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Cranberry Upside Down Cake

We had a wonderful Christmas this year, it was especially nice to have a baby in the house.  She was more interested in the wrapping paper and boxes that the presents but I am sure that won’t last too long!

Our Christmas dinner was a very local affair, my parents and grandparents ate chicken from a local farmer, we had potatoes, beets, carrots and cranberries from our land and squash, onions, and apples from other local farms.  I even picked the lemons we used on our recent trip to Arizona!  It was a wonderful meal and this cake was the perfect way to finish it off.  It is a pretty dense cake, I got the recipe from my husbands grandmother, and it pairs really well with the cranberry.  It is lightly lemon flavored and just sweet enough.

Cranberry Upside Down Cake

Adapted from a recipe by Mary Bates

2 cups cranberries, fresh or frozen

1 1/2 cups agave, divided

2 cups flour

4 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 aseptic container of silken firm tofu

1 tsp lemon extract

1 tsp vanilla extract

zest of 1 lemon

In a medium saucepan combined the cranberries and 3/4 cups agave.  Cook over medium heat until the cranberries pop and the sauce thickens.  Pour in to greased 9 inch springform pan, spread evenly over the bottom and let cool.

Pre-heat the oven to 350*F.  Line a cookie sheet with tinfoil and place on the middle shelf of the oven.  In a medium bowl combined the flour, baking powder and salt.  In a blender or food processor, blend the remaining 3/4 cup agave, tofu, extracts and lemon zest.  Blend until smooth.  Gently combined the wet and dry ingredients, being careful not to over mix.  The batter will be thick so spoon it over the cool cranberry sauce and spread out gently with a spatula.  Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool for 15 minutes and then remove the ring of the springform pan and turn the cake out on to a platter to cool completely.  Serves 8 generously.

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Orange Cranberry Pecans

Make this…really, you need to make this.  I can’t send it to all of you and you need to taste these pecans, they are wonderful, amazing and very addictive.  I don’t know why you are still sitting there, go out and buy the ingredients…right now…go!

Orange Cranberry Pecans

Juice and zest of one orange

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

4 cups toasted pecans (toast at 350*F for six minutes)

1 pkg Craisins

In a medium saucepan combined the orange juice, zest, sugars, salt and pepper.  Bring to a rolling boil and add the pecans a handful at a time.  When all the nuts are added continue to cook until the liquid is absorbed.  Take the pan off the heat and add the Craisins and then stir until the nuts are dry.  Spread on wax paper and let cool completely.  Store in an airtight container.

Note:  I have made this a few more time now and I think there are too many cranberries…so I would advise cutting the amount of cranberries called for in the recipe in half.

Cran-Oat Cookies

Congrats! to Marillyn over at Just Making Noise for her win in the Foodie Fight battle.  I had such fun making up my recipe and hope that I get to fight again.

I went to Target last week and one of the many things that jumped into my cart was a cookie scoop.  I had wanted one of these handy utensils for a while now and  I decided to make some Oatmeal Cookies with cranberries to celebrate.  I started with the recipe on the Quaker Oat box and then did some modifications to make it vegan.  They came out great, very chewy and soft with a nice cinnamon flavor.  The cranberries are great in oatmeal cookies, they add a nice tartness that raisins don’t have.

Cran-Oat Cookies

Cran-Oat Cookies

1 cup margarine

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup agave or natural sugar (I used agave)

1/4 cup applesauce

1 Tbsp ground flax seed

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup white wheat or all-purpose flour

1/2 cup wheat flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

3 cups oats (quick or old fashioned, NOT instant)

1 cup Craisins

Pre-heat oven to 350*F.  Cream together the margarine and sugars.  Mix in the applesauce, flax and vanilla.  Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well.  Add the oatmeal and the Craisins and stir to combined.  Drop rounded tablespoon fulls (or a handy cookies scoops worth) on to an ungreased cookie sheet (I like to use parchment paper on my cookie sheet) and bake for 14-15 minutes, or just golden brown on top.  Cool on pan for 2 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely.  Makes 3 dozen cookies.

This is one of my entries in Madhuram’s Whole Grain Eggless Baking Event – Oats