Christmas Bakes 2015: Cranberry Bread and Chocolate Meringue Cookies

Happy Christmas Eve everyone! Are we all organized? I'm just about there, although there is still a frozen turkey situation and I have that last minute panicky "What have I forgotten?" feeling.

My Mom is over and we agreed that our baking this year would entail our usual Cranberry Nut Bread ( a must for us) and ONE type of cookie, which she brought a recipe for (and even the chocolate chips!). We have been known on occasion to get a bit carried away with the Christmas cookie baking, where sugar cookies lead to gingerbread men lead to pecan drops lead to pistachio pudding cookies (my Fave but we are NOT making them this year....we are DONE (even though I do have the pistachio pudding mix in the cupboard...hmm! ;-))

Anyway I am no Nigella so I have no sage advice other than...make these yummy things if you want to, they are easy, even for a lazy baker like me! Ok so the cranberry chopping (We use scissors) is a bit time consuming but the meringue cookies were shockingly easily to make with just a few ingredients and turned out delicious if I do say so myself!

I have experimented with cranberry bread recipes over the years, but the Ocean Spray official recipe is what I used this year and it has yet to steer me wrong. Any cranberry bread that doesn't include orange juice and zest is not for me; I have found that British people who taste it for the first time are usually pleasantly surprised by its zingy moist-ness (ok now I sound like Nigella, sorry!). For the uninitiated, it's basically a sweet bread with a muffin like texture, best eaten on Christmas morning with a slab of butter or spread imho!

The cranberry bread takes almost an hour to cook so we waited a bit (I think there was a bit of Thornton's chocolate liqueur involved, yum!) and then began making the cookies, which are basically just meringue with melted chocolate, nuts and dried cranberries added at the end (the recipe also suggest cherries but we were glad we went the cranberry route as they are quite sweet cookies. (Light and delicious though, my first time making meringue so I was pleased.) The recipe says to cook them for 15 minutes but we wanted them a bit chewier so baked for closer to 10. We were meant to decorate them before baking which we realized only before the last batch, they definitely need to be decorated pre-bake! We started out using a piping bag but tbh the ones that were spooned onto the pan didn't look an awful lot different!

Hope everyone has a lovely Christmas!


  1. I love meringue but haven't made it in ages, might have to have a go at this recipe. Have a lovely Christmas!

    1. Thanks, and you! The recipe was super easy, we used semi-sweet (american) chocolate rather than dark so it did come out a bit sweeter than maybe they were supposed to.

  2. Oh, these look so good, especially the bread! Yum!