Kitchen Creations

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

More Blueberries!

Sadly, this is my last post about blueberries for a bit.  I have used up the last of these frozen wonders from last summer.  The good news is that there will be plenty more to come since we've just planted our own blueberry patch!!  Woo-hoo!  I love all the things we are able to grow here in this beautiful valley and the huge yard God has blessed us with.  Although this is the last of the blueberry recipes  for awhile, it's a great one to end on.  This was originally called a "breakfast cake", but I think it's too sweet for that, so we're just going with dessert on this one; small group dessert to be exact.  When I found the recipe at the "Alexandra's Kitchen" food blog, I knew right away I'd be making it, and soon!!  How can you resist a recipe with blueberries AND buttermilk?!  I couldn't and turns out I was glad I couldn't.  We put the small in small group that night with only 4 adults and 2 kids.  Regardless, we put a HUGE dent in this dessert.

Banish the midweek "blues" with this blueberry goodness tonight!!

Buttermilk Blueberry Cake 
½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tsp. lemon zest or more — zest from 1 large lemon
3/4 of a cup packed brown sugar
1 egg, room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour (white whole wheat worked great)
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 cups fresh blueberries
½ cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon granulated sugar for sprinkling on top

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Cream butter with lemon zest and 3/4 cup of the sugar until light and fluffy.
  • 2. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Meanwhile, toss the blueberries with ¼ cup of flour, then whisk together the remaining flour, baking powder and salt.
  • 3. Add the flour mixture to the batter a little at a time, alternating with the buttermilk. Fold in the blueberries.
  • 4. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan (or something similar) with butter or coat with non-stick spray. Spread batter into pan. Sprinkle batter with tablespoon of granulated sugar. Bake for 45 minutes. Check with a toothpick for done-ness.  Depending on your oven you may need more or less time.  Start checking for done-ness and desired "golden-ness" (I'm liking the "ness" words today!) at about 35 minutes. 
  • Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving.
Click here for printable recipe

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Beauty of Cranberries

Cranberries are another baking favorite of mine.  The problem with cranberries though.... they are seasonal and one can have the MOST difficult time finding them at any time of the year other than Thanksgiving.  This year I got smart.  When those deals hit the stores selling cranberries 2 bags for $3, I stocked up and froze them!!  Now I can make cranberry whatever, whenever!!  (Let me take a moment to congratulate myself on that spectacular move.............. Ok, done.) 

I discovered this particular recipe at "" and made a few alterations (I am me after all.)  The result was a gorgeous and delicious shortbread; the perfect accompaniment to a nice hot cup of tea or coffee.  Seriously, the beauty of cranberries once baked is undeniable.  That deep, rich red is simply divine! 

Once again, I have decided that almost any berry will work here, but the tartness of the cranberry really rounds out the sweet flavor and dryer texture of the shortbread.  It was delectable and enjoyed by all. 

If you are looking for a great brunch, tea or dessert item that looks as good as it as it tastes, you've found it here!

Cranberry Shortbread Bars 
**For the Cranberry Filling:
2 1/2 cups fresh (or frozen!!) cranberries
3/4 cup of granulated white sugar
1/8 tsp. ground ginger
3 Tbsp. water

**For the Shortbread
2 cups flour (I used white whole wheat)
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup brown sugar - packed
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease a 9X9 inch pan
In a medium sized saucepan, combine all the ingredients for you cranberry filling (cranberries, white sugar, ginger & water). 
Cook over high heat until boiling.  Continue to boil until cranberries become thick.  This should take about 5-7 minutes. 
Remove cranberries from heat and let cool.
Cream the butter with a mixer until smooth.  Add the brown sugar and again beat until smooth.  Beat in the vanilla extract.
In a separate bowl combine flour, cornstarch and salt.
Add the flour mixture to the butter and sugar mixture, combine gently until the flour is just incorporated.
Press 2/3 of the shortbread mixture into the bottom of the greased pan. Then spread the cranberry fillin over the shortbread.
Crumble the remainder of the shortbread dough over the cranberry filling using your fingers.  Then lightly press the dough into the filling.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown on top and remove to wire rack to cool.

Click here for printable recipe