Thursday, December 11, 2008

Rounding out the Care Packages

The weekend was filled with baking, as I wanted to get my 'Thank you' goodies out Monday morning. Unfortunately for me, I did not realize that it would be a balmy 1 degree outside (w/wind chill) Monday morning as I trudged to the post office with a garbage bas full of boxes. I did, however, feel a bit like santa :) hehe. I heard that one of them arrived safe and sound last night, so i think it's ok now to share what else I included...

In the spirit of the cranberry season, I made mini loaves of Orange Cranberry Bread. The orange juice and zest really contribute to the flavor, and I really enjoyed it (don't worry, I made an extra ;) )! I didn't realize until the batter was almost done that I didn't have dried cranberries, so dried cherries got thrown in, in case you notice that they look larger than your average cranberry.



From a post on holiday gift giving ideas over at 28 Cooks, I decided to include some Dukkah. I'd never had it before, but it seemed like the perfect thing to ship. What is it? A mix of ground nuts and middle eastern spices, the possibilities with this one are endless. Just in case I wasn't the only ignorant one, I included a list of potential uses that I compiled from various places on the web. I actually ended up following the recipe found here, adding some pine nuts (since I scaled up alot, that would've been a LOT of sesame seeds!). I think I ground mine up a bit too fine, but still really enjoyed the flavors on this one! I guess it doesn't help when you start picking out the large chunks, either--oops!


So far I've tried it on fresh baked bread


And on a grilled cheese toast of sorts


It's quite yummy and I'm thinking this won't be the last time I make it!! Ooh, I should probably note, in case you don't already know, that cumin seeds don't grind in a food processor, you'll need a coffee/spice grinder for them! I was worried for a bit :) This is definately amenable to individual tastes, too, so have fun with it!

Last, but very not least, to accompany the two other cookies, I had to include my Seven Layer Bars. These are ALWAYS a crowd pleaser, and often requested, so I couldn't let my people down :) I remember them as my mom's, but I think it was my grandmother who started making these. They're a permanent fixture at our family holidays, although there are various versions out there (Magic Cookie Bars?).



Seven Layer Bars
Mom/Grandma's tried and true


1 stick butter (sometimes i go a little less)
1c graham cracker crumbs
1c chocolate chips
1c butterscotch chips
1c flaked coconut
1 can sweetened condensed milk (I use fat-free)
1c chopped walnuts

Place butter in 9x13 pan and put it in the oven, preheat to 350deg. Sprinkle graham cracker crumbs evenly (or somewhat) over butter. Then add both of the chips, coconut, drizzle the condensed milk, then top with walnuts. Bake for 30 minutes (might want to check at 25 min, but you're nose will tell you when it's done!), until golden and bubbly. Let cool before cutting. (this is by far the hardest part for me, I love the ooey-gooey-ness!) Enjoy!!

25 comments:

biz319 said...

Love the 7 layer cookies! I still haven't decided what to bring for my cookie exchange at work - maybe these!

Elina said...

I've never heard of Dukkah. Very interesting!!
I love 7 layer bars and I feel like I've been seeing them everywhere lately. I think I need to make some. I already had 1 yesterday (a co-worker brought one in) and 1 today (meeting goodies at the office). Love 'em!

seejessrun said...

I'm baking presents this year too!

Esi said...

That's some good weekend baking you did there. It's a balmy 80 today...jealous?

ashley (sweetandnatural) said...

We call them Seven Layer Squares around my house. I grew up on them! My dad thinks they're his "specialty"...it's the only thing he knows how to bake. :-)

VeggieGirl said...

AMAZING BAKING!!!

Fitnessista said...

my mom makes a variation of the seven layer cookies that i LOVE them!! when i think of christmas, that's one of the first things that comes to mind :D
dukkah is fabulous!

Reeni said...

Everything looks delicious! I have been craving dried cherries for some strange reason, I bet they were really delicious in the bread. I have to try the Dukkah, YUM!!! Last but not least the cookies, seven layer of amazing!!!

Krista said...

All that baking looks so good1 I have to get started on mine very soon!!

Rose said...

mmm... good stuff in this post, for sure. You are a really good cook - always such great recipes here.

Christina said...

7-layer cookies are always a hit. I've never heard of dukkah, either, but it sounds really good!

Meghann said...

Love the snowflake serving plate :)

Meg said...

What a yummy post! I love magic cookie bars, but your 7 layer cookies look amazing!

Balance, Joy and Delicias! said...

so many goodies!!!
I love this holiday season because I'm seeing everyone's blog making so many goodies!!!!!!

Erica said...

Fabulous! What a wonderful Santa you are! And what a trooper for goin gout there in that freezing weather! Merry Christmas :)

Juliet said...

Dukkah looks goooood! I've never heard of it before... I am going to try to make some.

Ricki said...

I've been wanting to try dukkah for ages! This looks so great--thanks!

MizFit said...

I LOVE making the 7 Layer cookies. and since Im trapped at home today that might be precisely what I need to break up the monotony (and since I have a party to go to tomorrow I shall pretend Im making em to bring along...until the Toddler and I eat most of them)

Mrs. LC said...

ooh, yum! 7 layer bars have always been a staple at my house growing up, too. (well I guess ours were 6 layers...I'm deathly allergic to tree nuts lol). I tried making a triple chocolate version once. Use chocolate graham crackers, semi sweet chocolate chips, milk chocolate chunks (instead of butterscotch), and white chocolate chips (instead of walnuts). yum!

alexandra's kitchen said...

you are such a good little elf! making such delicious treats. Seven layer bars are indeed a crowd pleaser. haven't made them in ages. your cranberry-cherry bread sounds delectable.

Adam said...

Well there is certainly nothing wrong with the classics. I think the holidays are all about the tried and true :)

Thanks for your good luck wishes, hopefully I'll have some good news late next week :)

Catherine said...

That bread looks so amazing... I'm jealous of whoever's getting those care packages!!

GroundedFitness said...

I would like 7 seven layer cookies please. or a 49 layer cookie. whichever one.

Kelly Turner
www.groundedfitness.com

Dani Spies said...

Whoever is on the receiving end of those care packages is very, very lucky! Everything looks great. I need to get started on my baking ASAP!!

Erin of Care to Eat said...

Oh yummy!
At one of my fave restaurant in PDX, the Dukkah was phenom. Love!
NEED YOUR ADDY!

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