egg and vanilla; beat on low speed to combine. Slowly add the salt and the flour; mix on low speed until just combined.
  2. Roll the dough into 1-inch balls, placing them about 3 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets.
  3. Using the back of a rounded teaspoon, press the teaspoon into the top of each cookie, creating a well in the center (make sure not to press all of the way through to the baking sheet itself). Dip the teaspoon in flour or water between each cookie to make this process go a bit easier.
  4. Place the shaped and indented cookies into the refrigerator or freezer to chill for at least 1 hour. Near the end of the chilling time, preheat the oven to 375 degrees and make the filling.
Make the filling:
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together all of the filling ingredients until well combined. When ready to bake, spoon about 1 teaspoon of filling into each of the indented cookie wells.
  2. Bake cookies for 15-18 minutes, or until cookies are just set and barely golden around the edges. Let cool on the baking sheets for about 5 minutes before moving to a cooling rack to finish cooling.

 

Cranberry Pumpkin Cornbread

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Classic cornbread with an autumn twist: tart cranberries and rich pumpkin.

Cranberry Pumpkin Cornbread
There are a few things my family is particularly serious about.

Pie is one of them. Pecan Raisin Pie, to be exact.

People singing on key would be another.

Education and the proper use of there, their and they’re (as well as to, too and two) makes the list.

Letting our pets sleep on the bed with us is definitely a must.

And then there’s cornbread.

Yes, cornbread. In case you weren’t aware, there are two kinds of cornbread in this world: southern-style cornbread, which has very little to no sugar in it, and Yankee cornbread, which is sweet. Or, as my great-grandmother would have proudly told you, the right kind of cornbread and the wrong kind of cornbread.

Can you guess which kind my Mississippi born-and-raised grandmother would call the “right kind”?

Cranberry Cornbread with Pumpkin Puree
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