02 December 2013

Taming the Leftovers ... Gingerbread and Cranberry Bites

I have been such a slouch of late, as far as The Spice Garden is concerned! I apologize to those of you who drop in regularly. It's not that I've been a complete couch potato. I haven't. I've been extremely distracted with prepping the house for Thanksgiving visitors, working with the little ones in my little church's Sunday school on Advent activities, sewing and prepping a Christmas box for German friends that must be sent very soon, reading some awesome books, visiting some family and friends, and baking for my church's fellowship hour and for that cookie jar/cookies post for the Typhoon relief bake sale. It seems that my energy just ran out when it came to writing and photographing for a Spice Garden post!

That being said, I have made a few really neat things with leftovers from the Thanksgiving feast. Gingerbread and cranberry jelly mini-cakes topped with whipped cream were a hit at the fellowship hour, turkey and wild rice soup 'killed' the carcass and hit the spot with floating croutons, and the leftover squash and carrot puree was stellar in squash and carrot muffins with cream cheese frosting ... at last the leftovers have been tamed! Well, there IS just enough cranberry sauce to share another batch of those gingerbread cakes with you ... and my neighbors and a dear friend that was unable to attend church on Sunday! Yup ... these little bites would make an easy platter of goodness to share at a holiday open house celebration. I put the initial batch together, while I was puttering with our holiday wreath bow ...

This is such an easy recipe ... the gingerbread recipe comes from Chowning's Tavern, an eating spot in Colonial Williamsburg. The idea of a gingerbread jelly donut bite comes from my own warped mind ... so there you have it!

Just make a batch of gingerbread batter, bake up in mini-muffin pans, poke a hole in the cooled minis with the handle of a large wooden spoon, and fill with the leftover cranberry sauce. Whip some cream and sweeten it just a bit and PLOP!

Oh! And if you happen to have some of those sugared cranberries made up (thank you, Sprout Sara!) you can top the whole deal with a pretty berry !

Here's the gingerbread recipe I used. Just keeping it simple here in the grey cottage! Merry Christmas!



½ c. unsalted butter (1 stick)
¾ c. whole milk
1 c. packed dark brown sugar
1½ c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. baking powder
1 tbsp. ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
⅛ tsp. salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten

Making the Dish:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350° F and grease either an 8 x 8 inch pan or 24 mini-muffin pan.
  2. Place the butter and milk in a small saucepan and heat until the milk is scalded (bubbles forming at the edge of the pan). Remove from the heat and stir to melt the butter.
  3. Add the brown sugar and continue stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Set the pan aside to cool for a few minutes.
  4. Meanwhile sift together in a mixing bowl: flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices, and salt.
  5. Pour the milk/sugar mixture in and add the beaten egg.
  6. Mix vigorously until the batter has no lumps.
  7. Pour into the pan or divide the batter evenly among the 24 mini-muffin forms.
  8. Bake until puffed, golden brown, and a cake tester comes clean – 25 minutes for a cake and about 16 minutes for minis.
  9. Remove from oven and cool for a few minutes in the pan. Then, turn the muffins out on a rack to finish cooling. Place the cake on a pretty platter to cool.
  10. Finish as you please with confectioner’s sugar sprinkled or topped with a dollop of whipped cream when served.


  1. It certainly seems to me like you have been ANYTHING BUT a "slouch.". More like a bust beaver who has had other things to fill your hours:)

    Your post made reminded me of my Thanksgiving faux pas. I forgot to put the cranberry sauce I prepared out with the meal. No one mentioned the words "cranberry sauce", as if I forgot to make it they did not want to hurt my feelings. I noticed it when I was putting things away...LOL

    1. Been there too ! But now you know what you can make with some of your batch of cranberry sauce! LOL

  2. Well I've missed you that's for sure but life does get so busy this time of year! Love those little cakes. They look so cute and I bet taste superb!

  3. I've missed you too, but I hear ya, about how busy life can be. I do love your posts!

  4. Never a slouch Susan. I know you have been keeping busy and food is never far from the mix. It is certainly a very busy time of year.

  5. You're far from a slouch Susan. Gosh, I've only had time to write a post twice a month at best since my new job took over my life in August. But anyhoo, I ramble! These are awesome little mini-muffin bites . . . and I adore the cranberries! I'm really getting in the mood for Christmas with recipes like this! PINNED! Thanks for your comment awhile back . . . miss you too!



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