I had an executive culinary decision to make today. Requests for my clone of Wms. Sonoma peppermint bark are flowing in again. I honestly thought this cult favorite had made the rounds of our kitchens. I’m assuming there’s some newbies on board who want to make it. Then again, some requests are from readers who’ve been with me a while. So be patient — the bark is coming, just not this week.
Why? I needed to use up fresh cranberries from Thanksgiving and have a recipe for cranberry orange vodka to share. It’s simple to make and beautiful. Just a hint of citrus and a good cranberry flavor. This vodka gives a unique twist to holiday cocktails. Sub cranberry vodka for regular vodka in most recipes.
The dog biscuits are for, well, that special canine in your life. I know there’s a bunch of you who can relate. A fun recipe for kids to make. For my young reader who wants to make her “well behaved constant companion during virtual school” a holiday treat.
Cranberry orange vodka
The original recipe called for an orange, zested. All I had on hand were “cuties”/tangerines. Instead of zesting, I cut the peel off and cut it in thin pieces. It worked well.
1-1/4 to 1-1/2 cups fresh cranberries
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
Grated zest of 1 orange or cut the peels off , cut into thin pieces
3 cups vodka
Heat cranberries, sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat to dissolve sugar. Cook just a bit longer until cranberries begin to pop. Mixture will be syrupy.
Pour vodka in quart jar or other container. Add orange zest or peel.
Pour cranberry mixture over. Shake to blend.
Let sit at room temperature 3 days to 2 months. Shake every once in a while.
Strain and add fresh cranberries if you want.
Don’t pitch the used cranberries. They’re pretty tasty just popped into the mouth. But don’t overdo since they have absorbed the vodka!
Dog biscuits worth a wag
As granddaughter Eva said as she made a doggie birthday cake for her dog, Oliver, “Pumpkin and peanut butter are good for dogs”. Yes, Eva, they are!
2/3 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
2 large eggs
2-1/2 to 3 cups whole wheat flour
Grated carrots — optional but a handful tossed in are good
Preheat oven to 350. Spray baking sheet.
Beat puree, peanut butter and eggs until well combined.
Gradually add flour, beating until combined with puree mixture. Start with 2-1/2 cups and add a little more until dough is not sticky but not dry, either.
On a lightly floured surface, knead dough until it comes together.
Roll to 1/4” thickness. Cut out as desired.
Bake 20 minutes or so until edges are golden. Baking time depends upon size and thickness of biscuits.
Make sure your doggo isn’t allergic to any ingredient.