When the weather changes and the cool winds of autumn start to blow, our thoughts tend to turn towards the harvest. Following are some of the Triple Oaks families favorite recipes.
Lorraine's Cranberry Cake
(Always served at Garden Club teas at the shop)
2 3/4 Cup Sugar 1 Cup dairy Sour Cream
3 sticks of unsalted Butter 1/2 tsp Brandy extract
6 eggs room temp 1 teaspoon vanilla
3 1/4 C all purpose flour 3 Tbsp. Cranberry Liquor
1/2 tsp. salt 1 Cup Fresh or Frozen Cranberries
1/4 tsp Mace 1/2 Cup Nuts (optional)
Cream Sugar and room temp butter until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each. Add liquid flavorings. In another bowl, sift together the remaining dry ingredients. Add to mixture alternately with the sour cream, starting and ending with the dry ingredients.
Pour into a well-greased and floured tube pan or 2 small "Turk's Head pans. (Loaf pans will also work) Bake 325* for 1 to 1-1/2 hours, until a toothpick comes out clean and the cake has pulled slightly away from the sides. Cool 15 minutes then remove from pan.
Frosting for Cranberry Cake:
1 stick butter beaten with 1 lb. cofectioner's sugar, 3 Tbl Cranberry Liquor, and enough milk to make desired consistency. If you want a drizzled effect spread while still warm. Stores well in fridge.
Another Fall favorite of Lorriane's is her buttery Ginger Snaps. These are always served for our Thanksgiving and Christmas Open-House.
3/4 Cup room temp unsalted Butter 2 Cup flour
1/4 Molasses 2 tsp. Baking soda
1-1/3 Cup granulated sugar 1 tsp Cinnamon
1 large Egg 1 tsp ground Cloves
1 tsp Vanilla 1 tsp Ginger
1/4 tsp salt
Cream together the first 3 ingredients until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat well. Add the dry ingredients and mix until thoroughly combined. (Do not over-beat, you will have tough cookies)
Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before pinching off 1 inch balls of dough.** Roll into balls, dip in sugar, then place 2-1/2 inches apart on cookie sheet. Bake 375 oven. Cookies have a crinkle look. Delicious served with hot stewed apples.
** Alternately, dough can be stored in the freezer, wrapped in plastic in tube shape. While frozen, you can slice a few as needed then throw back in the freezer. Can last in the freezer for 3 months. Great to make ahead, then pull out to bake for any unexpected holiday company!
An unexpected delightful treat is a blonde brownie flavored with the aromatic herb, Rosemary. This is one of our employees favorite sweet treat, and she highly recommends them!
2 eggs 1/2 tsp powdered Rosemary
1 Cup firmly packed Brown Sugar (I prefer using fresh but it needs
1 Cup Flour to be chopped very fine) 2 tsp. vanilla 1 Cup sweetened dried
1 Tbl Baking Powder fruit/candied fruit/ or
1 tsp. Salt Golden Raisins, Chopped
Beat eggs, til light yellow, Add sugar gradually, and beat together, then add vanilla. Sift together dry ingredients, then add into the wet mixture. If using dry rosemary, add with the dry ingredients when sifting, if using fresh, add with the wet ingredients. Add the chopped fruit and nuts and fold into the mixture. Bake in a buttered and floured 8x8 inch pan at 350* for 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from pan while still warm. Cool and cut into bars. Absolutely delightful!
In Juliet Blankespoor's chapter on Violets in The Healing Garden, she recommends making a "mineral-rich springtime fairy vinegar" using the leaves and flowers of other spring edibles like chickweed, dandelion and nettles. This is my version of her recommendation. I use this in vinaigrettes - it can be taken by the teaspoonful or mixed in water, tea or other beverages.
1 quart organic apple cider vinegar
Generous 1/2 cup each of the following: fresh violet leaves, fresh violet flowers, fresh chickweed tips with flowers, fresh dandelion greens, fresh dandelion flowers, fresh nettle leaves, 1 (one) fresh green garlic (optional)
Wash and dry leaves and flowers. Wash garlic, remove root end and cut in half. Layer leaves and flowers into a clean quart jar. Stick the green garlic into the jar. Pour vinegar over all to fill the jar. Cap with a non-metallic lid, label and date. Leave in a place out of direct sunlight, where you will see and shake it everyday to activate the ingredients. I leave mine to macerate for 4 to 6 weeks and then strain out the botanicals. Use within 6 months - up to a year.
Makes one quart.