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    Cherry Amaretti Trifles

    No-bake Cherry Amaretti Trifles will help you entertain with ease this holiday season. Mascarpone cream is layered with spiced cherry jam and crushed crisp amaretti cookies.

    This is a wonderful little recipe that requires no cooking and no baking – there’s just a little assembly required. It’s perfect for entertaining because the trifles can be made ahead. Mascarpone cream layered with amaretti cookies gives the dessert Italian flair, while spiced cherry preserves provides a tart foil for all that creamy richness.

    Cherry Amaretti Trifles

    Cheesy cream filling.
    Whip together 8 oz. of mascarpone cheese, heavy whipping cream, a little sugar, and a splash of amaretto liqueur in a bowl until thick and fluffy. This creates a light cream filling reminiscent of cheesecake. It’s so silky and decadent!

    Sweet layers.
    Transfer the cream into a piping bag with the end snipped. Fill 4 oz. capacity dessert cups about 1/4 full with the mascarpone cream. Next, layer in some crispy crushed amaeretti cookies. You can find these in the international section at US grocery stores, or at specialty food shops (Lazzaroni Amaretti is an excellent choice!)
    Next, layer in some prepared cherry or red fruit preserves. I used Murray’s Spiced Cherry Preserves in this recipe because almond + cherry are a match made in heaven! It has a unique, almost mulled wine flavor, with cloves and balsamic vinegar reduction. However, you can use any fruit preserve in this recipe, but red preserves look especially festive at Christmastime.

    Repeat the mascarpone and crushed amaretti layer once more before topping the cups with whipped cream. Dollop it on with a spoon, or pipe it as I did using a large closed star piping tip.
    A sprinkle of toasted pine nuts on top of each dessert adds delicious nutty flavor and makes a beautiful finishing touch.

    The trifles look elegant in footed dessert glasses and presented on a serving tray. You can make them a day ahead, reserving the toasted pine nuts and crisp whole amaretti cookie toppings until ready to serve. The crisp amaretti cookies will soften slightly in the refrigerator overnight, which gives them cake-like texture.

    Related recipe: Wintry Coconut Cherry Amaretto Cupcakes

    Cherry Amaretti Trifles

    Heather Baird

    These small Italian-inspired trifles make holiday entertaining a breeze. The recipe uses purchased crisp amaretti cookies and prepared cherry preserves for shortcuts, with a homemade whipped mascarpone cream filling.Assemble the trifles partially a day ahead of time. Layer the cream, preserves, crushed cookies, and whipped cream in clear glasses but wait until the day of serving to add the pine nuts, and crisp whole amaretti cookies.I used Murray’s spiced cherry preserves in this recipe. It can be found at some US grocery stores (such as Kroger’s) or ordered online. It has unique flavor with cloves and balsamic vinegar reduction. However, you can use any fruit preserve in this recipe, but red berry of fruit preserves looks especially festive at Christmastime.

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    Prep Time 45 minsTotal Time 45 mins

    Course DessertCuisine American, Italian-inspired

    Servings 6

    Equipment6 clear footed dessert glasses 4 oz. capacitydisposable piping bagslarge closed star decorator piping tip optional
    Ingredients US CustomaryMetric Trifles8 oz. container mascarpone cheese softened1 cup heavy whipping cream1/4 cup granulated sugar1 tablespoon amaretto liqueur optional5 oz. crisp amaretti cookies 1 package5 oz. prepared spiced cherry preserves or other red fruit preservesToppings3/4 cup heavy whipping cream2 tablespoons granulated sugar6 crisp amaretti cookies whole3 tablespoons pine nuts toasted
    Instructions TriflesIn the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the mascarpone cheese and the heavy cream together until combined. Slowly sprinkle in the granulated sugar as you mix. When the mixture is thickened, beat in the amaretto liqueur, if using. Transfer the cream mixture to a large piping bag with the end snipped. Pipe the cream into each of six 4 oz. clear footed dessert cups about 1/4 full. Spread the top evenly to the edges of the glass using a spoon.Remove 6 whole amaretto cookies from the package and reserve for later. Crush the remaining cookies. Add about 1 1/2-2 tablespoons of the crumbs to each of the cups, spread the crumbs to the edges of the glass using a spoon.Stir the preserves until loosened. Place 1 1/2 tablespoons of the preserves on top of the crushed cookies in each cup. Spread to the edges of the glass using a spoon.Repeat the mascarpone layer once more on to of each layer of preserves. Top the mascarpone layer with more cookie crumbs (you may not have to use all of the crumbs).ToppingsIn the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the heavy cream while sprinkling in the granulated sugar. When the mixture is thick, dollop spoonfuls on top of each dessert cup. Or use a piping bag fitted with a large closed star tip to pipe on a large swirl of whipped cream (as pictured).Just before serving, top the desserts with the pine nuts and a single crisp amaretti cookie.
    If you’re not inclined to use pine nuts on top of these dessert, try toasted almonds. They go so well with the almond amaretti cookies.
    Toast pine nuts in the microwave for a shortcut! Here’s how. Spread the raw pine nuts on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave at 100% power for about 45 seconds to 1 minute. Stir them around and heat in additional 30 second intervals until toasted and golden. be sure to watch them constantly to prevent burning. Pine nuts can be expensive, and I consider them an extra special touch for the holidays. So keep a sharp eye on them!
    8 oz. of cream cheese can be used in place of the mascarpone cheese.

    Keyword amaretti cookies, Cherry Amaretti Trifles, mascarpone cream, spiced cherry preserves, toasted pine nuts

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    Christmas Dessert Board

    Learn how to make a crowd-pleasing Christmas Dessert Board! Build your own board around a homemade touch, while adding semi-homemade and store-bought treats.

    ‘Tis the season for lots of sweets! And what better way to serve them to a crowd than with an abundant, filled-to-the-brim dessert board? I was asked by my friends at to create a guide for building a board that won’t keep you in the kitchen all day. This assembly holds everything your party guests could ask for, including scratch-made shortbread cookies, rich layered cheesecake bars, and a host of semi-homemade and purchased sweets.

    One dough, three cookies!
    This scratch-made cookie is perfect for filling up real estate on a large dessert board. And who doesn’t love shortbread? Whip up one barely sweet shortbread dough and divide it into three portions. Then, add sweet or savory ingredients to each dough. Toffee-chocolate chip, orange-cranberry, and savory smoked cheddar jalapeno cookies are all made from the same dough! Get the recipe at at this link: Gift or Enjoy: Endlessly Customizable Christmas Shortbread Cookies Recipe.

    Layered cheesecake bars.
    This is another homemade touch that will really make your dessert board special. Cheesecake bars are classic, but this recipe gives them a twist. Make three flavors of cheesecake from one pan of cheesecake bars: Peppermint Patty, Cookies ‘n Cream, and Pecan Pie. Get the tutorial and recipe on Endlessly Customizable Layered Cheesecake Bars.

    Semi-homemade treats.
    Some ready-made sweets just need a little dressing up for the holidays. Crushed peppermint and holiday sprinkles can make ordinary sweets look magical! And they’re easy to put together (kids can help!). Find instructions to make these treats in the photo gallery on

    Purchased sweets.
    Seek out colorful and beautiful ready-made ingredients to make your board extra-festive. You can’t go wrong with Sconza’s Holiday Jordan Almonds. I admire this company so much, because they take such care to make all of their sweets beautiful – so you can take them straight from the package and add them to your arrangement. I also used their Milk and White Chocolate Cherries and Gingerbread Toffee Mixed Nuts.

    Christmas Dessert Board
    The photo gallery on has all the information on how to put your own board together, including choosing a board, using containers, and styling tips for a gorgeous spread. See it all in a clickable slide show HERE on
    Related recipe: The Ultimate Southern Brunch Board with Homemade Pimiento Cheese

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    Easy Toffee Walnut Bars

    Easy Toffee Walnut Bars are crowd-pleasing treats and only require a few ingredients! Add them to your cookie baking roster this holiday season.

    If you like to bake-and-give for the holidays, then you should add these to your short list. One pan makes a whole bunch of servings, and everyone loves them. They are chewy and chocolaty with a crumbly shortbread base. I make them year-round, because they are one of my husband’s favorite treats, plus they are SO EASY. Casual as they may be to make, they still taste special enough to make an appearance on fancy Christmas cookie trays.

    Shortbread base.
    Whisk together flour and confectioners’ sugar. Then blend a whole cup of butter into the flour mixture. I used a big serving fork’s tines to mash the butter into the flour to fine crumbs. But you could use a pastry blender if you have one.

    Press the crust mixture into the bottom of an aluminum foil-lined and greased 13×9 baking pan. The flour mixture packs well under your palms, or use the flat bottom of a measuring cup.

    The easiest filling!
    In a separate bowl, beat together sweetened condensed milk, an egg, vanilla extract and a pinch of salt.

    Add to this mixture a bag of milk chocolate-covered toffee bits (such as Heath Milk Chocolate Toffee Bits) and chopped English walnuts. Mix this all together until all the bits are well dispersed.

    Next, pour the mixture over the crust and and bake. The Heath bits and sweetened condensed milk mixture will puff and turn golden as it bakes, creating a chewy crave-worthy toffee topping.
    Easy Toffee Walnut Bars

    I couldn’t help but add an extra drizzle of chocolate on top of each square. This can be optional, but it makes a really pretty presentation. When the chocolate is set, they package up neatly in cellophane bags for gift giving. They also look really pretty on a dessert buffet arranged with some Florentine Cookie Bars.

    Easy Toffee Walnut Bars

    Heather Baird

    These bars are always a hit with their buttery shortbread crust and chewy toffee topping. Made with mostly pantry staples, they come together quickly and are easy to package for holiday gift giving.You can find the Heath milk chocolate-covered toffee bits in the baking aisle at most US grocery stores next to the chocolate chips. If you can’t find the bits, you may buy Heath milk chocolate-covered toffee bars and crush them with a rolling pin to create the 8 oz. of bits needed for the recipe.

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    Prep Time 10 minsCook Time 40 minsTotal Time 50 mins

    Course DessertCuisine American

    Servings 30

    Equipment13×9 inch panzip top bag optional
    Ingredients US CustomaryMetric 2 cups all-purpose flour1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar1 cup cold butter at room temperature1 large egg at room temperature14 oz. sweetened condensed milk one can1 teaspoon vanilla extract1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt8 oz. milk chocolate covered toffee bits one package1 cup chopped English walnuts3 oz. melted semisweet chocolate optional
    Instructions Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 13×9-inch baking pan with aluminum foil that overhangs the edges and grease the foil with nonstick cooking spray.In a large bowl, whisk together flour and confectioners’ sugar. Mash the butter into the flour using the tines of a fork, or with a pastry blender. Combine until crumbly.Press the crust mixture into the prepared baking pan. Bake 15 minutes.Meanwhile, combine the egg, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, and salt in a medium bowl. Fold in toffee bits and walnuts.Spoon the mixture over the baked crust. Bake for 22-25 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown and slightly puffed.Cool in the pan about 15 minutes, then refrigerate until firm. Lift the slab from the pan using the overhanging aluminum foil. Cut into 30 pieces.If using the chocolate drizzle, place the melted chocolate in a zip top bag with a tiny hole in the corner snipped. Lay the bars on a parchment-covered work surface and drizzle each bar with chocolate. Let stand until set, about 20 minutes.Package bars in cellophane bags for gift-giving, or store them airtight between waxed paper.
    NotesA delicious variation to this recipe is to swap in pecans for the walnuts.

    Keyword 13×9 dessert, easy toffee walnut bars, Heath mik chocolate-covered toffee bits, shortbread crust, toffee bar recipe, toffee bars

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    Easy Slow Cooker Peanut Clusters

    These Easy Slow Cooker Peanut Clusters are deliciously salty-sweet and packed with peanuts. This recipe makes more than 6 dozen, so there’s plenty to share for the holidays.
    Easy Slow Cooker Peanut Clusters
    This post was originally published 10/30/2009.
    This recipe is our family favorite that I’ve been making for more than a decade. I first posted it here in October 2009, just one month into my first year of blogging. It comes from our family friend, Ms. Bobbie Ivey. She was a special lady who was well known for her confections in our home town. She would sell them during Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas holidays.
    These peanut clusters were one of her most popular sweets. They appeal to all ages. In fact, my mom just made batch this week for the children’s program at her church. They are old-fashioned and hearty – so simple to whip up for a big gathering, and one batch makes 150 small clusters, or 75 large.

    Confectioners’ coating goes by many names: almond bark, candy coating, or you may recognize name brands like Candiquik. You can usually find it in 24 oz. blocks at the grocery store in the baking aisle next to the chocolate chips. You’ll need two packages of chocolate, and two of vanilla.

    Break up the blocks of candy and place them in a large slow cooker. Turn the crockpot to low and cover with the lid. Stir occasionally until the candy is completely melted and smooth.
    You may be asking – why not use real chocolate bars? I asked this same question before I made my first batch so long ago. So, I tried a batch with semisweet chocolate and the end result was just too rich and very expensive. The cocoa powder in the chocolate candy coating is just enough flavor without being aggressive. And the vanilla coating adds a creaminess. The creamy flavor is a big part of what draws you in, contrasting the salty peanuts.

    The peanuts.
    When the candy is melted add the peanuts. You’ll need two 16 oz. containers of roasted, salted peanuts, and two roasted, unsalted. Now, sometimes I’ll just use what I have on hand. Which may be 3/4 salted peanuts and 1/4 unsalted. Or any ratio thereof. Do try to use at least 1/4 unsalted peanuts give these clusters balanced flavor. Some brands of roasted peanuts are very salty, indeed.

    Stir until all the peanuts are coated and turn the slow cooker to WARM. Setting the temp to warm ensures the candy stays melted while you dip.
    You’ll notice when you stir everything together, that the candy coating is more like a dressing for the peanuts. It’s just enough melted candy to hold all those peanuts together.

    Cover a large work surface with parchment paper (or waxed paper) and – get to dippin! These days I use a cookie scoop to make uniform clusters. Two dips with this scoop make one large cluster. A standard trigger ice cream scoop makes them a little too large, unless you’re aiming for jumbo clusters.

    Candy coating sets up more quickly than chocolate at room temperature (about 70F). When the clusters lose their shine and become matte, peel them off the paper and store airtight. If storing them in Tupperware, separate layers with waxed paper.
    I always love revisiting this recipe. It’s easy and inexpensive considering the high yield, and everybody loves them. I hope you will too.
    (Check out another of our friend Bobbie’s recipes here: Strawberry Delight)

    Easy Slow Cooker Peanut Clusters

    Heather Baird

    This high yield recipe is quick and easy, perfect when you need a crowd-pleasing candy – it’s thrifty too! We always have a batch on the dessert buffet next to the fudge and bourbon balls at Christmastime. Two or four large clusters, packaged in cellophane and tied with festive ribbon makes a lovely homespun gift.

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    Prep Time 30 minsCook Time 35 mins1 hour setting time 1 hrTotal Time 2 hrs 5 mins

    Course DessertCuisine American

    Servings 75

    Equipmentslow cooker largeparchment papercookie scoop optional
    Ingredients US CustomaryMetric 24 oz. package chocolate candy coating (chocolate almond bark)24 oz. package vanilla candy coating (white almond bark)32 oz. dry roasted salted peanuts two 16 oz. containers32 oz. dry roasted unsalted peanuts two 16 oz. containers
    Instructions Place both chocolate and vanilla candy coating in a large slow cooker and turn to low setting. Cover with the lid.Stir occasionally to encourage even melting of the candies. Stir mixture until both candies are combined with no white streaks of candy remaining.Pour peanuts over the mixture and stir until peanuts are coated. Turn slow cooker to WARM setting.Drop by spoonfuls onto parchment or wax paper. Scoop heaping tablespoons for 150 small clusters, or two heaping tablespoons for 75 large. Allow to set completely, approximately 1 hour.Store candies air-tight in Tupperware between sheets of waxed paper, or package in cellophane bags with twist ties or ribbon for gifting.Candy will keep well airtight for up to 2 weeks, or longer if refrigerated.
    NotesUse a cookie scoop (4 teaspoon capacity) and scoop two level scoops for the perfect size large cluster. 
    I think these clusters are perfect as-is, but if you’d like to boost the chocolate flavor, add 1 cup of semisweet chips to the melted candy coating. Mix until melted, then pour in peanuts. This will help temper the semisweet chocolate, and avoid any clouding (fat bloom).
    You could make these with real chocolate bars; however, the end result will be very rich, and you’d need 21 bars (4 oz. each) for the required 84 oz. Very expensive these days.

    Keyword candiquik, candy coating, christmas candy, confectioners’ coating, dry roasted salted peanuts, millionaire candy, old fashioned peanut clusters, roasted unsalted peanuts, slow cooker peanut clusters

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    Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies

    Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies are buttery beyond words! The cookies are speckled with black tea and fragrant with bergamot notes.

    This is an easy riff on my favorite classic shortbread recipe. With just five ingredients, it’s so wonderfully uncomplicated. Earl Grey tea gives it refined flavor and beautiful fragrance, I may just add these to my holiday cookie giveaway trays!
    To make these cookies extra-special, I used a fondant impression mat to make them a little fancier than usual. (I think they look like millwork!) Shortbread, when handled just so, molds so beautifully. It’s not difficult, and I’ll show you how in the video at the end of the blog post. However, if you’re not into molding the cookies, there are also simple slice-and-bake instructions in the recipe notes.

    My current favorite offshoot of the Earl Grey family is Empress Grey. It’s a bit bolder and has a more pronounced orangey flavor than regular Earl Grey. I also really love using Earl Greyer by Republic of Tea in baked goods. It has bergamot oil added to the leaves (see this Earl Grey au Lait Cake). I recommend using your favorite variety in this recipe.

    The dry ingredients.
    First, open up about 8 Earl Grey tea bags. Pour them out into a bowl and give the tea mixture a good look. The tea should be fine, but if you see any large dry leaves floating around, grind them finer in a mortar and pestle (or put the tea in a zip-top bag and crush with a rolling pin).
    Pour the fine tea into some all-purpose flour and whisk to distribute the tea evenly throughout. Additionally, add in some fine grain sea salt and confectioners’ sugar.

    Cream the butter.
    Butter is such an important ingredient in this recipe because it imparts so much flavor. The ratio of butter to flour also gives the shortbread its unsticky texture. Cream 1 pound of room temperature butter well in a standing mixer before adding the dry ingredients.

    As the mixer blends the dough together, it will clump around the beater. This is a good sign that you’re on the right track. Mix it until the dough becomes so cohesive that the motion of the mixer beater begins to clean the sides of the bowl. Transfer the dough to a piece of plastic wrap and pat it into a disk shape. Cover and refrigerate for 10 minutes.

    Molding the shortbread.
    I really wanted to make this shortbread look as beautiful as it tastes. My initial plan was to use my new patterned rolling pin to give the dough surface a gorgeous baroque pattern. Well, in full disclosure – and after many tries – I just couldn’t get it to work right. I received a faulty rolling pin with too shallow a pattern and wobbly handles. What a disappointment!
    As I rolled and re-rolled in frustration, I thought to myself “This is awful, I’d have more luck with an impression mat”. Which was a real lightbulb moment. Then I remembered this Baroque Scroll Relief Mat I purchased for wedding cake-making. It was perfect and turned out flawless tablets of dough.

    How to help molded shortbread cookies keep their shape.
    First of all, and especially with molded shortbread with this amount of detail, you need to freeze the cookies. If molding tablets as I have, freeze the tablets before cutting them into smaller cookies. The edges will be sharper and the cuts will be cleaner. Then transfer them to a cookie sheet.

    Second, bake them from their frozen state. Cold butter releases its water content slower and the cookies won’t puff out of shape.
    Third, bake them at a lower temperature for longer. 300F for 20 minutes was perfect for these 3 to 4-inch cookies. A lower temperature ensures the cookies stay beautifully pale, and the steam escaping from the butter does so slowly. Again, this helps the cookies from distorting or puffing too much.

    From the oven, the cookies will be slightly puffed and lightly golden around the bottom edges. The cookies should have a matte appearance when they are done. I just love how architectural they look!
    Sidenote: These cookies remind me so much of the edging and millwork on the Wedgwood-inspired Tree we put together for a Confetti Fix blog post last year (you can see that post here). I’m obsessed!
    Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies

    I’ve eaten more of these than I care to admit, but they are too good to resist! They make excellent company with a cup of hot tea and a good book. The molded cookies make a fancy-looking gift presented in a little bag tied with ribbon. However, if you’re not inclined to go that route, see the easiest instructions for slice-and-bake cookies in the recipe notes.

    Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies

    Heather Baird

    Earl Grey Shortbread is buttery and rich with delicate notes of bergamot and black tea. Use the tea in sachets, which hold finely ground tea instead of large loose leaves. If using loose-leaf tea, grind the tea to fine consistency in a mortar and pestle, or put the tea in a zip-top bag and crush with a rolling pin.This dough molds beautifully as pictured, or use the slice-and-bake instructions in the notes of this recipe. The silicone impression mat I used is linked in the blog post and recipe. Be sure to note that when baking molded cookies, the temperature and time is low and slow: 300F for 20-22 minutes.This recipe yields about a 2 ½- 3 dozen molded cookies. However, if you’re going the slice-and-bake route you’ll end up with about 4 dozen. Please note the change in temperature and baking time for the slice-and-bake version.

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    Prep Time 40 minsCook Time 20 minsTotal Time 1 hr

    Course DessertCuisine Scottish

    Servings 3 dozen

    Ingredients US CustomaryMetric 4 tablespoons Earl Grey tea about 8 teabags4 cups all-purpose flour plus extra for dusting1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar2 cups unsalted butter at room temperature
    Instructions In a large mixing bowl, combine the Earl Grey tea and flour. Whisk together to disperse the tea throughout the flour. Add the salt and confectioners’ sugar. Whisk until well blended.In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter for 30 seconds. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed. The dough will slowly form as the beater turns. When the dough is well formed it should not be sticky, and it will be thick and clump on the beater.Remove the dough to a piece of plastic wrap and pat into a disk. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.Dust a work surface with flour. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and cut into quarters. Place a quarter on the dusted work surface. Dust the dough and a rolling pin lightly with flour. Roll the piece to a little greater than 1/2-inch thickness. Pick up the dough as you roll to make sure it isn’t sticking to the work surface. If it is, gently prod it loose with a spatula and throw a little more flour underneath it. Lightly re-roll.Use an art brush (or pastry brush) loaded with flour to liberally flour the silicone impression mold. Turn the mat over and tap out excess flour. Lay the rolled dough over the impression mat and press the dough into the cavities with your fingers. Then, use the rolling pin to roll the dough flat to about 1/4 inch. Flip the mold over onto a parchment sheet and gently peel the mold away from the dough revealing a tablet design. Cut away the excess dough from the edges and transfer the molded piece to the freezer to stiffen completely (about 10 minutes). Meanwhile repeat the molding process with the remaining dough.Preheat the oven to 300F.Remove the frozen dough tablets from the freezer and cut into 3-4-inch lengths. Bake the cookies from their frozen state for 20-22 minutes, or until they are very slightly puffed and have a matte surface. The cookies should be pale with the bottom edges very light golden in color.Let the cookies cool on the pans until they are firm enough to move, about 10 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Keep shortbread in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 6 days.
    NotesSlice-and-Bake Version:
    Mix the dough as directed. Divide the dough into two portions. Roll each portion into a log shape about 12 inches long and roll in plastic wrap. Chill until firm, about 1 hour.
    Preheat the oven to 375F.
    Slice the logs into 1/3 inch coins. Transfer them to parchment-lined baking sheets and bake for 12 minutes, or until the edges are lightly brown. Let cool on the baking sheets until they are firm enough to transfer to a wire cooling rack. Cool completely. Store airtight at room temperature.

    Keyword Earl Grey Cookies, Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies, molded shortbread, shortbread, slice-and-bake cookies

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    Cranberry Spice Layer Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

    Cranberry Spice Layer Cake has all the flavors of the holiday wrapped up into one cream cheese-frosted confection.

    I’m hosting Thanksgiving this year, which puts me right in my element. I just love planning a big holiday feast for my family and friends. This is the first time I’ve hosted in years, as it’s usually held at my parent’s home. But since my dad had a stroke last July, my folks already have plenty on their plates. (He’s in rehab, on the mend, and we couldn’t be more thankful!)
    So, with the 2022 Turkey Day baton passed to me, I’m planning the menu well in advance. This cake is the most recent from the test kitchen, and it’s a winner! Truly. Every bite is filled with flavors of fall and winter holidays. I believe this cake recipe could be your go-to for both Thanksgiving and Christmas Day dinners – perhaps beyond!

    The cake batter.
    Forget any preconceived notions about what a spice cake should be (such as dark, molasses-rich, and hotly spiced). This batter is light – both in color and flavor. Buttermilk gives this fluffy batter tang while suspending ground cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg throughout.

    The cranberry filling.
    Start with 2 cups of cranberries – fresh or frozen (I used the latter) and stir them up with sugar, orange zest, orange juice, and a cornstarch slurry. Cook the mixture until the cranberries start to pop and a thick, shiny, slightly translucent filling is formed. Remove from the heat, and to the cooked mixture add more chopped cranberries. This addition gives the filling a touch more tart flavor. Finish it by stirring 2 tablespoons of butter into the hot mixture.
    The butter adds richness and silky texture – don’t skip this step!

    Transfer the filling to a bowl and let it cool, then place plastic wrap on the surface of the cranberry filling, wrap, and refrigerate until well chilled.

    Build the cake.
    Begin with a spice cake layer, then pipe a ring of cream cheese frosting around the outer edge. (This is the same frosting from my family’s favorite Italian Cream Cake). Place half of the filling inside the ring and spread evenly.

    Apply more cream cheese frosting the cake’s exterior and spread evenly. Chill the cake well – the frosting should be firm for the next steps.

    A little sparkle, and some piping too!
    Ok – so, this can be an optional step, but it’s so pretty – especially for Christmas. Coarse crystal sugar gives the cake’s exterior a glittering, almost snowy appearance. Spray the set frosting with a little sugar syrup and then pat on the sugar with your hands. Be sure to watch the video at the end of this post to see how it’s done. You can also roll the cake in the sugar, which can be seen in action in the video here in my Peach Ring Cake post.
    Pipe some simple scroll work on top using the remaining frosting and a small closed star piping tip (such as Wilton #32). It doesn’t have to be elaborate. Just do a few cursive-inspired swirls.

    I opted for simple, natural-looking decors. Fresh cranberries, candied orange peel, and fresh rosemary sprigs all are easy to place around the top edge of the cake without a lot of fuss. And it gives the cake loads of holiday appeal!

    The cranberry filling gives balance to the sweet cream cheese frosting. And there’s just enough warm spices in the cake batter to make this confection feel nice and cozy.

    I’m just so excited to share this Cranberry Spice Layer Cake with all of you – I only wish I could hand out slices personally!

    Cranberry Layer Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

    Heather Baird

    Say hello to your new favorite holiday cake! Light buttermilk spice cake layers are filled with tart cranberry filling and covered with cream cheese frosting. The coarse sugar coating can be optional. It adds a wintry touch to the cake, and sugar crunch. Fresh or frozen cranberries can be used for this recipe. If using frozen, thaw them before using in this recipe.

    #wprm-recipe-user-rating-0 .wprm-rating-star.wprm-rating-star-full svg * { fill: #5A822B; }#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0 .wprm-rating-star.wprm-rating-star-33 svg * { fill: url(#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-33); }#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0 .wprm-rating-star.wprm-rating-star-50 svg * { fill: url(#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-50); }#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0 .wprm-rating-star.wprm-rating-star-66 svg * { fill: url(#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-66); }linearGradient#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-33 stop { stop-color: #5A822B; }linearGradient#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-50 stop { stop-color: #5A822B; }linearGradient#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-66 stop { stop-color: #5A822B; }No ratings yet

    Prep Time 1 hr 15 minsCook Time 55 mins4 hours chilling 4 hrsTotal Time 6 hrs 10 mins

    Course DessertCuisine American

    Servings 12

    Equipment3 8 inch round cake pansmicroplane or zester2 disposable piping bags1 small star piping tipkitchen dedicated spray bottle optional
    Ingredients  Cranberry filling2 1/2 cups fresh or frozen whole cranberries divided1 cup granulated sugar1 tablespoon orange zest from 1 orange3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice from 1 orange2 tablespoons cornstarch2 tablespoon cold water2 tablespoons unsalted butterCake layers1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature2 cups granulated sugar4 large eggs at room temperature3 cups all-purpose flour2 teaspoons baking powder1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt or table salt1 teaspoon ground cinnamon1/2 teaspoon ground ginger1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg1 1/2 cups buttermilk at room temperature1 teaspoon vanilla extractCream cheese frosting16 oz. cream cheese at room temperature1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature8 cups confectioners’ sugar 2 lbs.2 teaspoons vanilla extractDécors2 tablespoons clear corn syrup2-3 tablespoons water1 cup coarse crystal sugar1/2 cup whole fresh cranberries12 pieces candied orange peel about 1/4 cup2 large stems fresh rosemary
    Instructions Cranberry fillingChop 1/2 cup of the whole cranberries and set aside.Place the remaining 2 cups of cranberries, the sugar, orange zest, and orange zest in a medium saucepan. In a separate small bowl stir together the cornstarch and water. Add the cornstarch mixture to the pan and stir.Cook over medium heat until the cranberries begin to pop and the mixture bubbles (about 5-6 minutes). When the mixture is thick, shiny, and translucent, add the 1/2 cup chopped cranberries and the butter to the pan. Stir until the butter is melted. Let cool about 30 minutes, then transfer to a bowl. Cover the filing with plastic wrap touching the surface (see video) and refrigerate until set, 4 hours or overnight.Cake layersPreheat the oven to 350F. Coat three 8-inch round cake pans with flour-based baking spray (or grease and flour pans).In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter until creamy. Slowly add in the 2 cups of sugar while the mixer runs. When the mixture is light and fluffy, add the eggs 1 at a time.In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Add this mixture to the creamed mixture alternately with the buttermilk, beating on low speed. Begin and end with flour. Finally, mix in the vanilla extract.Divide the batter evenly between the three cake pans and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick tester inserted near the center comes out clean. Turn the cakes out onto wire racks and cool completely before frosting.Cream cheese frostingCream together the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the powdered sugar in two additions. Beat until smooth. Add vanilla extract. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and beat again until combined.Remove about 1/2 cup of the frosting to a piping bag fitted with a small star tip. Fill a second piping bag with frosting, fitted with a 1/2-inch round piping tip (or just snip a 1/2 inch hole in the bag with scissors). Cover any remaining frosting in the bowl with a damp towel to keep it from drying out while you work.Place a cake layer on a serving plate or cake stand. Pipe a ring of frosting around the top edge of the cake. Fill the circle with half of the cranberry filing. Stack another cake layer on top and repeat the process, using the second half of the cranberry filling. Top with the third cake layer. Apply a thin crumb coat of frosting to the outside of the cake. Refrigerate until set, about 15 minutes. Cover the cake with the remaining frosting. Smooth top and sides using a cake smoother or bench scraper. Chill until set, about 1 hour.DécorsAdd the corn syrup and water to a small kitchen-dedicated spray bottle, screw on the top and shake to mix. Spray set frosting surface all over with the sugar syrup. Let stand 2 minutes to get sticky. Gently pat the coarse sugar onto the cake on all sides and the top. Lightly brush away excess sugar from the top of the cake.Using the reserved piping bag fitted with the star tip, pipe a looping scroll of frosting on the top edge of the cake. (I can best describe as free-hand cursive-inspired loops, see video.) Sprinkle the scroll work with leftover coarse sugar.Arrange fresh cranberries, orange peel, and little tufts of fresh rosemary around the scroll work on top of the cake.Store the cake in the refrigerator. Bring the cake to room temperature before serving.
    The cake layers can be made in advance and frozen. Wrap the layers well in plastic wrap and place them in freezer bags with the air removed.
    If you don’t have a spray bottle handy to apply the sugar syrup, mix the syrup and water in a bowl and apply it to the set frosting with a pastry brush.
    The candied orange peel I purchased came in chunky strips, so I cut them down with a paring knife to finer ribbons. I recommend doing this if your candied peel is also quite thick.


    Keyword buttermilk cake layers, christmas cake, cranberry filling, cream cheese frosting, spice cake, thanksgiving cake

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    Brown Butter Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Homemade Bourbon Marshmallows

    Move over pumpkin pie! Brown Butter Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Homemade Bourbon Marshmallows are ready to be the star of your Thanksgiving feast.

    It’s not too hard to figure out where the inspiration for these cupcakes came from. When Thanksgiving rolls around my mom always makes a big pan of buttered sweet potatoes topped with golden toasted marshmallows. It’s nearly dessert, but somehow we all accept that it belongs on the plate next to the turkey and dressing.
    Browned butter is what makes the cake extra-special. The toasty flavor harmonizes so well with warm spices and sweet potato.

    Brown that butter.
    Browning butter is easy, but it requires your undivided attention. And it’s the first step of this recipe, so let’s get into it.
    Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Use a light-colored metal saucepan so you can easily see the color of the butter change. It’s much harder to judge the doneness in a dark nonstick pan. Cook until the butter foams and steams. Swirl the pan occasionally as the foam subsides and watch closely as the butter turns golden brown and the milk solids drop to the bottom of the pan. Pour the browned butter and butter solids into a small bowl and let stand until cool but not solidified.

    Mixing the batter.
    Oh, the spices! They will fill your home and give you all the warm and fuzzies. Whisk cinnamon, ginger and allspice into the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, combine the wet ingredients, which includes unsweet mashed sweet potato. You could boil sweet potatoes on the stovetop in water and then mash them. Or save yourself some trouble. Buy a can of organic sweet potato puree (such as this).

    Combine the wet and dry ingredients until smooth. Then add the browned butter along with the solids. Beat it in with an electric mixer, and you should have a thick, fluffy, perfect-looking cake batter.

    Portion it into cupcake liners using an ice cream scoop. If you don’t have a scoop, then aim for about 2/3 full.

    Look at these beauties! They rise and brown evenly, and have a soft, moist crumb.

    Marshmallow time!
    I would understand if you wanted to plop a toasted ready-made marshmallow right on top of those cupcakes for an easy version of this recipe. However. I adore the bouncy softness of a homemade marshmallow. Ever since I topped this hot cocoa cake with homemade marshmallows. Well. I’m a changed woman.
    They’re not all that difficult to make, but they will need some time to cure. You may want to make them ahead of the cake portion. I’ve added a grace note of bourbon to these marshmallows, which makes my southern heart a little happier, and it tastes divine with the sweet potato sponge.

    After the marshmallow cures in the pan for two hours, slice the slab of marshmallow into 25 squares.

    Simple cinnamon American buttercream is quick to whip up, and the perfect adhesive to hold onto the bourbon marshmallows. You’ll just need a little bit on top of each cupcake. (I used a Sultan tube, which pipes the perfect little ring of frosting.) Lightly toast the marshmallows using a chef’s torch, if you have one. Homemade marshmallows are extremely meltable, so use a light touch.

    There’s a lot of love that goes into these cupcakes, from the browned butter to the homemade marshmallows. And if you’re feeling generous, drizzle a little caramel sauce over the tops of the marshmallows and sprinkle on some pecans. I call these toppings optional because there’s already quite a bit going on, but those finishing touches are nice when serving to a crowd.
    One more thing – not everyone will have a chef’s torch to toast the marshmallows. There are oven instructions for this in the recipe notes.

    Brown Butter Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Homemade Bourbon Marshmallows

    Heather Baird

    These sweet potato cupcakes were inspired by my mom’s Thanksgiving side dish of sweet potatoes topped with marshmallows. There are several steps to this recipe, but I think they are well worth the effort. And especially for the upcoming holidays! You can buy unsweet sweet potato puree canned at most grocery stores, and that’s what I used in this recipe. However, you can also make your own by peeling sweet potatoes, cutting them into 1/2 inch chunks, and boiling them until tender (about 15 minutes). Then mash them until fine, or stick them in a blender to puree.

    #wprm-recipe-user-rating-0 .wprm-rating-star.wprm-rating-star-full svg * { fill: #5A822B; }#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0 .wprm-rating-star.wprm-rating-star-33 svg * { fill: url(#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-33); }#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0 .wprm-rating-star.wprm-rating-star-50 svg * { fill: url(#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-50); }#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0 .wprm-rating-star.wprm-rating-star-66 svg * { fill: url(#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-66); }linearGradient#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-33 stop { stop-color: #5A822B; }linearGradient#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-50 stop { stop-color: #5A822B; }linearGradient#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-66 stop { stop-color: #5A822B; }No ratings yet

    Prep Time 1 hrCook Time 45 minsTotal Time 1 hr 45 mins

    Course DessertCuisine American

    Servings 25 cupcakes

    Equipmentchef’s torch8×8 baking pan2 cupcake panspaper cupcake liners
    Ingredients US CustomaryMetric Sweet potato cupcakes3/4 cup unsalted butter2 cups all-purpose flour1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda3 teaspoons ground cinnamon1 teaspoon ground ginger1/4 teaspoon allspice1 teaspoon salt1 1/2 cups granulated sugar1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar1 1/2 cups sweet potato puree3 large eggs1/2 cup sour creamBourbon marshmallows4 1/2 teaspoons unflavored powdered gelatin1/2 cup bourbon3/4 cup sugar1/2 cup light corn syrup divided1/4 cup water1/8 teaspoon salt2 tablespoons bourbon2/3 cup cornstarch1/2 cup confectioners’ sugarCinnamon buttercream1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature4 cups confectioners’ sugar1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamonMilk or cream to thinOptional toppings1/2 cup prepared caramel sauce1/2 cup chopped pecans
    Instructions Sweet potato cupcakesPreheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake tins with papers.Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Use a light-colored metal saucepan so you can easily see the color of the butter change. It’s much harder to judge the doneness in a dark nonstick pan. Cook until the butter foams and steams. Swirl the pan occasionally as the foam subsides and watch closely as the butter turns golden brown and the milk solids drop to the bottom of the pan. Pour the browned butter and butter solids into a small bowl and let stand until cool but not solidified.In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and salt. Set aside.In a large bowl, whisk the sweet potato puree with the granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs and sour cream until well combined. Stir in the flour mixture and combine until only a few streaks of flour remain. Whisk in the browned butter until well combined.Divide the batter between the cupcake liners using a trigger ice cream scoop. If you don’t have a scoop, fill them about approximately 2/3 full. Bake cupcakes for 20-25 minutes or until they spring back when pressed in the middle. Remove them to a wire rack to cool completely.Bourbon marshmallowsLightly spray an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with cooking spray and wipe away any excess with a paper towel.Let the gelatin dissolve in bourbon 5 minutes, or until well bloomed and thickened.In a medium saucepan with a candy thermometer clipped to the side, stir together the sugar, 1/4 cup corn syrup, 1/4 cup water and salt and place over high heat. Boil, stirring occasionally, until the temperature reaches 240°F. Meanwhile, pour the remaining 1/4 cup corn syrup into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.Microwave the gelatin on high until it is completely melted, about 10-20 seconds. Pour it into the corn syrup. Set the mixer to low, and keep the mixer running while you check the sugar syrup.Once the syrup reaches 240°F, remove it from the heat. Keeping the mixer on low, slowly pour the syrup into the gelatin mixture in a steady stream, aiming for the space between the beater and the bowl. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 5 minutes. Raise the speed to medium-high and beat for 5 more minutes. Beat on the highest setting for 1 to 2 minutes more and beat in the 2 tablespoons bourbon; the finished marshmallow will be opaque white, fluffy, and roughly tripled in volume.Pour the marshmallow into the prepared pan. Use an offset spatula to smooth the top. Combine cornstarch and confectioners’ sugar in a medium bowl to make the coating. Sift coating evenly and generously over the top. Let the marshmallow set for at least 2 hours. When the marshmallow has set, use a knife to loosen the marshmallow from the edges of the pan. Invert the marshmallow slab onto a coating-dusted work surface and dust it with more coating. Cut into 25 large squares and dip the sticky edges of the marshmallows in more coating, patting off the excess. Let stand, uncovered, at room temperature while you prepare the buttercream.Cinnamon buttercreamCombine the butter and confectioners in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on high speed until well combined, about 4 minutes. Add in the cinnamon. Add milk or cream 1 tablespoon at a time with the mixer running until the frosting comes to piping consistency. Transfer the frosting to a large piping bag fitted with a large sultan decorator piping tip (see blog post for link). Alternatively, you can use any large fluted piping tip. AssemblyPipe a small ring of buttercream on a cupcake and immediately top with a marshmallow. Repeat the process of piping and topping until all of the cupcakes are topped. Use a chef’s torch to lightly toast the marshmallows. Homemade marshmallows are extremely meltable, so use a light touch. Garnish each cupcake with a drizzle of caramel and a sprinkle of chopped pecans.Store the cupcakes airtight for up to 2 days at room temperature.
    NotesIf you don’t have a chef’s torch, place the marshmallows on a baking sheet and broil them for 2 minutes in the oven. As I stated before, homemade marshmallows are very meltable. When lightly toasted remove them from the oven and place them in the refrigerator to firm. When firm enough to move, transfer them with a spatula to the frosted cupcakes.
    To shortcut this recipe, you could use ready-made jumbo marshmallows instead of making the homemade bourbon marshmallows.

    Keyword brown butter cupcakes, homemade marshmallows, sweet potato cupcakes, Thanksgiving dessert

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    Apple Fritter Bread with Boiled Cider Glaze

    Apple Fritter Bread is filled with chunks of fresh apple, ribbons of cinnamon-sugar, and topped with boiled cider glaze. Nearly dessert, yet breakfast-appropriate. A loaf makes a wonderful homespun gift for a deserving friend or neighbor.

    Confession: I can’t stop making and eating this Apple Fritter Bread. It holds all the best things about baking season. It’s hearty and sweet; uncomplicated to make and it fills your home with delicious aromas. It’s jam-packed with chunks of fresh apple and ribbons of cinnamon sugar. I have plans to make several more loaves just to give to friends and neighbors. I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t love a hefty loaf covered with cider glaze and chopped pecans.

    The first layer.
    First, mix up the simple batter. It’s the buttery, vanilla-scented base that will support and hold all of those tasty additions throughout the loaf. You can use a hand mixer for this task. Layer 1/3 of the batter into the bottom of a 9×5 inch greased loaf pan.
    Next, toss some chopped apples in cinnamon-sugar. You’ll need 3 large or 4 small apples for this recipe. Use practically any apple you have on hand. This bread is very forgiving. Granny Smith is my preference for baking, Gala, Honeycrisp, and Pink Lady work well, too.

    Next, sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon over the apples. I added some chopped pecans, which could be optional. However, the nutty, sweet flavor of pecans is so good in this bread!

    More layers!
    Continue the layering process two more times with the remaining batter and ingredients. Doing this creates ribbons of brown sugar throughout the loaf.

    The final layer will be apples and cinnamon-sugar. The top bakes to deep golden and sugar crusted while the interior becomes moist with the juices from the baked apple chunks.

    Let the bread cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before turning it out. Cool on a wire rack before adding the glaze.

    A magic ingredient.
    Here’s one of my favorite fall ingredients of all time! Boiled cider imparts tart apple flavor. It’s pure concentrated apple in a bottle. You can find it for purchase online from King Arthur Baking. Mixed with powdered sugar, it makes an incredibly flavorful glaze. However, you can still make a cider glaze without it. Use regular bottled apple cider or apple juice in its place.

    Top it off.
    Drizzle the glaze over the bread. This loaf won’t crown much on top, because it is dense with all those apples, pecans, and sugar. This inhibits the middle from puffing up, but doesn’t affect the tenderness of the crumb.

    Add a few more pecans on top, if you’re feeling a little extra.

    This Apple Fritter Bread gets its inspiration from – you guessed it! – fried apple fritters. Which are absolutely delicious but slightly more involved with all that frying. (Find my Homemade Apple Fritter Bread right here – they are worth the effort!) However, this bread doesn’t require much attention, and it is well-suited to those who want to cozy up with a book for an hour while it bakes.

    Apple Fritter Bread with Boiled Cider Glaze

    Heather Baird

    This bread is the perfect way to celebrate fall’s apple harvest, but it’s good any time of year! It is truly reminiscent of fried apple fritters with all those chunks of fresh apple in the batter. You’ll need about 3 large apples to yield the 2 cups of chopped apple required for this recipe. The baker’s stand-by, Granny Smith, is great; however you can use whatever variety you have on hand. Juicier apples will impart more moisture into the crumb, which is nice. I have used Gala, Pink Lady, and Golden Delicious with success.

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    Prep Time 20 minsCook Time 1 hrTotal Time 1 hr 20 mins

    Course Bread, Breakfast, DessertCuisine American

    Servings 10

    Equipment1 9×5 inch loaf pan
    Ingredients US CustomaryMetric Bread batter1/2 cup unsalted butter softened3/4 cup granulated sugar3 eggs at room temperature2 teaspoons vanilla extract2 cups all-purpose flour1 tablespoon baking powder1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt1/2 cup milk at room temperatureApple mixture2 cups chopped apples 3 large, about 10 oz.2 tablespoons granulated sugar1 teaspoon cinnamonCinnamon-brown sugar mixture1/3 cup brown sugar1 teaspoon ground cinnamon1/3 cup chopped pecansGlaze and toppings1 cup confectioners’ sugar1 tablespoon boiled cider or 2 tablespoons apple cider1 tablespoon milk or cream1/3 cup chopped pecans optional
    Instructions Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat a 9×5 nonstick loaf pan flour-based baking spray (such as Baker’s Joy or Pam). Alternatively, grease and flour the pan.Bread batterIn the bowl of an electric mixer (I used a hand-held mixer) cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well with each addition. Mix in the vanilla extract.In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add it to the creamed mixture, beating on low speed, alternately with the milk. Begin and end with the flour mixture. Set aside.Apple mixtureMix the apples, cinnamon, and sugar in a bowl. Toss to coat.Cinnamon-brown sugar mixtureMix the brown sugar, cinnamon, and pecans in a bowl. Stir well to combine.AssemblySpread 1/3 of the bread batter into the bottom of the prepared loaf pan. Top with 1/3 of the apples, and sprinkle over 1/3 of the cinnamon-brown sugar mixture.Spread another 1/3 of the batter over the apples and brown sugar mixture. Do this with two spoons, placing dollops of batter over the sugared surface (see image in blog post), and then spread evenly. Top with another 1/3 of apples and another 1/3 of the brown sugar mixture.Finally, spread the last 1/3 of batter over the last layer (dolloping as before) and finish with the final 1/3 of apples and 1/3 of brown sugar mixture.Bake for 1 hour, or until the top is deeply browned and crusty and a toothpick tester inserted near the center comes out clean.Let the bread loaf stand for about 10 minutes before turning it out to a cooling rack.Glaze and toppingsIn a medium bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and 1 tablespoon of boiled cider (or apple cider, if using). Add the milk and mix until a thick pourable glaze is formed (you may need more or less milk, add it a little at a time). Drizzle or pour the glaze over the loaf and sprinkle the center with chopped pecans.Store the bread covered in plastic wrap at room temperature for up to 2 days. Refrigerate for longevity, up to a week. Bring bread slices to room temperature before serving.
    NotesFreeze it! Wrap the cooled, unglazed loaf in plastic wrap and doubled bag in freezer bags with the air removed. It will keep up to 3 months if stored correctly.
    Thaw bread in the refrigerator overnight. Glaze before serving. 

    Keyword apple bread, apple fritter bread, boiled apple cider, cinnamon sugar coating, fall bread, quick bread

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