Category Archives: Winter/Christmas

Cream Cheese Mints

cream-cheese-mints-nancycI love the scent of pine during the holidays. And the taste of peppermint and mint–flavored sweets! This holiday season, I’m enjoying both.

Right now, I’m using the new limited-edition winter scent of ECOS™ Dishmate™ Hypoallergenic ecoswinterpineDish Soap–they have a special holiday scent called Winterpine that they sent me to try, and it smells so fresh and clean!  It’s a great way to add the scent of pine to your kitchen. If you’re not familiar with ECOS™ products, they are earth-friendly and made with plant-derived cleaning agents that clean well and are gentle and safe to use.

And I’m also eating some wonderful minty sweets! These Cream Cheese Mints are kind of addicting. They have a rich, creamy, minty flavor. I like them more than I thought I would, which makes them dangerous for me to have around. So I’ve been sharing them with friends and everyone really likes them. You can make these yummy mints for any special occasion–birthday celebrations, wedding and baby showers, wedding receptions, and, of course, the holidays! I tinted mine red (or I guess you could say pink) and green for Christmas, but you can tint them any color you want. Or don’t use any food coloring and leave them a soft creamy white. This recipe makes about 175 small mints, which is a lot, but you’ll need a lot if you’re making them for holiday parties or any other event!

CREAM CHEESE MINTS by NancyC, adapted from BettyCrocker.com

Makes about 175 small mints

  • 2 (3-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened (or use 6 ounces from an 8-ounce block)
  • 2 Tablespoons butter, softened
  • 6 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon mint or peppermint extract
  • Red and green food coloring, optional

In large bowl, cream the softened butter and cream cheese together, then add the confectioner’s sugar, 3 cups at a time, and blend until smooth. Mix in mint extract. The mixture gets pretty thick, so you may need to work everything in with your hands. Or, you can mix all the ingredients with a food processor (use on-and-off pulses until mixture comes together in a ball).

If you’re wanting to tint your dough red and green (or any 2 other colors), divide dough into 2 equal portions and place on wax paper or parchment paper; add a few drops of red food coloring to 1 mound of dough and a few drops of green food coloring to the other mound of dough; work in or “knead” food coloring into each mound until the coloring is evenly tinted to your desired shade. If you’re just making one color, you won’t need to divide the dough, and if you want your mints to be creamy white, you can skip this whole step–just leave out the food coloring.

Roll dough mixture into small balls (I rolled mine into balls that were between 1/2″ and 5/8″ in diameter-I wouldn’t go any larger than that or they will take forever to set–smaller is better!). Place on waxed paper or parchment paper–lined cookie sheets and flatten each ball with a fork. Let stand about 2 hours or until dry (If the mints are still a little soft after a few hours, go ahead and put them in the refrigerator to finish drying). When mints are set and dry, cover with another sheet of wax paper and refrigerate until ready to serve.

These mints are perfect for parties or sweet little food gifts! And this recipe makes plenty of them, so you’ll have extra for yourself!🙂  Besides pine and mint, what other flavors and scents do you enjoy around the holidays?

Linked to Fiesta Friday, Meal Plan Monday.

Gifts that Change a Life from World Vision and a Giveaway!

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The Christmas shopping season has begun once again and gift-giving is on everyone’s mind…the perfect time to tell you about some gifts that help improve the quality of life for struggling children and families living in extreme poverty in the U.S. and around the world. The 2016 World Vision Gift Catalog invites you to Share Big Dreams this Christmas by not only giving a gift, but changing a life. And, World Vision is sponsoring a very special giveaway of beautiful handcrafted items made by artisans from around the world, which I’ll tell you about in a minute!

worldvisioncatalogBut first, in case you’re not familiar with World Vision, here’s some information about World Vision and their gift catalog:

  • The 2016 World Vision catalog is the 21st annual edition, and offers more than 100 meaningful gifts. Plus, there are more than 250 items available for giving online at www.worldvisiongift.org.
  • Popular items being given from the catalog to those in need include a goat and two chickens, clothing for children, ducks, and medicine.
  • Over 30 gifts in the catalog are $35 or less, including gifts like chickens, job training, or school supplies.
  • 84% of World Vision’s operating expenses are used for programs that benefit children, families, and communities in need, and they provide assistance to people in almost 100 countries.

Here are some ways you can support World Vision:

  • Choose a gift to donate…give a gift to help a child or family, from farm animals to farming tools, by going to www.worldvisiongifts.org or call 1-855-WV-GIFTS. Hard copies of the catalog are also available upon request.
  • Gifts can be given in honor of a loved one. Cards can also be printed or emailed from the website at any time to let an honoree know that something special has been given in their name this Christmas.
  • You can give a general donation to be used Where Most Needed…a one-time gift that will go towards needs that might otherwise go unmet.
  • You can donate and receive a handcrafted gift for yourself or for someone else–this donation will go to Where Most Needed. Choose from a variety of items like the beautiful Vietnamese Silk Scarf, Upcycled Artisanal Bowl, Thai Patchwork Tote, Drops of Turquoise Earrings, and much more. There are so many beautiful, unique handcrafted gifts online at the World Vision site!

I hope you’ll take some time to visit the WorldVison.org and learn more about how they are helping people worldwide and how you can be a part of that! You can also follow World Vision on social media: Facebook: /wordvision; Twitter and Instagram: @WorldVisionUSA

Now for the giveaway! The Giveaway is now Closed! The winning comment was #1, made by Pam!

worldvisiongiveawayThis giveaway, compliments of World Vision, includes 6 items worth $530. They’re pictured in the top photo and in the photo to the left: an Upcycled Artisanal Bowl, a package of Organic Coffee with a coffee scoop, a beautiful Vietnamese Silk Scarf, a Tree of Life Votive Holder, a Turquoise Medallion Necklace, and a Mango Wood Beaded Bracelet.

If you’d like to enter to win this giveaway from World Vision, leave a comment on this blog post telling me what your favorite gift item is from the World Vision site. Leave your comment on this blog post between now and Thursday evening, December 1, at 8 p.m. (CST). The random drawing will be made from comments on this post only! The winner will be chosen randomly via Random.org and the winner will be notified via email later  Thursday evening or Friday. If winner does not respond within 48 hours, I will do another drawing. This  Giveaway is limited to readers in the Continental U.S.

First entry:  Leave a comment on this blog post telling me what your favorite gift item is from the World Vision site.

Bonus entry (one per person): Follow my blog by email or on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram–If you are a new or existing follower or subscriber, you can leave one extra comment telling me the way (or ways) you are following.

Note: If your comment doesn’t show up right away, don’t worry–it just means I haven’t had the chance to click on it to approve it before it becomes visible!

Linked to Inspire Me Monday.

Fresh Cranberry Sauce

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It doesn’t seem possible that Thanksgiving was yesterday! The big meal we all look forward to has come and gone. The turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, and countless side dishes and desserts shared with family and friends…it’s all a pleasant memory now, unless you’re still enjoying the leftovers.

in_winters_kitchen_150dpi_rgb_1Most likely, you probably had cranberry sauce as one of the side items on your table or buffet. I was never much of a fan of cranberry sauce as a kid, but I like it now, especially if it’s homemade. As I was reading a review copy of the book In Winter’s Kitchen, by Beth Dooley, I found a recipe for cranberry sauce which I decided I had to try, since I’ve never made homemade cranberry sauce.

In Winter’s Kitchen is not actually a cookbook, although there is a small recipe section at the back of the book. It’s part memoir–the author shares stories of her family’s past Thanksgiving meals and winter meal traditions–and part informational guide to the local food movement Dooley discovered when she relocated years ago from New Jersey to Minnesota. She provides lots of information and insight on the benefits of eating locally–grown, fresh, organic, in-season foods. The book is well-written and very informational if you are wanting to learn more about farm-to-table foods.

I really liked the flavors in this cranberry sauce recipe–it’s sweet, but not too sweet and has a slight cranberry tartness. It’s much, much better than the sauce you buy in a can and it’s so easy to make–so hopefully you’ll get a chance to try it out sometime during the holiday season.

CRANBERRY SAUCE from In Winter’s Kitchen 

Makes about 2 cups

  • 3 cups fresh cranberries, rinsed and sorted
  • 1/2 cup apple cider or orange juice (I used apple cider)
  • 1/2 cup sugar, honey, or maple syrup (I used 1/4 cup honey and 1/4 maple syrup)

In a medium saucepan, bring the cranberries and cider or orange juice to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the berries have popped open, about three to five minutes. Stir in sugar, honey, or maple syrup.

NOTE: The original recipe doesn’t say to do this, but after stirring in the honey and maple syrup, I continued to simmer the mixture an additional 5 minutes, then let it cool. The mixture will thicken as it cools, and then you can transfer the sauce into a small serving bowl.

Not only does this cranberry sauce taste great, it adds a nice touch of tradition to winter meals. Hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving and are having a nice holiday weekend!

Linked to Inspire Me Monday.

Gingerbread Granola

Gingerbread Granola @ NancyC

It was time for me to make granola again and I love trying out different flavors! I had thought about making Gingerbread Granola during the holidays, but didn’t get around to it. I still wanted to try it this winter season, though, and I thought adding some dried cranberries into the mix, a little touch of red, would make it a wonderful granola not only for the holidays, but for Valentine’s day, too. So this is a perfect granola for all winter long…for breakfast, brunch, or a healthy sweet snack. And people love receiving treat bags filled with granola–it makes a great homemade food gift!

As you might be able to tell from my photo, I mixed in both dried cranberries and golden raisins into my granola.  I really like the sweetness and color they add.  I also like the rich molasses flavor blended with the other spices in this!

GINGERBREAD GRANOLA by NancyC

Makes about 6 cups

  • 4 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup ground flaxseed or wheat germ
  • 2/3 cup raw shelled sunflower kernels (if using roasted and salted kernels, add them to the mixture after baking)
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup light olive oil or non-GMO canola oil
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups dried cranberries or golden raisins (or 3/4 cup of each)

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line a 10 x 15″ or 13 x 15″ baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

In a large bowl, toss the oats, flaxseed or wheat germ, sunflower kernels, chopped pecans, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. In small microwaveable bowl, heat molasses for about 15 to 20 seconds to make consistency thinner and easier to stir. Then in a medium size bowl, blend molasses, oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract, stirring everything well (the oil may separate from the other ingredients, but blend it as well as you can). Add this syrup mixture to the dry oat mixture, mixing until everything is thoroughly coated.

Spread granola mixture onto prepared baking sheet and bake at 350˚F for 30 minutes, until mixture is golden, stirring every 15 minutes so granola bakes evenly. Remove from oven; stir in dried cranberries and/or raisins, if using, and then let the granola cool completely (the mixture will get crunchier as it cools). Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks (or you can store a little longer in the refrigerator).

I have a good-sized jar of organic ground ginger, and I used some of that for this. I still have quite a bit of ground ginger, so I may be making more gingery recipes! Are you a fan of gingerbread-flavored treats?

Linked to Fiesta Friday.

Marshmallow-Topped Sweet Potato Casserole

Marshmallow Topped Sweet Potato Casserole @ NancyC

I made this sweet potatoes casserole this past Thanksgiving and Christmas. And I was kind of craving it again, even though you normally don’t think of having sweet potato casserole in January! But it’s one of those classic comfort food recipes and we had some cold winter days last week, so I thought, why not? Why not make a sweet potato casserole in January? Besides, it’s such an easy side dish to put together!

I used a little more sweet potatoes and made this casserole in a 9 x 9″ pan, slightly smaller than the 12 x 8″ pan the original recipe from Pillsbury said to use. I don’t have a 12 x 8″ pan, and a 13 x 9″ pan is too big for this. So that’s why I used 9 x 9.” It work out fine, although I’d probably use a 12 x 8″ pan for this casserole if I had one. Using two 29-ounce cans of sweet potatoes might seem like a lot, but it’s really not that much when you drain and empty them out of the can. They fill up a 9 x 9″ pan quite nicely, and in a 12 x 8″ pan, you have a little more room to spare to nicely tuck in all those marshmallows!

MARSHMALLOW-TOPPED SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE by NancyC, adapted from Pillsbury

Makes a 9 x 9″  or 12 x 8″ pan

  • 2 (29-ounce) cans sweet potatoes, drained
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 teaspoon salt
  • 15 to 16 large marshmallows (or use an equivalent amount of miniature marshmallows)

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease or spray a 9 x 9″ pan or baking dish (or use a 12 x 8″ size) with nonstick cooking spray.

Spoon sweet potatoes into your greased baking dish. Pour melted butter over potatoes. Sprinkle with brown sugar and salt, then top with marshmallows.

Bake at 350˚F for 20 to 25 minutes or until potatoes are completely heated and marshmallows are lightly browned.

I think my marshmallows got a little more browned than they should have. Next time I make these, I need to remember to lower my oven rack a notch below the middle and see if that helps keep them from browning so much–or maybe I could cover the casserole with foil the last ten minutes of baking. Any other ideas?

I really love the way the butter and brown sugar blend and give the sweet potatoes an almost caramely coating! And of course the melty marshmallows are the perfect topping! If you are a sweet potato casserole fan, then you may have already made something similar to this recipe. But if you haven’t, you’ll want to try it! Don’t feel like you need to wait till next Thanksgiving!🙂

So are you a sweet potato fan?

Linked to Fiesta Friday, Wow Me Wednesday, Whimsy Wednesday, Create It Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, Thursday Favorite Things.

Retro Beef Stew

Retro Beef Stew @ NancyC

I found a beef stew recipe in a vintage promotional cookbook that was published in 1961, the Cutco Cook Book. I found the Cutcocookbook at a flea market for $1.00, so I couldn’t pass it up! I love the vintage illustrations in these old cookbooks and it’s always fun to try recipes from them.

I first made this stew about four years ago, and this is actually a repost of the recipe–my original photo was really bad–this one’s a little better! I made a few more tiny changes to the recipe, too–I used light olive oil instead of vegetable oil (you can also use canola oil), used a little less water, and added a little more peas. The new amounts are updated in the recipe below.

Winter is the perfect time to eat a hot bowl of stew and I made this on one of the coldest days we’ve had so far this season! It’s a very chunky stew, so if you’re wanting to make something hearty, you’ll have to try this. The cookbook says the recipe serves four, but I think it’s more like six–it makes a big potful of stew! If you like your food well–seasoned, you’ll probably want to add additional salt and pepper or your favorite seasoning to taste; otherwise you may find this stew a little bland.

I made the stew in my cast iron Dutch Oven, but you can use whatever kind of pot with a lid that you like–just make sure it’s a large one!🙂

RETRO BEEF STEW by NancyC, adapted from the 1961 Cutco Cook Book

Makes 4 to 6 servings

  • 1 1/2 pounds stew beef (or chuck or round beef, cut into 1-inch chunks)
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 Tablespoons non-GMO canola oil or light olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can diced or crushed tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • 3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 (1-lb.) bag baby carrots that are peeled and ready to use–slice each baby carrot in thirds OR use 8 medium-size carrots, peeled and cut into 1″ thick slices
  • 1 1/4 cups frozen peas
  • additional salt and pepper (or your favorite seasoning) to taste, if desired

If you are cutting your own chunks of meat, trim excess fat from meat first, then cut into chunks.

Combine flour, pepper, and salt in a large ziploc bag; add chunks of meat; shake until pieces are coated.

Add oil to Dutch Oven over medium heat; add meat chunks and brown on all sides.

Add diced onion and garlic, then boiling water, canned tomatoes, and Worcestershire Sauce. Stir well to combine ingredients.

Cover and reduce heat to low; simmer for 1 hour. Add potatoes, carrots, and peas, and simmer for another hour or until potatoes and carrots are tender. Season with additional salt and pepper (or your favorite seasoning) to taste, if desired.

Stew is just the thing to warm you up on a cold day! Have you made any good stews this winter season? What ingredients do you like to use to add more flavor to them?

Linked to Fiesta Friday. Sunday Features, Happiness is Homemade, Inspire Me Monday, Show and Share, Wow Us Wednesday, Wake Up Wednesday, Wow Me Wednesday, Whimsy Wednesday, Create It Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, Share Your Style, Thursday Favorite Things, Showcase Your Talent Thursday.

White Chocolate Candy Cane Shortbread

White Chocolate Candy Cane Shortbread @ NancyC

I always end up with quite a few candy canes during the holidays. This year I bought those mini-candy canes and still had a box of them left! Since I love shortbread, I thought it would be fun to try making some candy cane shortbread. The candy canes in the batter seem to make these bars a little more moist and chewy than your typical shortbread and they are very rich and buttery! Crushed candy canes are mixed into the batter and sprinkled on top. Also on top is a generous drizzle of melted snowy white chocolate. A very Christmasy cookie bar indeed!

WHITE CHOCOLATE CANDY CANE SHORTBREAD by NancyC

Makes a 9 x 13″ pan

  • 2 cups (4 sticks) butter, softened (you can use salted or unsalted butter)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (omit if using salted butter)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons peppermint extract
  • 4 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 3/4 cup crushed candy canes (measure after crushing them)

White Chocolate Drizzle and Candy Cane Topping

  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 Tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup crushed candy canes (measure after crushing them)

Preheat oven to 325˚F. Line a  9 x 13″ baking pan with parchment paper (let paper edges extend up sides of pan so you can lift out when the shortbread is done baking).

In large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Blend in the salt and peppermint extract, then gradually add in the flour, one cup at a time (dough will be thick).

Mix in the crushed candy canes, incorporating evenly into the dough. Then press cookie dough evenly into your parchment-lined pan.

Bake 30 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool completely in pan.

After bars have cooled, top with the White Chocolate Drizzle. To make drizzle, melt white chocolate chips and coconut oil by heating in microwave for 30 to 45 seconds. Stop and stir, then heat another 15 seconds, stir, and repeat if needed until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Drizzle melted chocolate over the entire pan of shortbread–the ingredients make enough for you to do a heavy drizzle, but if you just want a light drizzle, you’ll have extra melted chocolate left over (you can dip some marshmallows or strawberries in it for a quick sweet treat!). Sprinkle crushed candy canes evenly over the shortbread and the white chocolate drizzle.

Let the white chocolate drizzle set, then lift the shortbread out of the pan with the parchment paper edges. Place on cutting board and cut into bars or squares.

White Chocolate Candy Cane Shortbread @ NancyC

These shortbread bars make a nice rich Christmasy snack or dessert. You can’t go wrong with candy canes at Christmas time! What kind of candy cane treats do you like to make?

Linked to Cookie Plan Monday,  Show and ShareWow Us Wednesdays, Wake Up Wednesday, Wow Me Wednesday, Whimsy Wednesday, Wonderful Wednesday, Full Plate Thursday, Create It Thursday.

 

Gifts That Give Back from World Vision

World Vision Gifts

WorldVisionNow that the Christmas shopping season is underway and gift-giving is on our minds, I thought it would be a great time to tell you about some gifts that help benefit children and families living in extreme poverty in the U.S. and around the world. The 2015 World Vision Gift Catalog invites you to not only Give a gift, but Change a life. Here’s how you can be a part of that:

  • Choose from more than 250 gifts ranging from $16 to $39,000 to help improve the quality of life for struggling children and families.
  • You can choose a gift to donate…gift a family with a goat, chickens, or other farm animals; fruit trees, farming tools, or seeds; or gift a child with an education.
  •  You can choose a handcrafted gift for yourself or a friend or family member–like the Prosperity Cinnamon Box, a beautifully carved cinnamon bark box holding 3 oz. of cinnamon. Or you may decide on the Hand-Carved Wooden Serving Spoons, History’s First Coffee Blend, or a Fair-Trade Wire Artisanal Bowl. The money raised from each purchase of a hand-crafted gift goes to the Where Most Needed fund, helping the most urgent needs of a child, family, or community. Delivery for handcrafted gifts like these is 7-10 days.
  • Gifts can be purchased/given in a loved one’s name.
  • You can choose to have a personalized card sent along with your gift describing the gift and its life-changing impact.

WV Cinnamon Box

Shown above is the Prosperity Cinnamon Box that World Vision sent me, so I’ve seen firsthand how beautifully hand carved it is. Filled with 3 ounces of Vietnam’s renowned sweet cinnamon collected from the Cassia tree, it would make a special gift for anyone who loves to use cinnamon in recipes! The Asian character for prosperity is carved into this unique cinnamon bark box.

The World Vision Gift Catalog’s first issue came out in 1996, and it continues to grow in popularity every year as a meaningful way to give and help others. In 2014 alone, more than 822,000 people were helped through the funds raised by the gifts featured in the catalog.

You can keep updated on news from World Vision via Facebook and Twitter 

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Veggie Black Bean Chili

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If you’re wanting something to eat that will warm you up during this chilly winter season, this Veggie Black Bean Chili is definitely the recipe to make! It’s easy to put together and healthy, too–with black beans, onion, garlic, green bell pepper, crushed tomatoes, green chiles, and corn. And I was happily surprised to find that I could find organic ingredients, even for the canned items, at the regular grocery store I go to. They’re starting to carry more organic items, which is great!

This chili is super thick and chunky with a lightly spicy flavor (if you don’t want any spiciness, leave out the crushed red pepper). The red wine vinegar gives it a little zing–I thought I’d use that instead of salt. I didn’t top my chili with anything, but you could garnish it with a dollop of sour cream, a sprinkle of shredded cheddar cheese, or some sliced green onions…or all three!

VEGGIE BLACK BEAN CHILI by NancyC

Makes 4 servings

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium size sweet yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium size green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (red pepper flakes)
  • 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 (7-ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can whole kernel corn
  • Optional: sour cream, cheddar cheese, and/or finely sliced green onion stems, for garnish

In a large pot or Dutch oven, saute onion, garlic, and green bell pepper in oil over medium low heat for 8 to 10 minutes, until tender. Stir in chili powder, cumin, paprika, crushed red pepper, and red wine vinegar, then cook an additional 3 to 4 minutes.

Add black beans, crushed tomatoes, water, green chilies, and corn; stir ingredients together, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 to 35 minutes. Serve immediately.

Chili is one of my favorite fall and winter dishes. And I love trying new chili recipes! Do you have a favorite chili recipe you like making?

Linked to Inspire Me Monday at Create with Joy.

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Egg Nog Mini Loaves

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Egg Nog is one of those foods that signal the beginning of the holiday season. I first noticed it this year in the grocery store about three weeks before Thanksgiving. I usually buy a few cartons during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays and pretty much always have some left over after Christmas. Which is great, because it gives me an excuse to bake some egg nog goodies! Like these Egg Nog Mini Loaves, for example.

After having lots of super-sweet holiday treats, I was wanting something just a little sweet, and these little loaves turned out to be just the thing! They’re moist, slightly sweet, and have a mild egg nog flavor, so even those who aren’t crazy about egg nog may like them. These mini loaves rise really nicely, too (Note: I also tried making this recipe as a 9 x 5″ loaf, but since it sunk a little in the middle, I think it works best for mini loaves, and probably muffins, too).

If you’d like to sweeten these loaves up a little more, sprinkle on a dusting of powdered sugar after they’ve cooled or add an egg nog glaze on top (try the glaze that I used on these Egg Nog Muffins).

EGG NOG MINI LOAVES by NancyC

Makes three 5 x 3″ mini loaves

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup egg nog
  • 1/3 cup plain or vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons rum extract
  • Optional: Egg Nog Glaze

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease and flour three 5 x 3″ mini loaf pans; set aside.

In large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

In medium bowl, beat eggs, egg nog, yogurt, sugar, butter, and vanilla and rum extracts, blending well. Add this mixture to dry ingredients, stirring just enough to moisten.

Pour into prepared mini loaf pans. Bake at 350˚F for 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (I baked mine for 32 minutes).

Cool loaves for 10 minutes in pans, then remove to wire rack to cool completely. If desired, glaze with Egg Nog Glaze (click here for the recipe–I’ve used it before on some egg nog muffins).

As the holidays wind down, these Egg Nog Mini Loaves are the perfect treat with some coffee or tea. Hope you had an enjoyable holiday and wishing you a safe, healthy, and happy New Year!