When You're Looking to Bake a Batch of Joy

Just slipping in here today to share a few recipes that have brightened up my holiday celebrations this year.  Perhaps they might bring a bit of joy to your days as well?

Wherever you are and in whatever ways you are marking the birth of Grace Himself, may you find Him near and feel His Joy way down deep in every last corner of your heart.

Grace to each of you, Dear Friends.


Cranberry Cream Cheese Muffins

(Printable Version)

Prep Time:  15 minutes
Bake Time:  20-25 minutes

1 cup butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1-1/2 cups sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups fresh or frozen (unthawed) cranberries
½ cup chopped pecans

  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  2. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; stir into creamed mixture just until moistened.
  3. Fold in cranberries and pecans.
  4. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Muffins will not brown, so use the toothpick as your guide.
  5. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans and transferring to wire racks.

Yield:  24 muffins

 Cranberry Almond Coffee Cake

(Printable Version)

Prep Time:  20 minutes
Bake Time:  45-55 minutes

½ cup almond paste
6 tablespoons butter, softened
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
3 eggs
1 cup plus ⅓ cup all-purpose flour, divided
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon almond extract
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2-1/4 cups fresh or frozen (unthawed) cranberries

  1. In a small mixing bowl, cream together almond paste, butter, and ½ cup sugar until fluffy.  Add 2 eggs, beating well after each addition.
  2. Combine 1 cup flour and baking powder; add to creamed mixture.
  3. Beat in the remaining egg and ⅓ cup flour.
  4. Stir in extracts and gently fold in cranberries.
  5. Spread batter evenly into a greased 8-inch square baking dish and sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar.
  6. Bake at 325 degrees for 45-55 minutes or until toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.  Cool on wire rack. 
Note:  I threw in the whole bag of cranberries (about 3 cups), which is why the above photo is quite loaded with berries.  This made the cake a bit on the tart side (perfect with a dollop of ice cream!), so I'd probably stick with the amount called for in the recipe next time.


Candy Cane Kisses Cookies

I posted the recipe for these fun treats last Christmas, but I just baked up a batch for a Christmas party and was reminded of just how much I love them.  You can find this recipe by clicking here--updated with fresh photos and a link to the printable version of the recipe.

Now go bake up a batch of joy!


  1. so sad that the printable version doesn't include your *gorgeous* pictures! you definitely captured JOY in visual form. =)

  2. @Rachel Schober: Well, I guess I was thinking they'd be easier to print without photos--but yes, plain old text is *so* sad by comparison ;o). Glad these pictures spread a little joy your way today and I hope you'll have a chance to try these. Love you, Friend, and hope to catch up soon!


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