I love to bake anytime of the year, but especially at Christmas! I kicked off this year's kitchen marathon with 30 mini-loaves.
Cranberry Orange Bread with Grand Marnier Glaze
1 1/2 c. unsalted butter
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 c. orange juice
1 cup sour cream
2 T. orange zest
2 t. vanilla
4 c. flour
1 T. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 1/2 c. dried cranberries
Glaze: 2 c. powdered sugar and 7-8 T. Grand Marnier
Preheat over to 330 degrees. Butter 2 6 cup loaf pans, or 6 mini-loaf pans.
Cream butter and sugar for 3 min. on medium speed of mixer. Add eggs one at a time. Add orange juice, sour cream, orange zest and vanilla until blended.
In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Add flour mixture and cranberries to wet mixture. Do not over-mix. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake 60 min. for mini-loaves, 70 min. for large pans.
In a small bowl, whisk powdered sugar and Grand Marnier. Glaze should have consistency of maple or corn syrup. Thin with more Grand Marnier if necessary. Let breads cool 10 min. Poke top with skewer and pour glaze over.
*For Cherry-Almond Bread, substitute 1 c. milk for orange juice, omit orange zest, and substitute 2 t. of almond extract for vanilla.
Use 1 1/2 c. halved dried cherries and 1 c. chopped almonds. Use Amaretto instead of Grand Marnier.
Next I made two batches of shortbread. This year I dipped the corners in chocolate and toffee chips.
Old Fashioned Scotch Shortbread
1 pound (4 sticks) butter
3 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup Rice flour (found in Asian section of any market)
Cream butter and sugar. Stir together 2 kinds of flour and add half at a time. Form six balls of dough and spread in a jelly roll pan. Flatten evenly with hands. Prick all over with fork. Run tines of fork across dough in both directions (creating pattern on top). Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. While still warm (after about 10 min.), cut into 1x2 inch rectangles.
"World's Best Cookies" really ARE! Brad has always been a chocolate chip fan, but these are definitely MY favorite and at least tied for first place with him!
World's Best Cookies
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup oil
1 t. vanilla
3 1/2 c. flour
1 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
1 c. crushed Rice Krispies or Corn Flakes
1 cup oats
1 c. coconut
1 package Heath toffee chips
Cream butter and both sugars. Add egg, oil and vanilla. Add remaining ingredients. Spoon onto ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten with a fork. Bake at 325 for 11-12 min.
Makes six dozen.