Winter Desserts

14 February 2024

Now that the snow is blowing and there is a good reason to heat up the kitchen by using the oven, what better opportunity to enjoy some lovely desserts. It is also a good family baking activity when it is too cold to venture out, school is closed, or just about any time you want.

Hot Chocolate Cookies


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 packages hot cocoa mix or ¾ cup hot cocoa mix, not sugar free
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows


  • Beat butter and sugars in a large bowl until well combined, light, and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well.
  • In a separate bowl combine dry ingredients. Gradually add dry to butter mixture until all is combined. Stir in chocolate chips and marshmallows. Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours.
  • On baking sheets lined with parchment paper, drop batter by 2 tablespoonsful spaced 2 inches apart. Bake in a 350 degree preheated oven for 9 to 11 minutes or until edges are slightly brown. Allow to stand on the baking sheet for 5 minutes and remove to a cooling rack.

Cranberry Pound Cake



  • 1 ½ cups cake flour, sifted
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup cranberries, fresh or thawed
  • 5 ounces white chocolate in chunks
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup mascarpone cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons browned butter


  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  • ½ cup dried cranberries (craisins)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • ½ cup white chocolate chips


  • Butter and flour an 8 ½ X 4 ½ X 3 loaf pan, or a 9 X 5 X 3 pan, and line with parchment paper.
  • Combine cake flour, baking powder and salt. Sift to combine well.
  • In a small sauce pan brown 2 ½ tablespoons butter until amber. Set aside and cool.
  • Whisk egg and vanilla. Set aside.
  • Mix butter on medium speed until it is creamy and slowly add sugar until combined.
  • Add heavy cream and marscarpone and combine.
  • On low speed gradually add dry ingredients alternating with eggs.
  • Toss chocolate chips and cranberries in flour and then add them to the mixture. The flour will keep the chips and berries separate and prevent them from settling to the bottom of the pan.
  • Pour the batter into your prepared pan; smooth the top; gently tap the pan on the working surface to remove any air bubbles.
  • With a table knife, draw a line down the center of the batter and pour brown butter into the line.
  • Bake in a convection oven preheated to 325 for about an hour. Or, bake in a conventional oven at 350 for about 70 minutes, rotating the pan half way through the process.
  • Cool cake for 15 minutes and then finish cooling on a rack.


  • Cream together softened butter and cream cheese until smooth. Slowly add powdered sugar. Add vanilla and be sure the glaze is fully mixed and smooth.
  • Spread over the top of the cake. Place cake in refrigerator until frosting is set.


  • Melt ½ cup white chocolate chips with 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a small sauce pan.
  • After frosting is set, sprinkle the top with dried cranberries and drizzle the melted white chocolate.

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