Tuesday, December 22, 2009

flavours of the season...

Peppermint...gingerbread...and cranberries...all belong to the holidays.

While flipping through an old Christmas magazine the other day...I came across a fun and easy surprise topping for hot chocolate or coffee...peppermint whip. Use your food processor or coffee grinder to pulverize several peppermint candy canes. Fold a few spoonfuls of the powder into freshly whipped cream...about three tablespoons of powder per cup of cream. Spoon dollops of the pink cream on hot beverages...or dessert. It is finger lickin' good...you might just want to have it instead of dessert!

If you are still in the baking mode...you might want to try Cranberry Bliss Bars...a rich and delightful bar that I posted the recipe for last year. And if you like gingerbread...you will like this moist loaf with cream cheese frosting that we have been enjoying this year. It is a recipe I found at RecipeZaar...with a few changes.


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ginger
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon orange extract (optional)
  • 1 cup applesauce

4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
3 teaspoons lemon juice (or use milk if you prefer)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F Grease and flour a 9-inch loaf pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and salt; set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Dissolve baking soda into applesauce and mix into creamed butter. Add flour mixture. Mix until smooth.
  4. Pour the batter into a loaf pan.
  5. Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out just slightly sticky. (Be careful not to over bake, for this cake can dry out easily. Just remember that the toothpick shouldn't come out clean, but a little sticky).
  6. For the frosting, beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla. Gradually beat in the powdered sugar and lemon juice. Frost the loaf when it is completely cooled.

The best of the season to you...


  1. Judy they look delightful. I have never particularly cared for gingerbread but I guess you could leave that out. Hope you are enjoying all the preparations. Christmas blessings to you and yours.

  2. Scrumptious ideas you are sharing today. The photos are lovely too.

    Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  3. I agree...those desserts are scrumptious. She share them with us on Sunday night at a friendship party. You'll be coming back for that recipe.

  4. OOOh I am thinking iced gingerbread would go lovely with poached pears I'm making for our care group get together. .Yours looks wonderful.

  5. I bet your house smells really good after baking that loaf...
    My mouth is watering. I still haven't baked anything yet :0)

  6. Judy, I needed this peppermint whipped cream for Christmas Eve. Thank you for sharing it. I never thought to do that. I am having another family outing in the garage and I will serve it in a bowl along with the hot chocolate. And, I am definitely trying that gingerbread recipe. Oh, how I like finding new good recipes right before I need them. Great post!

  7. Ooohhh..such yummy recipe ideas for Christmas! Thanks for posting them! :)

  8. Hi Judy
    Peppermint and gingerbread are some of my favorite seasonal flavorings, along with cinnamon! Your photos are so delightful ...they could be in a food magazine!

    My husband is buying special Italian pastries today in a historic bakery in Manhattan for us to have on Christmas eve ..I can't wait to see what he chooses! I have not been able to do the holiday baking I usually do as I can't stand as long as needed by the oven. I am hoping that not having so many sweet treats as usual will help my waistline or at the very least will make up for my lack of the usual activity. Hopefully this foot will be all healed very soon -- I had a good report from my doctor yesterday. I can't wait for life to get back to normal :-)

  9. That gingerbread loaf just may be in my oven christmas eve. I think that the smell of fresh baking may be just the final touch to welcome our family home for Christmas. Kathy

  10. Just written out this recipe and will make it tomorrow...thanks. You have a blessed and wonderful Christmas too with all your lovely family

  11. Yummy! It all looks good and thank you!

  12. Judy how yummy! I love those cranberry bliss bars...I should learn how to make them instead of buying them at starbucks all the time.

    Thanks for sharing the great photos.

  13. Oh that sounds terrific. I'll have to try it before the day ends. The cranberry bars look delicious, too.


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~ Ralph Waldo Emerson