Cranberry and white chocolate muffins

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This week has felt like a very long week so I decided yesterday that we were in need of some sugar at work today to help sustain us all through the last day of the week. I decided on this recipe as I had some leftover cranberries that had been loitering in the fridge since before the New Year. Cranberries and white chocolate are a perfect combination as the sweetness of the chocolate balances the sourness of the cranberries. I’ve made other white chocolate and cranberry recipes before including these very popular white chocolate and cranberry cookies and the bundt I made last week. These were very popular with both mine and Mr Birdie’s work colleagues. I have to say I wasn’t overly fussed by them but everyone else loved them (with one of my work friends declaring that they would marry me because of them!)
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Cranberry bundt cake with white chocolate glaze

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So it was back to work this week after two weeks of being a lady of leisure. To help ease my colleagues and I back into work I decided cake was needed. As I had some cranberries that needed using I opted to make this cranberry bundt cake. Last year I made this glazed cranberry lemon bundt around the same time as I had some cranberries left over after Christmas. I found this recipe online and as with a lot of bundt recipes it is American so the quantities are in cups. I’ve included some conversions but if you’re in need of some more precise amounts you might find this website useful.
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Glazed cranberry lemon bundt

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I do love the combination of lemon and cranberry. Last year I made these lemon and cranberry cookies which were delicious. I think it’s a combination that works really well. I’ve been wanting to make a Bundt cake for ages but didn’t have a tin. Every time I would go into TK Maxx I used to look at the tins and think shall I buy one? I resisted but decided to request one as a Christmas present. Luckily my Dad obliged and on Christmas day I opened not one but two lovely Bundt tins. One was a Savarin tin and the other was a fluted one which I used for this recipe. Before Christmas I picked up a packet of fresh cranberries and they sat in the fridge. They were well-traveled cranberries as they came all the way to Devon with me (sat in the fridge in Devon) and then traveled back to Hampshire before being used. I decided that a cranberry Bundt would be a good way to use these poor cranberries (which were beginning to look a little but past their best). I found quite a few different recipes (which I have collected together on my snazzily titled ‘All about that bundt…‘ Pinterest board) using fresh cranberries but as I had some lemons that needed using (as explained in my Lemon drizzle loaf post) I decided that this was the recipe to go for.
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Cranberry & white chocolate shortbread

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Ah the holidays. I had planned to do so much baking. Mary Berry’s seeded breadsticks. Squidgy pear and chocolate cake. Carrot cake cupcakes with pineapple cream cheese frosting. Then I was ill. And the thought of food – one of my most favourite things in the world became my least favourite thing. Even the thought of baking. It has been a sorry old week in the Little Birdie household. Only now am I beginning to feel like facing food again.

I did however manage to make these shortbread on Thursday. I was visiting my lovely friend Kathryn who is allergic to egg so needed something biscuity without any egg – shortbread was the perfect solution. I had spotted this recipe in this month’s Good Food magazine and knew I wanted to give it a go so Thursday seemed like a good time. This is a Mary Berry recipe. It’s only the second time I’ve made shortbread and I have to say it wasn’t a complete success. It was a little crumbly and didn’t quite look like the picture. My husband was horrified at the inclusion of semonlina (having honed his baking skills working in the kitchen of a National Trust property he likes to think he knows what he’s talking about!) and was insistent that only flour, butter and sugar should be used! The semonlina is used to give the shortbread a crunch.

They are however tasty and go very nicely with a cup of tea or coffee. This recipe will make 8 wedges that will keep for up to a week in an airtight container or will freeze for 2 months (defrost at room temperature).
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Blueberry and Cranberry Crumb Muffins

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Just before the New Year I bought a packet of fresh cranberries which until today had been sat in the fridge. I knew I wanted to try making some muffins with them. I thought I would probably go for cranberry and white chocolate as this is a combination of flavours I like but after some research I found the recipe for these blueberry and cranberry crumb muffins which looked interesting (and also vaguely healthy given they’re packed full of fruit!) It is an American recipe from a blog called ‘Oh Sweet Day!’ which you can find here. You’ll need cups or alternatively if you’re going to convert the measurements I find this page from Delia’s website handy. The batter is quite thick but don’t let this disconcert you! The crunchy crumble topping makes a nice contrast to the fruity, moist muffins. I made 15 muffins from this mixture.
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Christmas Is Coming Part 3 – Lemon and Cranberry Cookies

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These were a BIG hit at work today. I have made them once before this time last year when they were very popular so I decided it was time to try them again. Although they are called cookies they are a cross between a cookie, a cake, a scone and a rock cake. They taste fresh , melt in your mouth and are perfect for this time of year. This is an American recipe from one of my favourite blogs ‘What’s Megan Making’. You can find the recipe here. As it’s an American recipe you will need some cups (or use a conversion website – I used one from the Delia Online website that you can find here). I made 15 cookies although I could have made them slightly smaller.
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Christmas Is Coming Part 2 – Triple Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

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As promised another cranberry based cookie recipe. These cookies are packed full of Christmas flavour. Cinnamon – check. Cranberries – check. Chocolate – check. I made these last year and they were well received so decided to give them another go. The recipe is from the blog ‘What Megan’s Making’ which I am a fan of. You can find the recipe here. It is an American recipe so you will need some cups for measuring out the ingredients. It also gave me an opportunity to try out my new cookbook stand that I picked up in TK Maxx this week.
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Christmas Is Coming Part 1 – Cranberry & White Chocolate Cookies

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Christmas is coming and the goose is getting fat…so it must be time for some Christmas inspired recipes! This time last year I became a bit obsessed with cranberry based cookie recipes. As December is now here I felt it was time to revisit some of these recipes. These cookies are from ‘The Hummingbird Bakery’ Cake Days book. I’ve made these once before and liked the flavour combination. We enjoyed these today when we made a Starbucks pit-stop with friends on the way to a christening in Tunbridge Wells. I plan to post a few more cranberry based recipes over the next weeks so keep your eyes peeled!

I had intended to try out this recipe for macadamia and cranberry American cookies from the BBC Good Food website however when I saw the price of macadamia nuts in Tesco yesterday (£4.20 for a 250 gram bag!) I decided to think again. This is an easy recipe that you can make in one bowl – just be careful to not over bake them. I am still getting to know my oven and found they quickly went a little too brown and lost their chewiness. They would make a lovely festive gift for someone wrapped in cellophane or in a box and decorated with some festive ribbon. This recipe will make 10-12 cookies.
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