Sunday, December 8, 2013

25 Days of #HotHolidayHints: Day 8 with Stephanie Berget

Cranberries are so festive at the holidays and Stephanie Berget shows us how she uses them in a delicious cake on Day 8 of 25 Days of Hot Holiday Hints! Leave a comment for a chance to win a $5 Evernight gift card! We're giving one away each day!

Every autumn, usually from mid-September until around mid-November in North America, cranberries reach their peak of color and flavor and are ready for harvesting. Cranberries are one of the most unique fruits in the world. One of only three fruits native to North America, cranberries grow in the wild on long-running vines in sandy bogs and marshes. 

It was Native Americans who first took advantage of the cranberry’s many natural attributes. By mixing mashed cranberries with deer meat, they made a survival food called pemmicana. They also believed in the medicinal value of the cranberry, using the berry in poultices to draw poison from arrow wounds. 
The rich red juice of the cranberry was also used as a natural dye for rugs, blankets and clothing. All just some of the reasons the cranberry has been called the wonderberry. During World War II, American troops required about one million pounds of dehydrated cranberries a year.

As we move into the holiday season, I stock up on fresh cranberries. I found out the hard way that it's impossible to buy fresh cranberries after Christmas. Three packages, frozen, will keep our house in cranberry pancakes and Cranberry Christmas Cake throughout the year. The pancakes are self-explanatary and the cake is sinfully delicious. Sugar and butter and berries, oh my.

I have never cared for canned cranberries, but fresh ones are a different story, especially since I first baked the cake.

Now if you're looking for a light dessert or a low-fat, low-sugar concoction, this is not the one for you. However, if you're like me, and figure a few weeks out of the year, it's okay to get off the diet and exercise band wagon, this one may be for you.

I found this recipe in a cooking magazine over twenty years ago and have made it to rave reviews every Christmas since then.

Christmas Cranberry Cake

3 eggs
2 cups sugar
¾ cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 ½ cups fresh or frozen cranberries, thawed
2/3 cupchopped pecans
Whipped cream, optional 

In a mixing bowl, beat eggs with sugar until slightly thickened and light in color, about 5 minutes. Add butter and extract: beat 2 minutes. Stir in flour just until combined. Stir in the cranberries and pecans. Spread in a greased 13x9x2 inch baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted near the center comes out lean. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream if desired. Yield: 16-20 servings

This is a pretty cake, too. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

Stephanie Berget is the author of Sugarwater Ranch.

Bar-manager Catherine Silvera finds a waterlogged, unconscious cowboy freezing to death in front of the Sugarwater Bar. She saves his life--then runs faster than a jackrabbit with a coyote on its tail.  Any man who makes his living rodeoing is bad news, especially if Sean thinks partying is part of the competition. He’s everything she doesn’t want in a man, so why can’t Catherine shake her attraction to the rugged cowboy?

Sugarwater Ranch is available here!


amy bowens said...

Loved the history about the cranberry. I never knew any of that! I also enjoyed the recipe I will have to give it a try! Your book sounds great can't wait to read and I love the cover nothing like a sexy looking cowboy!. Thanks and have a Merry Christmas!

angieia said...

This recipe sounds really good! I am going to try it for work when we take treats.

Your book sounds really good, also!!

elaing8 said...

I am not a fan of canned cranberries either. I make mine fresh every year.
And this cake sounds delicious.

Stephanie said...

Thanks for the comments. I hope you all enjoy the cake. . . and the book. Merry Christmas.

Jessica Hale said...

yum cake sounds yummy and book sounds good