Favorite Christmas Desserts 2014

By Jodee Weiland

Every year I watch anxiously to see which of my Christmas desserts will be the most popular with the readers. Without a doubt, the two most popular cookie recipes from my Christmas desserts are my Italian Biscotti and my Italian Bow Knot Cookies. But there are other favorites desserts as well, so I have put together this list of my Favorite Christmas Desserts 2014. Be sure to check them all out because some are old favorites, but there are new favorites as well!

http://learnfromyesterday.comFavorite Christmas Desserts 2014 are listed here, left to right:

For more wonderful dessert choices, check out my page, Dessert Recipes! Many of the other desserts on this page are favorites as well. The list above of my Favorite Christmas Desserts 2014 contains only those recipes that readers seem to seek out more frequently during the weeks before Christmas, but there are definitely more choices. I hope these dessert recipes help you plan for your holiday, so Happy Holidays and enjoy!

Holiday Cranberry Vanilla Frozen Yogurt

By Jodee Weiland

During the winter holidays, everyone looks forward to all the special treats usually associated with that time of year. Apple pies with cranberries and cranberry sauce are two that come to mind during the holidays for my family. Cranberries add such a unique flavor to any recipe and are well-loved by many, so why not use some of that homemade cranberry sauce in a frozen yogurt. Frozen yogurt tastes good any time of year. I love both homemade cranberry sauce and frozen yogurt. That’s why I decided to find another tasty way to use some of that homemade cranberry sauce I love by making my Holiday Cranberry Vanilla Frozen Yogurt with it!

http://learnfromyesterday.comSome folks can’t even begin to imagine having turkey without cranberry sauce. Later, when making sandwiches with the leftover turkey, cranberry sauce will be added. I used to love doing that when I was a little girl growing up. Now that I have my own recipe for fresh homemade cranberry sauce and know how easy it is to make, I decided that the sweet tart taste in this side for turkey would be awesome in frozen yogurt as well. The pieces of cranberry from the cranberry sauce add a delicious taste and texture to this awesome frozen yogurt.

http://learnfromyesterday.comHoliday Cranberry Vanilla Frozen Yogurt 

  • 2 cups nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup sugar (or the appropriate equivalent of non sugar sweetener)
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 cup fresh homemade cranberry sauce (made with whole cranberries)
  • Miniature dark chocolate chips and chopped walnuts to sprinkle on top (optional)

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http://learnfromyesterday.com

http://learnfromyesterday.comEither make or use leftover fresh homemade cranberry sauce. Then blend together the yogurt, sugar, vanilla, and skim milk in a mixing bowl with a hand mixer on medium speed until the sugar is dissolved, about one to two minutes. Once done, blend the fresh homemade cranberry sauce into the yogurt mixture with the hand mixer on low for about one minute. Following the directions of your yogurt/ice cream maker, turn it on and slowly pour in the blended yogurt and cranberry sauce mixture. Once it is all in the yogurt maker, let the mixture thicken into your creamy yogurt as the machine works its magic, usually about thirty minutes. When ready, scoop the frozen yogurt into serving dishes, putting any leftover frozen yogurt into a freezer storage container and freeze for later.

http://learnfromyesterday.comMy Holiday Cranberry Vanilla Frozen Yogurt is absolutely delicious with its rich sweet tart taste! Serve it with miniature dark chocolate chips and chopped walnuts to sprinkle on top if desired, but it is delicious with or without these toppings. This would also be great served with a slice of my Apple Cranberry Walnut Pie or for those who don’t want walnuts, my Sweet Juicy Homemade Apple Pie. However you decide to serve this delicious frozen yogurt, it is a wonderful dessert option for anyone, and your guests will love it. In fact, they will be asking for more. So if you’re looking for something that says “Happy Holiday” to your guests, this would be a great choice. So enjoy!

Homemade Shortbread Cookies

By Jodee Weiland

Shortbread cookies have always been a favorite for me, since I was a little girl and first saw the red plaid packaging on a shelf at the store. That packaging meant I would bite into a shortbread cookie that would just about melt in my mouth. I loved them! I recently decided that I would like to create a rich buttery shortbread cookie for my holiday table this year, so I did just that. The result was my Homemade Shortbread Cookies, and they are delicious!

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I researched shortbread butter cookies and found that traditionally they are one part white sugar, two parts butter, and three parts flour. They also are actually considered biscuits. Now some people will make them with granulated sugar, some with powdered sugar, and some with a mixture of both. Today, many people will add vanilla and salt as well. The variations are unlimited. I decided to use powdered sugar in my recipe for the quality of smoothness it would add to my cookie. I changed my proportions from the traditional ones because of this. I also added vanilla because I feel it adds some additional flavor. Since I use unsalted butter, I  added a very small amount of sea salt. The result was a shortbread cookie that will be a flavorful delight for anyone who loves shortbread!

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Homemade Shortbread Cookies (makes 55 to 60 cookies)

  • 3 cups unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar to sprinkle across the top (two 9″ x 13″ baking dishes)

NOTE: This recipe may be divided in half in order to make one batch at a time.

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http://learnfromyesterday.com

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In your electric mixer, first cream the butter until smooth and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar to this mixture and blend it in thoroughly. Then beat in the vanilla gradually. Mix the flour and salt together and then gradually add it into the butter mixture while blending it all together in the electric mixer. You may have to blend the last of the flour mixture in using a wooden spoon at the end.

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http://learnfromyesterday.com

 

 

 

 

Divide the dough into two batches, and then with your fingers press it evenly across two 9″ x 13″ baking dishes. Using the tines of a fork, make a pattern of dots across the top of both batches. Then sprinkle lightly one tablespoon of granulated sugar across the entire top of both baking dishes.

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http://learnfromyesterday.com

Bake at 300 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes or until edges are a light golden brown. Cut into approximately 1″ x 3″ strips using a sharp knife immediately after removing the baking dish from the oven. Leaving the strips in the baking dish, set the baking dishes on cooling racks for 30 minutes before removing the strips and placing them on a cooling rack to cool down completely.

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My Homemade Shortbread Cookies are buttery melt in your mouth cookies that are absolutely delicious! This recipe will give you about 55 to 60 cookies depending on how you cut the strips. If you want less, divide the recipe in half easily. Two batches or one, this simple shortbread cookie recipe will make a wonderful addition to your holiday cookie selection. They are so good, you will probably make them more often than just the holidays, so enjoy!

Classic Bread Pudding with Fruit and Nuts

By Jodee Weiland

I have always wanted to make bread pudding, simply because I love it! Bread pudding is a great way to make a dessert out of day old bread. I often serve crusty loafs of fresh bread with a meal, so when I had a half loaf left from the day before, I decided to make bread pudding. First, I researched tons of recipes, and then I took what I liked about all of them and blended it into a recipe I thought would taste good. I altered a few options somewhat, but nothing that would take away from the basics of bread pudding. With the decisions I made, I wasn’t wrong because the results were delicious. My Classic Bread Pudding with Fruit and Nuts turned out great, and we’ll be enjoying this recipe for a long time to come!

http://learnfromyesterday.comFor one thing, I decided to use light brown sugar in my recipe and less of it. Why? Because with all the sauces available to put on top of bread pudding, I felt this dish would be sweet enough. Since I decided to use a drizzle of salted caramel topping I had purchased earlier, I felt that would definitely add sweetness. Personally, I love bread pudding with or without sauce. I also used almond milk in place of milk. The bread I used was from a crusty loaf of freshly baked bread as well. In addition to the bread, I added a mixture of raisins, dried cranberries, walnuts, almonds, and other nuts. Again the dried fruit would add to the sweetness of the bread pudding, and the whole almonds plus other nuts add a crunch. Together, all of the ingredients made a wonderful bread pudding!

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Classic Bread Pudding with Fruit and Nuts

  • 1/2 loaf fresh baked crusty bread or 5 to 6 slices
  • 2 tablespoons melted unsalted whipped butter
  • 3/4 cup mixture of dried fruits and nuts (see above for what I used)
  • 4 eggs beaten
  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

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http://learnfromyesterday.com

http://learnfromyesterday.com

http://learnfromyesterday.com

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut up bread into cubes and put them in an eight inch square baking dish. Sprinkle the fruit and nuts across the top of the bread. Melt the butter and drizzle it across the top.

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In a mixing bowl, blend together thoroughly the eggs, almond milk, brown sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon. Beat together until mixed well. Then pour this mixture over the top of the bread, fruit, and nuts. Using a fork or spatula push down lightly on the bread pieces making sure all the bread is soaked well with the liquid mixture.

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http://learnfromyesterday.com

Bake the bread pudding 45 minutes or until done. Test by pressing a fork lightly on the top. It should spring back. Also, put a fork or toothpick in the center and make sure it comes out clean when removed. Once done, serve as is or with a sauce of your choice.

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My Classic Bread Pudding with Fruit and Nuts turned out great, and we’ll be enjoying this recipe for a long time to come! As it cooked, the whole house smelled so good, we could hardly wait to try it. When we did, we weren’t disappointed. We drizzled a salted caramel sauce over the top, and that added to the flavor. You can use any kind of sauce you prefer or make one of your own. Since this was the first time I made bread pudding, I’m still working on that. Give this dish a try soon. You’ll love it, so enjoy!

Awesome Apple-Delicious Apple Recipes

By Jodee Weiland

The fall is a great time for apple recipes! Families love to go apple picking in the fall, only to return home and start digging out the favorite family apple recipes to make. My family is no different from everyone else. We, too, loved to take the children apple picking every fall and sure enough, when we arrived home we pulled out our favorite family apple recipes to bake. The one other thing we have done over the years is to add to those apple recipes with new ones we created or found along the way. The Awesome Apple-Delicious Recipes are just a few of our favorites! http://learnfromyesterday.com So if you are looking for some new apple recipes after apple picking, be sure to check out our five favorite family Awesome Apple-Delicious Recipes pictured above. You can find them at the following links for the pictures from right to left as follows:

Apple Strawberry Crumb Cobbler

Apple Cranberry Walnut Pie…Sweet, Juicy, and Delicious!

Apple Walnut Bread…For Apple Picking Time or Just Any Time

Apple Galette, the Versatile French Pastry We All Love to Eat!  

Sweet Juicy Homemade Apple Pie is Perfect for Apple Picking Time!

My Awesome Apple-Delicious Recipes are absolutely wonderful and definitely are our family favorites for apple picking time or any time. These apple recipes are great tasting and so full of wonderful flavor! You won’t be disappointed if you try any one or all of these recipes after your family returns from apple picking or any time of the year. So when you’re looking for a new apple recipe to try, give one or all of these delicious recipes a try, and enjoy!