I was expecting that my first use of my new mixer would be granola bars, something that doesn't really require a mixer at all, just a wooden spoon. My eagerness to try the sleek beast of a Kitchen Aid would have combined with my need for tasty and substantial snacks throughout the workday, and chewy golden oat, nut and fruit bars would have ensued.
Here's what really happened. The mixer waited. It sat patiently in the kitchen where an amaryllis raced toward blossoming. I worked, and packed, and ate and slept, and the mixer waited. It waited until it was given whipping cream and maple syrup, and then it whipped it fast, beautifully. We had Mexican hot chocolate with whipped cream, cinnamon and shaved chocolate. Now initiated, the dreamy Kitchen Aid will be kept busy. Within minutes, it was mixing up dough for cranberry tassies.
Last week, I made a small plea for cookie baking parties. I have since been happily inundated. Friday: pfeffernüsse and cranberry tassies. Saturday: a veritable cookie event. Ladies will be hauling their Kitchen Aids over to Ana's big kitchen, heaps of butter and flour will be transformed into stacks of gingersnaps, sugar cookies, molasses sugar cookies, shortbread, lemon squares, peppermint chocolate cookies and more cranberry tassies and pfeffenüsse. Glorious indeed, but I suspect it'll be quite a while before I need those granola bars.
Because this is primarily a page for my fibre art, a few unsweetened words. Moving and studio time are less than compatible. I have a pile of half-ironed hemming, tannin dyed curtains and a walnut-coffee duvet to rinse, and tea cozies waiting to be sewn and embroidered. I am looking forward to getting my new studio up and running. Fueled by cookies, I think it will be a dream.
Recipe collected and adapted from Sabrina M. in Montreal a few winters ago. We will return for more baking hopefully next year!
Note: The cranberry conserve makes enough for three batches of dough and then some to spare. Luckily, it's very tasty on its own. A single batch of the dough doesn't make very much, so I strongly recommend tripling the dough recipe. One 250g block of cream cheese is enough for three batches of dough.
3 oz cream cheese
1/2 c butter
1 c flour
Combine, divide in half, chill.
3 c raw cranberries
1 orange, peeled & chopped
1 red apple, chopped
1 1/2 c sugar (2 c if you like it really sweet)
1/3 c Grand Marnier (this I forgot to buy, so I used a capfull of organic orange extract)
1/2 c pecans, chopped ( I roasted these while cooking cranberries)
Simmer all EXCEPT Grand Marnier and pecans until tender and thicker. Remove from heat, add GM and pecans (or add pecans when cool), and cool completely.
Roll out the cookie base, 1/2 at a time, to 1/4 " thick. Cut with a small (2"?) round cutter and place on an ungreased tray. Place 1 tsp of cooled conserve on each cookie. If there is a lot of liquid in the conserve, drain excess liquid from the spoon when placing the conserve, so each top is mostly fruit and nuts.
Bake 18-20 minutes at 350°.
As you can see, we applied the cranberry conserve with enthusiasm, and a generous hand.