Tart Cranberry Apple Pear Sauce
This time of year I LOVE being in the kitchen. Baking, cooking, and more baking. Mostly with cinnamon. And cranberries. And pumpkin. And apples.
This recipe is an evolution of my original Apple Cranberry Sauce recipe; and much improved if I do say so myself. But you don't have to take MY word for it. (Yes, that was a reference to Reading Rainbow, for the oldsters among us.)
2 Cups of delicious New Jersey grown Cranberries (okay, they don't HAVE to be from NJ, but, humor me here. The Pine Barrens just do SOMETHING to make cranberries amazing)
4 Large Apples (I recommend something on the tart side like Granny Smith)
1/2 Tsp Lemon Zest (this means grating the rind/skin - so please use organic lemons if at all possible)
3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Cup Water
1/2 tsp of Cinnamon
Dash of Nutmeg
Peel & cut the apples & pears into bite-size pieces. Combine the berries, apples, pears, sugar, lemon zest, water, and spices in a medium pot. Bring to a boil. Stir, cover, reduce heat, and simmer for around 10 minutes or until the apples are soft (but with a bit of bite still to them). The fruit and juices will soften and meld together into a deliciously sweet and tart sauce as it cools. Serve warm or cold - both are delicious!
You can top with a bit of vanilla sugar if it's not sweet enough for your tastes (though I prefer it tart, you can also up the brown sugar to one cup, initially). Enjoy!
5 Tbs vegan butter, slightly softened (we used Earth Balance Organic Coconut Spread*)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup apple sauce
1/3 cup of flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 cups of rolled oats
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup dried apple rings, finely chopped
*note: this does impart a slight coconut flavor, so, you can use margarine instead if you don't care for coconut
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment. Mix the butter, brown sugar, and vanilla until creamy. Add the applesauce & mix. Add the rolled oats and mix a bit more. Allow to sit for a few minutes. Add the flour and baking soda and mix once more. Finally, fold in the nuts and apples. Drop by tablespoonfuls on to the cookie sheet. Bake for around 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Makes about 16 sweet, soft, apple-y cookies. Enjoy!
This recipe was adapted from The Big Book of Cookies by Catherine Atkinson. The original recipe calls for butter, eggs, additional white sugar, salt, and raisins. I added the nuts, and eliminated the animal products, raisins, and extra sugar.
Vanilla-Almond Buttery Sugar Cookies for Christmas... or Whenever!
1 cup of unsalted butter, softened (if you use salted, no problem, just skip the added salt, later)
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 1/4 cups of flour (I like to use white whole wheat for pretty much everything)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
yummy sweet decorations of your choice (we used naturally colored sugar sprinkles & semi-sweet chocolate chips for toppings)
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Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Cream your sugar & butter until fluffy, then add vanilla & almond (and try not to eat too much of this because you actually need it for making the cookies!), and finally the egg. In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients then add to the creamed mixture a bit at a time until all mixed. You don't need to chill the dough (awesome when you have kids who want the fun part to commence like, now). Divide the dough into two balls if you have a small work space like me, or one big one, if you are feeling adventurous! I used wax paper on our countertop dusted with flour & dusted the rolling pin as well. Roll the dough to 1/8 inch thickness (or whatever).
We found our metal cookie cutters worked much better than the plastic ones - so I recommend those. Make sure to press all the way through.
Line your baking sheet with parchment paper & set cookies on on top.
Decorate to your heart's content, then bake for about 6 - 8 minutes - check frequently because they quickly turn brown. They're ready when lightly browned at the edges. (but still good even when they're really browned - you can always dip them in your tea!)