This past weekend was filled with baking and holiday cheer! One of the items we baked was Cranberry Orange bread. It is an easy recipe that will have your guests in awe and wanting more. The orange zest and juice gives this bread a moist texture as well as a refreshing flavor. Its the perfect holiday gift or treat this season!
Cranberry Orange Bread
-2 cups flour
-1 cup sugar
-1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
– 1 teaspoon salt
– ½ teaspoon baking soda
– ¾ cup orange juice
– 1 Tablespoon grated orange peel
– 2 Tablespoons shortening
– 1 egg,
– 1 ½ cups fresh Cranberries, coarsely chopped
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
2. Mix together orange juice, orange peel, shortening and egg using a KitchenAid mixer or handmixer. Mix well. Stir flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda in a medium mixing bowl. Stir in cranberries and nuts. Spread evenly in loaf pan. (T.W.O. used a food processor to chop the cranberries.)
3. Bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 15 minutes. Remove from pan; cool completely.
This Chocolate Cheesecake bar recipe has been in our family for years and has been made for birthday parties, wedding showers, dinner parties and holidays. The chocolaty, thick crust combined with the fluffy, dense cheesecake layer makes for a great easy dessert. Check out how to make these bars for your next event….or cozy night in!
Heat chocolate chips and butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Once the morsels are melted, add the Oreo crumbs to the chocolate. Place ¾ the mixture in the bottom of a 9×13 pan. Make sure it is spread evenly. Set aside.
Using a KitchenAid (or handmixer), beat the cheese until fluffy. Add in milk, eggs and vanilla. Mix for about 5 minutes.
Pour the mixture into the pan. Top with the left over crumb mixture.
Bake for 25 minutes or until a butter knife comes out clean.
Remove the bars from the oven and set to cool for about 20 minutes. Refrigerate overnight for best results!!
Waking up in the morning and enjoying a cup of coffee along with a fresh piece of pastry is typical of the European lifestyle. T.W.O. would love to take on that same tradition and bring it to the States. Every day is a vacation, right? Well not exactly, but T.W.O. can help out in the pastry department. Learn how to make this scrumptious cheese pastry that will “WOW” a crowd!
For the Dough:
-2 ¼ teaspoons instant yeast
– ¼ cup water, lukewarm
– ½ cup 2% milk, lukewarm
-¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
– ¾ cup granulated sugar
-1 Tablespoon vanilla
– 1 egg
– 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
For the Filling:
-8 ounces cream cheese or Neufchâtel, room temperature
-½ cup granulated sugar
-1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
– 2 teaspoons lemon zest or orange zest
-3 Tablespoons flour
– 1 cup of your favorite fruit jam or chocolate chips*
*T.W.O. doubled the recipe and made 3 large braids. They used apricot jam, boysenberry preserves and chocolate chips.
In a small bowl, mix the lukewarm water and the yeast together. Set aside. Mix all the dough ingredients together in a large bowl. (It’s best to use a mixer or a pastry blender) Mix in the water/yeast mixture. The dough should form a soft, smooth ball. Set aside and cover for about 2 hours or until the dough has doubled in size.
While the dough is rising, start making the filling. Using a KitchenAid or handmixer, mix the cream cheese until fluffy. Add the egg, sugar and vanilla. Mix well. Finally, add the lemon/orange zest and flour. Place the filling in the refrigerator to chill.
After the dough has doubled in size, place the dough on a floured surface and divide in half. Roll each dough out into a long rectangle making sure it is rolled out evenly.
Spread the cream cheese filling in the middle of the dough. Top with your favorite jam or chocolate chips. Cut 1 inch wide strips around the edge of the dough. Fold the strips towards the middle to create a lattice top.
Click the thumbnails for a larger photo
Once completed, cover the pastries and set aside to rise for about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350ᴼF.
Right before the pastry is ready to go in the oven, brush the dough with egg whites. Sprinkle with sugar. The pastries will bake for about 30 minutes, but watch them closely so your dough doesn’t get brown.
Ready yet? I think so! Now it’s time to pour yourself some coffee and enjoy your pastry! T.W.O. suggests eating the pastry warm. If you want to reheat the pastry, cover it with foil and place it in a 200ᴼF oven for about 15 minutes.
In T.W.O.’s family, we are always sharing new recipes and ideas, so we decided to post about the most recent inspiration from our sister-in-law (aka- our sister!). She invited us over for dinner and made Popovers that were delicious. We loved the idea, so put a spin on her popovers and added Gruyere cheese. Check out how to make these fluffy, flakey, delectable treats!
*Butter is optional for greasing the pan. T.W.O. used PAM instead.
Preheat oven to 400°F. While the oven is preheating, place the muffin tins in the oven to warm.
In a bowl, beat the eggs until fluffy. In a microwave safe bowl, heat the milk until the edges start to bubble. If you have a thermometer, the milk should be about 125°F. Slowly add the milk into the egg mixture making sure not to cook the eggs. Whisk together. After the ingredients are mixed well, add the flour.
Remove the muffin pans from the oven and spray with baking oil. Make sure you get the edges. With a big spoon, pour the batter into each muffin tin, filling it about ¾ full. Once you fill all the cups, place the muffin tin in the oven for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes, reduce heat to 350°F and bake for another 10 minutes. Note – DO NOT open the oven. This will let the heat out and your popovers won’t pop as well! Use your oven light to check on the status of the delicious, airy treats! Also – placing the popovers on the middle rack helps circulate the air.
Here are a couple alternative ways to spice up your Popovers without the Gruyere cheese!
Need a recipe for the holidays that will really impress your guests? Well, T.W.O. has the perfect solution for you – Pumpkin Cheesecake. It’s a moist, creamy and delectable cake that will compliment any meal. There is even better news too – you can make it the night before so you don’t have to worry about baking the day of your dinner party!
– 1 ¾ cups graham cracker crumbs
– 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
– ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
– ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
– 1 stick butter, melted
– 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
– 1 (8-ounce) packages Neufchâtel, room temperature
– 1 (15-ounce) can pureed pumpkin
– 3 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
– ¼ cup sour cream
– 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
– 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
– 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
– ½ teaspoon ground cloves
– 2 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350ᴼF.
In a bowl, mix the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and butter. Create crust by pressing this mixture to the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Put aside.
Using a mixer (T.W.O. uses a KitchenAid mixer), beat cream cheese until smooth. It is important to make sure your cream cheese is room temperature so the filling doesn’t contain chunks of cream cheese. Add in eggs, yolk, pumpkin, sour cream, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Mix well. Slowly combine flour into the filling mixture.
Pour the filling into the springform pan, and make sure it’s evenly distributed. Put a bowl of water on the bottom wrack of the oven. This helps prevent any cracks in your filling. Place the cheesecake in the oven for about 1 hour or until a butter knife comes out clean. Set aside and let cool for 30 minutes. Cover the cake and place in the refrigerator for a minimum of 4 hours. T.W.O.suggests leaving it overnight.
Once you are ready to eat, add some whipped cream to the top of the cake, garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon and serve! Don’t be surprised if people ask for seconds or get caught eating it for breakfast! T.W.O. did!