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