Monday, December 7, 2009

I am not proud.

I have two confessions to make.

The first is, I am really pushing to publish this post today, I would much rather be curled up on the couch right now. Which leads me to my second confession...

I am addicted to the terrible Christmas movies on the Hallmark Channel and Falalala Lifetime. I don't know what it is about them. I would never put up with the terribly predictable story lines and bad acting at any other time of the year but it is something about the Christmas theme that just gets me. Jer laughs at me and mocks the movies by making sure at the end that they all lived happily ever after. I am happy to report that they did.

But, I will push through and finish this post tonight. Tonight I will resist the Santas who are dreaming of a life down south and the single mothers looking for love by Christmas. But tomorrow all bets are off.


I made this cake for Thanksgiving but wanted to save it to post now. I guess it is technically dessert but I think it would make a great addition to a breakfast or brunch spread. It really has the texture of a coffee cake.

Cranberry Upside Down Cake
modified from Dorie Greenspan via Playing House

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 t baking powder
1 t ground cinnamon
1/4 t salt
14 T (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup plus 6 T sugar
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries (it frozen do not thaw)
2 large eggs
1 t vanilla extract
1/3 cup whole milk
red current jelly, for glazing

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, place a rack in the center of the oven.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.

Melt 6 T of the butter in a small saucepan. Sprinkle in 6 T of the sugar and cook, stirring, until the mixture comes to a boil. Pour the mixture into the cake pan and scatter the nuts and then the cranberries evenly of the sugar mixture.

Beat the remaining butter (8 T) in a stand mixture with a paddle attachment until smooth. Add the remaining1/2 cup sugar and continue to beat until pale and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add half of the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. Mix in the milk and then the remaining dry ingredients. Spoon the batter over the cranberries and smooth the top.

Bake for 40-45 minutes in a 8" pan or 35-40 minutes in a 9" pan, until the cake is golden and a knife inserted in the center come out clean. Turn the cake out onto a serving platter. If any berries stick to the pan, scrape them off and return to the cake.

Warm the jelly in a small saucepan over low heat, or in the microwave. Gently brush over the hot cake.

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