Sunday, January 23, 2011

Cranberry Pine Nut cake squares

When I looked around at how much food Honey and I waste, I was aghast and ashamed. I never (repeat never) wasted food when the kids were at home. I had no idea how difficult it can be to cook less food. I continue to have a difficult time shopping for less food and using it all. One of my goals that goes along with my defining word, enough, is enough waste already!

When I made Cranberry Liqueur this past holiday season, I was left with all those happy cranberries. They have been staying in the refrigerator, and really are such good tenants that I almost forgot they were there. But now I was hearing a faint whimpering sound. It turned out to be not only the cranberries but a large handful of pine nuts as well. So I sat out to find something to make that would use these two ingredients and give me something good to serve Honey when he gets home for his meal break.

Cranberry pine nut cake squares
adapted from: 1 mix 100 cakes
written by:  Christine France
350 degree oven

This recipe book calls for super fine sugar. An ingredient I would not have in my kitchen unless I made it myself, because we use organic evaporated cane juice crystals. But I have found at least one answer to that little problem. I cream the butter (cold from the refrigerator) and the sugar together and then proceed with the recipe. Most of the recipes in this book are a one bowl style, and adapt very well to small changes. The original recipe called for fresh raspberries, but I knew the cranberries would make a nice substitute. 

3/4 c cold butter cut into small pieces
3/4 c sugar

1 1/2 c flour
1 T baking powder
3 eggs
1 t vanilla
1/4 c whole milk or half and half

1-2 c chopped "happy" cranberries (chopped cranberries left over from making Cranberry Liqueur)

approximately 2/3 c pine nuts*

Cut butter into small pieces, add to large mixer bowl along with sugar. Cream together on med/low until mixed well, turn up to med/high and cream until sugar begins to break down.

Scrape sides of bowl, down to the center, leaving creamed mixture in a pile in the center of the bowl.

Add remaining ingredients listed, flour through half and half. Start mixer on low until ingredients are mixed, turn speed up to medium and beat approximately 1 minute. Stop mixer, add cranberries, mix on low to stir in.

Spread batter in prepared 9X13 pan, sprinkle pine nuts over top. I prefer the nuts on top so that they can bake to a golden crisp texture.

 Gently "pat" the surface of the cake to help the nuts stick to the batter.
Bake 35 minutes, or until tests done in your oven.

Serve with a small scoop of ice cream (to spread like frosting over the top), whipped cream or just plain. Enjoy.

Recipe rating:  It's Ok. (tasty but not special)

*You may also stir half of the pine nuts into the batter and scatter the remainder over the top.

As always thanks for taking a moment to stop and say hello.
I appreciate your time and your comments.

This post will be shared with:
Hearth n Soul @ a moderate life.


Donnie said...

That looks really good. It is very hard to cook for 2 especially if one is a picky eater...not me.

Julie M. said...

This looks delicious! such a great way to use up leftovers in the fridge. I'm always trying to figure out ways to keep from throwing out food as well. I feel so guilty every time I do it.

Elisabeth said...

You certainly put the cranberries and the pine nuts to good use, Melynda. I love the combination of the two. I sure would love to have a piece of that right now with some hot tea. Yumm!

kitchen flavours said...

"Happy" cranberries does makes us happy indeed at snack-time! Looks wonderful! Would be perfect for my tea!

Miriam said...

The name of the dessert alone had me sold :). Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

Beverly@Beverly's Back Porch said...

I love cranberries and pine nuts. This has got to be wonderful.

Swathi said...

love anything with cranberries in it. these are awesome.

LeAnn said...

The cake looks good, and happy. I understand about the wasted food. I've been trying, but it's hard.

Country Wings in Phoenix said...

Oh My Gosh Melynda Sweetie...
What a wonderful share. Does that ever look YUMMY?

I love it that you aren't afraid to substitute and try new and original things. I am not that good.

Thank you for the wonderful share. I can't wait to give this one a try.

Computer training completed on Friday thank goodness. A really great training. I was so exhausted this weekend that I was grateful to have today off. Just a little quiet time.

Hope you have a great Tuesday sweetie. Thanks for stopping by. Many hugs and much love, Sherry

Pegasuslegend said...

Doesnt get any prettier looks marvelous!

Sage Trifle said...

Although I understand the problem of food waste, I don't suffer from it too much. I am married to an eating machine. You know, one of those peope who can eat massive quantities and never gain an ounce. And he dosen't mind helping to polish off leftovers.

That gorgeous sounding cake most certainly would not have to worry about being wasted!

Indie.Tea said...

And I bet cranberries and pine nuts go together so well. The squares must have been so delicious...

girlichef said...

I love this Melynda! I want some happy cranberries all for myself ;) Although I'd love a slice of this cake for breakie! Thanks so much for sharing them w/ the hearth and so ul hop this week.

Pam said...

Oh, this looks great! Love the pine nuts combined with the cranberries. Yum!!!

21st Century Housewife© said...

This looks beautiful Melynda! I love the red of the cranberries against the white of the batter. It sounds like a wonderful cake, and what a good way to use up leftover fruit - yum!

Miz Helen said...

Oh my goodness, just go ahead and cut me a slice of this wonderful Cranberry Pine Nut Cake. Thank you for sharing and you have a great week!

Katie @ This Chick Cooks said...

Your pine nut squares look delicious! Its always nice to find yummy recipes to use up the leftovers. Have a great day!

cheryl@scrapaddict4sure said...

Wow this is very creative I think this was a great use for the cranberries and pinenuts

Mary said...

This looks divine and perfect for this weekends brunch. Thanks so much for the wonderful recipe.

Reeni said...

What a delicious cake with cranberries and pine nuts! Love the combo! I just used cranberry sauce I froze from Christmas to make a dessert. My Dad is in charge of the leftovers - sometimes eating them for breakfast! I wake up to the smell of chili or spaghetti and meatballs - so funny!

Holly said...

I havecranberries left over from my orange cranberry cookies. I may have to try this one. I don't have pinenuts though. I wonder if I should just do chopped pecans. If I do, I'll let you know how it turns out.

Alexis AKA MOM said...

You know my mom bought me that book and I have never tried anything out of but that looks fab!!

Mo 'Betta said...

Thanks for visiting my blog. I think "happy" cranberries would make my mouth very happy!! Cake sounds yummy.

Couscous & Consciousness said...

Melynda, this sounds delicious, and what a great way to use up some "leftovers". Cranberry and pine nuts - great combo :-)