Ruth's Blog

My Favorite Things: Holiday Edible Gifts

RUTH FOOD BLOG

By Ruth Lahmayer Chipps, MS, RD

Tis the season for tasty indulgences. Here are a few of my favorite food gifts. Enjoy and share with family & friends:

Cranberry Cardamom Bars                 Cranberry Orange Vinegar    Cranberry Ginger Almond Bark
½ c. butter
1 c. sugar
¾ c. brown sugar
2 eggs
1 t. baking powder
¼ t. baking soda
1 t. cardamom, ground
½ t. salt
3 c. flour
¼ c. milk
2 ½ c. fresh cranberries, cut in half
¼ c. walnuts, minced (optional)
¼ c. dried cranberries

Browned Butter Cardamom Frosting:

¼ c. butter
¼ t. vanilla
¼ t. cardamom, ground
5 Tbsp. half & half or cream
4 c. powdered sugar

Bars/Cookies Method: Cream butter, sugar and eggs. Mix dry ingredients and add slowly. Add cranberries, walnuts and dried cranberries. Do not over mix. For bars, spread on cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 min. or until slightly browned on top. For thinner bars, use two cookie sheets. Do not over-bake. Can also bake as cookies.

Browned Butter Cardamom Frosting: In saucepan, heat butter until it lightly browns. Pour into a bowl and add other ingredients. Whisk with hand whisk or mixer. After cookies have cooled, spread on top.

About the Ingredients: Cranberries have long been touted as a health food and they contain antioxidants, which may play a role in reducing risk for heart disease and other conditions. For more information, visit the Cranberry Institute. Cardamom is a unique spice commonly used in Indian cooking. It’s from the ginger family and originates from a small seed pod. Cardamom can be purchased ground as well dried pods, which are excellent sprinkled into whole coffee beans before grinding.

Cranberry Orange Vinegar: Wash fresh cranberries and allow to dry. Boil empty glass containers in water for 5 minutes. Pack the cranberries into containers – fill ¼ of the way. Heat vinegar (white or apple cider) to boiling point and and pour over the packed cranberries. Add a few pieces of fresh orange rind. Add more cranberries if desired, otherwise add the lid. Put the vinegar into a sunny place and let it infuse. Leave for 1-2 weeks, then taste. If you like the flavor, it is ready to use. If not, strain out the vinegar, add more cranberries to the container (pack down well) and pour the strained vinegar back in. Add to dressings for salads, including meat-based salads (great for leftover turkey).

Cranberry Ginger Almond Bark
1 pound white chocolate
1 c. slivered almonds
1 c. dried cranberries
2 Tbsp. minced crystallized ginger
2 Tbsp. fine shredded coconut (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread almonds on a baking sheet to form a single later. Allow to slightly brown for about 5-8 minutes (stir once). Do not over-cook. Remove and allow to cool. Set aside. Melt chocolate in the microwave or double boiler. Stir in other ingredients and spread in single layer on parchment lined baking sheet. Allow to cool. When chocolate is hardened, break into chunks and seal in plastic bags. Makes a lovely gift.

Enjoy the Holiday Season!
Ruth


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Creative Commons LicenseThis blog by Lahmayer & Associates, Ltd. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Feel free to share, copy, distribute, display and transmit this work as long as you attribute the authorship to Ruth Lahmayer Chipps, link back to this webpage and avoid altering or building upon this work. (For non-commercial purposes only).

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