Growing up I remember my mom always  making cranberry bread during the late fall months. I made a loaf of cranberry bread the week leading into Thanksgiving so my guest would have something quick and delish to munch on for breakfast (or dessert or for a late night snack)!

This bread recipe is perfect! The bread is dense yet moist and the tones of cranberries you can find throughout! This is a simple recipe that any novice baker could make and wow their guest! I plan to bake another batch for my guest who will be celebrating Christmas with us next week!

Source: Three Many Cooks via Shutterbean

Cranberry Bread

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: 1 loaf

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/4 cups light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 12 ounce bag of fresh cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon raw sugar

Directions

  1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9- by 5-inch loaf pan.
  2. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Meanwhile combine egg, milk and butter in a small bowl. Add wet mix to dry mix and combine thoroughly then stir in cranberries.
  3. Pour batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle with raw sugar. Bake until golden brown and a cake tester comes clean, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes. Run a knife around pan to loosen bread. Turn onto a wire rack to cool completely.
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I made these quick and easy truffles last weekend for a tacky sweater Christmas party that my husband and I attended. I renamed these to play along with the tacky Christmas party theme as “Schweddy Balls” after the classic Christmas SNL skit. Everyone at the party got a big kick out of the name and fell in love with these rich mis-shappend balls. Sorry… I had too! I couldn’t resist. That skit is probably one of my favorites during the holidays!

Adapted from: Giada De Laurentiis

Balsamic Dark Chocolate Truffles

Prep Time: 3 hours, 25 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours, 35 minutes

Yield: 24

Ingredients

  • 10 oz dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 2 tsps balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • mini cupcake wrappers

Directions

  1. Melt the chocolate and cream on low in a sauce pan. Make sure you stir constantly and do not let the chocolate come to a boil. You simply want to melt the chocolate. As soon as the chocolate pieces are melted remove the pan from the stove, and place melted chocolate in a small bowl. Stir in the balsamic vinegar. Cool the chocolate in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Remove from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 1-1/2 - 2 hours, until firm but moldable.
  2. Use a teaspoon to scoop out chocolate. Use your fingertips to shape into balls about the size of a cherry. Set the chocolate balls on a parchment-lined tray.
  3. Place the cocoa powder in a small shallow dish. Roll each truffle individually in the cocoa powder; rolling to coat the entire truffle. Return the coated truffles to the baking sheet. Continue with the remaining truffles. Once all the truffles have been coated with cocoa powder place each individual truffle in a mini cupcake wrapper. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
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Yesterday, I shared my cookie recipe that I sent out to others; Chewy Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies. Once again a big thank you to  Julie from The Little Kitchen and Lindsay from Love and Olive Oil who organized this amazing event. Did you know that over 620 food bloggers from around the world signed up and swapped cookies? That’s over 22,000 cookies sent in the past few weeks from food bloggers near and far! *Statistics provided by Julie from The Little Kitchen and Lindsay from Love and Olive Oil  
OK, so now on to the wrap up. Today, I’m sharing what cookies I received!
Home Sweet Hopkins made Tuxedo Brownie Hug Cookies
This was the first batch of cookies I received (a week before my other cookies). This is the best of both worlds. Part brownie part cookie! It gives a nice balance of both milk chocolate and white chocolate. I did have a few casualties from this box (aka cookies that crumbled and didn’t make it in one piece); however, I liked the cookie crumbs just as much as I liked the whole cookie!

 

Think Tran made (the most amazing) Rocky Road Cookies
The next two sets of cookies I received on the same day! I was on sugar overload.

OMG–run to Tran’s blog now and get this recipe. These cookies are unbelievably soft and chewy and taste like they came from a bakery! AMAZING. I’m not a big fan of rocky road ice cream but I sure am of the cookie version.

Tran also sent two Hot Chocolate on a Stick (with homemade peppermint marshmallows)! I can’t wait to try these little delectable treats!
Big Bears Wife made White Chocolate Chip Macadamia Nut Crasin Cookies
I’ve made these cookies before and they are probably one of my favorite to make. These are also one of my husbands favorite cookies since they contain only white chocolate (he’s not a big chocolate fan). I love everything about these cookies. The craisins, macadamia nuts, and the white chocolate. If you’ve never had one of these cookies or made a batch of these cookies you must go over to Big Bears Wife and give this recipe a whirl!
I can sadly report that all of my cookies have been eaten, and are now just a distant memory from pictures I share today. If you would like to participate in next year’s cookie swap or to stay informed please visit: http://eepurl.com/hsS-Y 
Yes, that’s right. They are already starting to think about next years cookie swap!


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Today is the big day… the big reveal… the big share. For those of you who are food bloggers and on twitter  you may have been hearing a lot of buzz lately about The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap that was organized by Julie from The Little Kitchen and Lindsay from Love and Olive Oil.

Matches were sent out last month and I sent my cookies out last week. I can finally share with everyone the cookies that I baked and the three lucky recipients! Here were the three food bloggers I sent cookies too:

Rocio from Rosy Girl Baked Goods

Tomorrow I’ll be sharing what cookies I received, the recipes, and of course the blogger behind the cookies! *I did not receive cookies from the same people whom I sent too!

Now, on to the cookie I baked for this special event. I don’t make many chocolate based cookies, and have had this cookie recipe bookmarked for longer than I can remember. I love the chocolate/ peanut butter combo, and just had a feeling these cookies would be amazing. I am a fan of the chewy-soft cookie. Some like theirs hard, thin, thick, etc… I like mine chewy and soft, and of course preferably fresh out of the oven! These cookies encompass everything I love about a cookie and more. The ratio of chocolate to peanut butter (in my opinion) is perfect! I hope you’ll bake these cookies up and share them with family, friends, and neighbors!

Source: Hershey’s
Chewy Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: PT8-10M

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 4-1/2 dozen

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2-1/2 sticks butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 bag Reese’s Peanut Butter chips

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Stir together flour, cocoa, bakingsoda and salt; set aside.
  2. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with mixer untilfluffy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Gradually add flour mixture, beatingwell. Stir in peanut butter chips. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto ungreasedcookie sheet.
  3. Bake 8 to 9 minutes. *Do not over bake; cookies willbe soft.
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Buttermilk Waffles

Who doesn’t love a light and fluffy waffle for breakfast? Growing up both my husband and I dined on Eggo Waffles on an almost daily basis. Now, I refuse to even allow a box of eggo’s in my house! Last month after a trip to Disney’s Food & Wine Fest, and after eating 3 Belgium Waffles (not all in the same trip–spread out over three different visits). I knew I wanted to make waffles the next day. I wanted to achieve the light and fluffy waffles that Disney was serving up. 

Ever since I got my first waffle iron in 2003 I’ve used the same old recipe; Crisp and Golden Waffles. Don’t get me wrong the waffles are good, but on the “crispy” side. Not the light and fluffy side like these gems! Go ahead… heat up that waffle iron and give these beauties a try! 

Source: King Arthur Flour

Buttermilk Waffles

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 3 minutes

Total Time: 18 minutes

Yield: 4 Large Waffles

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1 stick butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1-3/4 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp soda
  • 1 tsp salt

Directions

  1. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat together the eggs, buttermilk, melted butter, and vanilla. In another bowl whisk together the dry ingredients. Combine the wet and dry ingredients just until almost smooth.
  2. Spray your waffle iron with a non-stick cooking spray before preheating it. For an 8-inch round waffle iron, use about 1/3 cup batter. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the iron stops steaming. Yield: about ten 8-inch waffles.
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