Cranberry-Apple Jam with Honey Recipe

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Cranberry-Apple Jam is one recipe I make every fall/winter. I love making jam, it’s so easy and it’s a great gift. It’s fun to preserve different fruits throughout the lovely seasons we have in Minnesota. One issue I have with jam is all of the added sugar and that’s why I have adjusted this recipe to only use half of the usual amount of sugar by substituting the rest with local honey.

Yield: 9 jam jars

Ingredients:

  • 8 Cups of peeled and diced apple (which is 8 regular sized apples, or 6 large apples).
  • 4 Cups of whole fresh cranberries
  • 3 Cups organic sugar
  • 2 Cups of honey (1 pint)
  • 2 Lemons, zest and juiced
  • 1 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4 Tsp Ground Cloves

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Combine cranberries, diced apples, sugar and honey in a heavy bottomed pot, stir well and bring to a boil. I use any kind of apple because I like the chunkiness of the apples, therefore I am not concerned with using a soft apple. Dice the apples up in whatever size you prefer them. I typically chop them up in about 1/4-1/2″ chunks. Continue to stir while jam is boiling so it does not burn.

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Cook for about 12 minutes, until the apples are soft and the cranberries have begun to pop.

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Add spices, lemon zest and lemon juice. Stir well and continue to simmer the mixture until the sauce begins to thicken (5-10 more mins). Feel free to take a little spoonful out to taste test and determine if you want to add more spices. Get creative! Other spices you might consider adding are ginger, nutmeg or allspice!

This recipe can be canned using the water-bath processing method or it can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 months.

The deep red color and cinnamon flavor makes this the perfect holiday jam!

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Enjoy!

All products used in this post were generously provided by Lakewinds Food Co-op.

My Great Great Grandma Selma’s Sugar Cookie Recipe

Minnesota from scratch - grandma's cookbooks

Today I’m going to share my Great Great Grandma Selma’s sugar cookie recipe! I had the pleasure of knowing my grandma for ten years before she passed away. I have joyful memories of grocery shopping with her, my great grandma and my grandma. When Selma got too old to shop, we’d sit in the bakery area and enjoy a sweet treat while the other grandmas shopped. I recall often playing the card game “Gold Fish” with her, as well as memories of painting her nails. She was a sweet woman and I am so thankful I got to know her for the short time I did. She was 93 when she passed away and though she wasn’t much of a chef in her later years when I knew her, it turns out she was quite the wizard in the kitchen in her younger years. Thankfully, many of her hand written recipes are preserved in binders that my aunt and uncle have in New York City.

Making this recipe with my daughter (Selma’s Great, Great, Great Granddaughter) somehow made me feel as if I was connecting the two in some way… bringing a tangible object from my grandma into the present for my daughter. Imaging my grandmother making these cookies around the holidays and tasting the same thing we are tasting now, nearly 100 years later is special to me.

Enough of the chit-chat, let’s get down to the recipe… 😉

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Great Great Grandma Selma’s Sugar Cookie Recipe
Makes about 65 small cookies

Cookie Dough:

5 cups organic all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1/2 lb) unsalted organic butter
1.5 cups gmo-free granulated sugar
2 organic eggs
1 cup organic sour cream
1 teaspoons organic vanilla

1. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and heat oven to 350°F
2. Whisk dry ingredients together: flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and set aside.

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3. Cream butter and sugar in a mixer.
4. Add eggs one at a time, and mixing well. Add sour cream and vanilla and mix until combined well.

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5. Slowly add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until combined.

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6. Use a spoon to scoop out dough and roll dough into 1.5″ balls. Flatten balls out with the bottom of a glass dipped in flour to avoid dough sticking to the glass.

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7. Bake for 10-12 minutes. The top of the cookie will not brown, however the bottom of the cookie will.

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8. Cool completely and decorate!

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Frosting:
2 sticks room-temp (1/2 lb) butter
1 teaspoon organic vanilla
3 cups organic powdered sugar
1-2 tablespoons organic milk (as needed to create a smooth consistency)
Seelect Natural Food Dye
Homemade Colored Sugar for Sprinkles
9. Frosting: Beat butter and vanilla using a hand mixer until creamy and smooth. Slowly add powdered sugar, mixing until combined well. Add milk and continue mix. Once frosting is made, divide up the frosting into small bowls, and add food coloring until the desired color is reached.

We used Seelect Natural Color brand food dye colors Red and Forest Green. We used 2 tsp of the red to reach our desired color and 1 tsp of the green.

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***Though my grandma did not note if this dough could be used for sugar cookies that you roll out and cut shapes out of, we did try making three bears and it worked great. If you are going to cut shapes out of this dough, I recommend cooling it in the fridge for 2 hours before rolling out.

Happy Holidays!

 

 

All products used in this recipe were generously provided by, Lakewinds Food Co-op.

How to Make Colored Sugar with Natural Food Dyes



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Baking cookies and other treats around the holidays is a tradition many participate in annually. I personally am not a huge sweets lover, but I do like going through the process of making them with my family members (my daughter LOVES it) and it’s fun to share the cookies with those we love. Because I like to cook from scratch and try to avoid unhealthy preservatives and synthetic food additives, I always struggled with baking cookies and then smothering them with red dye #40 and other junk. So for many years we just had plain white frosting on our holiday shaped cookies (they still tasted good 🙂 ~ but looked a little blah). Well, I’ve come upon a whole game changer this year and we are finally ready to add some color to our cookies – the natural way!

Yesterday at my local co-op, I found some natural food dyes. I picked up a red (made from beet extract) and green (made from turmeric and spirulina) and only had intentions of using the dyes for coloring the cookie frosting. Then it dawned on me that I could potentially make colored sugar to use for additional decorating and so I gave it a try and was pleasantly surprised!

I used 1/3 cup sugar and mixed it with 1 tsp of the red dye and mixed it together evenly. It didn’t look red enough, so I added 1/2 tsp more. Once pleased with the color, I spread the sugar out on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.

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I repeated the task with the green dye as well, but for this I only used 1 tsp of the green dye.

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The I turned the oven on to 350°F for only two minutes and shut it off. You just want to warm the oven enough so it can dry out the sugar and not actually cook it/burn it. Once the oven was warmed up, I placed the baking sheets in the oven and set the timer for 45 mins.

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At 45 mins, I took a spatula and tapped the sugar to break it apart a bit more and spread it out evenly again and placed it back into the oven for another 45 minutes. That’s IT!

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It turns out the baking process lightened the sugar coloring a bit, which I was pleased with for the green (it turned from dark blueish green to a lovely pine green), but next time I’ll likely add 2 tsp of the red dye to try for an even darker red outcome.

Store the colored sugar in an air tight container and use as needed. That’s it. I’m so excited about it that I think I’ll go grab the yellow and blue colors to experiment with them as well.

In the next day or two, I’m going to be posting a recipe about how to bake my great great grandma Selma’s sugar cookies… a recipe that is nearly 100 years old! Don’t miss out!

 

 

All products used in this recipe were generously provided by, Lakewinds Food Co-op.

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