Creating a home by hand.

Baking Day – Company is Coming

We have out of town guests coming on Friday. I’m not sure if they are just stopping for the day or if they’ll be here for Saturday as well.

They are good friends so either way, they’re welcome.

Our family only likes cakes and cookies, etc as occasional treats. But our guests like to have dessert after every meal. And since tomorrow is my regular sheet and house cleaning day, today was baking day.

I started with these Ginger Cookies.

Here’s how mine turned out.


Slightly flatter than hers, but I think that’s because I started out with really soft butter. Next time I make these, I think I’ll pop the batter in the fridge for a bit to firm it up.

I did make two changes to the recipe.  I omitted the raisins because you couldn’t pay my family to eat anything with raisins in it. And I used Demerara sugar rather than the Turbinado that’s called for because that’s what I had on hand.

While the cookies were cooling I made up a batch of Blueberry Oat Bran Muffins.


1 c. flour (I used all purpose, but I don’t see why this wouldn’t work with other flours)
1 c. oat bran
1/2 c. sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

1 egg
1 c. milk
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil

1 c blueberries (fresh or frozen)

Combine dry ingredients. In measuring cup, beat together egg, milk and oil.  Stir liquid into dry ingredients.   Add berries, stir until just blended.

Spoon into muffin pans lined with paper cups.  Bake at 400 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown and skewer comes out clean.  Makes 15 to 18 muffins.

Note:  Before baking I sprinkled each of the muffins with the Demerara sugar I had leftover in the bowl from coating the Ginger Cookies above.

And finally… Cranberry Coffeecake. This recipe I make once a year to use up those leftover cranberries from Christmas. Yes, I had whole berry cranberries sauce leftover from Christmas still in the fridge. It’ll last about a month in a sealed container, but that month is almost up so it was time to get this recipe made.

½ c shortening

¾ c sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

2 c flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

¼ tsp salt

1 c yogurt  (I didn’t have any yogurt, so I soured 1 c milk with 1 tbsp lemon juice and let it sit until thickened )

1 c whole berry cranberry sauce (or whatever is leftover from Christmas as long as it’s at least 1 cup)

Cream shortening with sugar.  Add eggs and beat until light and fluffy.  Stir in vanilla.

In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Add half of flour mixture to creamed mixture.  Add half of the yogurt.    Mix.   Repeat with rest of flour and yogurt.  Beat until smooth.

Spread half of the batter into a very well greased spring form pan. (<-affiliate link)  Top with half of the cranberries. Spread remaining batter over cranberries and then top with remaining cranberries.

Bake for 50 to 60 minutes until skewer inserted into center comes out clean.  Cool for half hour.  Run knife around edge of pan. Remove ring of spring form pan. Cool completely. Run knife between bottom of cake and bottom of pan. Transfer to plate or cake stand.


And you know, I just had to make sure that the cake turned out okay with my substitution.  The rest is wrapped with plastic wrap and in the fridge.   But I’m not sure it will make it until Friday!


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  • limeandlemon
    January 22, 2009 11:58 am

    love all of the 3 recipes .. they look really delicious .. Laila ..

  • mom2fur
    January 23, 2009 9:19 pm

    Yummy! That’s interesting the way you subbed for the yogurt. I would never have thought of such an idea! BTW…thanks for stopping by my blog!

  • Cara
    January 23, 2009 10:20 pm

    Your coffee cake looks so good. I sure do wish I had some cranberry sauce lying around right about now!

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