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Monday, December 22, 2014

Cranberry Cream Cheese Muffins


From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I suspect your holiday dinner plans were set in stone weeks ago, but on the off chance that you still haven't firmed up your menu for Christmas morning, I'd like to suggest these moist and lovely, cake-like, muffins. While they are not difficult to make, Christmas morning can be hectic and the muffins can be made well-ahead of serving time. They freeze beautifully and, if you choose not to do that, you'll be able to keep them at room temperature for several days in an airtight container. I do have a few cautions to share with you regarding the making of these garnet beauties. To prevent lumps, make sure your butter and cream cheese are at room temperature and well-creamed before other ingredients are added. You will also want to make sure your muffin cups or the interiors of your paper liners are well-greased or coated with a non-stick spray. I didn't follow my own advice and had to wrestle them from my cup cake pans. I also managed to end up with enough extra batter to make 2 large Texas-sized cup cakes. I love the texture of these muffins and their bright pop of color is perfect for Christmas morning. I know those of you who give this recipe a try will be happy with the results. Here is how the muffins are made.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Child's Play - Mocha Pecan Balls


From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...If your children are at all like mine were, the lead-up to Christmas is almost unbearable for the six and under crew. An elf, as long as one is placed on every ledge in the house, may help, but I think they're going to need a bit of structured activity to keep them from killing themselves, or their siblings, over the course of the next few days. Why not some time in the kitchen? I have a no-bake recipe that is a sanity-saver for moms. It can be made by the kids, without adult intervention, and it will keep them busy for the better part of an hour or so. You can also factor in another couple of hours for kitchen clean-up and the baths they'll need after shaping the chocolaty balls. Please remember, I promised you cookies, not the garden of Eden. We are, all of us, old enough to know that everything has a price and a light dusting of cocoa powder covering the surface of the earth is a small price to pay for your sanity and a bit of peace and quiet. When I am working with kids under six, I get them started with pre-chopped nuts and crushed wafer crumbs. It's just easier. Strangely enough, this simple recipe makes a really nice cookie that even adults who like tea parties will enjoy. The kids will not make perfect balls, but Christmas is about God's perfection, not theirs, so if an occasion oval or amoeba surfaces, steady as you go girl. Their grandparents will love the cookies almost as much as the hands that made them and the cookies, regardless of who makes them, will make a nice additional to your holiday cookie tray. Here is how they are made.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Friday, December 19, 2014

Last Minute Cinnamon-Raisin Quick Bread


From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I wanted to share this recipe with those of you who manage to run out of treats and sweets before the holiday season ends. This is a fallback recipe that I use when the cookie jar is empty and I need to quickly put something together for guests. The recipe is child's play and the bread tastes much like an old-fashioned coffeecake. It won't make your reputation as a cook, but neither will it harm it. The original recipe appeared several years ago in a Taste of Home publication and while I've kept the ingredients from the original recipe, I've cut their quantities in half, so I don't have to worry about disposing of the second loaf. I like this recipe because I don't have to pull out any special equipment to make it. If you have a large bowl and a wooden spoon you can have sweet bread on the table in an hour. I do hope you'll give the recipe a try. Here is how the bread is made.

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