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Thursday, April 14, 2011


Ok everyone Easter is just about a week away!  With holidays come out of town guests. With out of town guests comes lots of cooking.  Let me help you!  I have two great recipes you can serve for breakfast or brunch.  And guess what I actually have found the time to post these recipes.  How?  You may ask.  Well, I was lucky enough to contract a kidney infection!  Yep, 104 temp. with pain so bad in my back, sides and abdominal region I could cry.  My husband and my mom have been great as they have taken over the job of taking care of the baby and the two three year olds.  So I have been laying in bed since Tuesday (with no t.v. in bedroom I may add).  Today I finally have the strength to check e-mails, pay some bills and post recipes on my blog while laying in bed.  So....the two recipes I have for you are: Vanilla Bean & Cranberry Coffeecake, which is in this post, and Italian Sausage, Pepper and Parmesan Cheese Strata ( which will be the next post).  When I say the coffee cake is to die really is to die lie!  Please do not substitute the vanilla bean for vanilla extract.  Recipes that include the seeds from the vanilla bean taste to dramatically different than recipes that use vanilla extract.  The vanilla bean really does make this recipe.  When I shopped at Caputos for ingredients they were out.  I found some at Jewel in the spice section.  If your local grocery store does not have them I am sure that Trader Joes or Whole Foods would carry them.  Also, it is not cranberry season.  Ask your local grocery store to point you in the direction of whole frozen cranberries.  They work just as well, just pat them dry as they tend to have excess water when the thaw.  This recipe is for sure a "make ahead" recipe so you can make it the day before your guests arrive...bonus!


  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 cups fresh or thawed frozen cranberries (6 ounces)
  • 2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened, divided
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • Garnish:  confectioners sugar

Preheat oven to 375°F with rack in middle. Generously butter a 9- by 2-inch round cake pan. Line bottom with a round of parchment paper and butter parchment.

Scrape seeds from vanilla bean into a food processor with tip of a paring knife (reserve pod for another use if desired). Add sugar and pulse to combine. Transfer to a bowl.

Pulse cranberries with 1/2 cup vanilla sugar in processor until finely chopped (do not purée).
Whisk together 2 cups flour, baking powder, and salt.

Beat together 1 stick butter and 1 cup vanilla sugar in a bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down side and bottom of bowl. Reduce speed to low and mix in flour mixture and milk alternately in batches, beginning and ending with flour, until just combined.

Spread half of batter in pan, then spoon cranberries over it, leaving a 1/2-inch border around edge.

Top with remaining batter and smooth top.

Blend remaining 1/4 cup vanilla sugar with remaining tablespoon each of butter and flour using your fingertips. Crumble over top of cake.

Bake until a wooden pick inserted into cake (not into cranberry filling) comes out clean and side begins to pull away from pan, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool in pan 30 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely, crumb side up.

Recipe Courtesey of

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