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The weather in our neck of the woods has been nasty the last couple of days. Tomorrow it is going to be cloudy and the temperatures are going to drop to almost freezing point. There was even snow in the forecast but looks like Mother Nature had some mercy on us. I am glad we are not traveling during this long weekend and it would have been a nightmare traveling in this weather.
The talk about weather is because it was a challenge for me to take pictures as there was very little natural light with overcast skies all of yesterday and today. There is not going to be much change even tomorrow. I could not wait around for the weather to get better to take pictures and moreover, the cranberry almond wedges were disappearing very fast!
As I mentioned in my yesterday’s post, I baked a dessert day before yesterday and as promised, posting the recipe today. After cooking with fresh cranberries for three days, I have a confession to make. I like dry cranberries better than the fresh cranberries and this dessert was a perfect delight after cooking with tart fresh cranberries. Dry cranberries are bit sour and sweet and taste great in baked goodies.
I found this recipe on Better Homes & Gardens website and we totally loved it. Sugar cookies mix is used for the base and preparation was a breeze. The recipe yields 32 wedges, baked in 2 cake pans. I thought I would freeze half the wedges but we already finished ¾th of the wedges! I hope to save at least a few for tomorrow and this is a perfect bake for the holiday season!
Source: Better Homes & Garden
Total Time: 33 – 40 minutes
Preparation: 15 – 20 minutes
Baking Time: 18 – 20 minutes
Yields: 32 wedges
- ½ cup or 1 Stick Butter
- 1 (17 ½ oz.) Sugar Cookie Mix (I used Betty Crocker mix)
- ¼ tsp. Almond Extract
- 1 Egg (This was not in the recipe. I added it by mistake. )
- 1 cup Dried Cranberries
- 1 tbsp. Milk
- ¾ cup blanched sliced Almonds
- 1 ½ tbsp. Granulated Sugar
- Preheat the oven 350 F.
- Line two 8 ½” round cake pans with an aluminum foil, extending it over the pan edges.
- Soften butter in a large bowl. I used my hand held mixer to soften the butter. I usually leave the butter on countertop to bring it to room temperature and then it is easy to soften it. When I baked these wedges, I did not have enough time to bring the butter to room temperature. So I microwaved the butter for 15 seconds and then softened the butter using a mixer.
- Add sugar cookie mix and almond extract to the butter and mixed it with the mixer until crumbles are formed.
- Add egg and mix it. As I mentioned above, I added the egg by mistake and it is not in the recipe. If the not using the egg, the dough should be crumbly.
- Add cranberries stir well.
- Divide the dough into two and place it in two pans. Press the dough or the mixture firmly into bottom of each pan.
- Brush lightly with milk.
- Sprinkle almonds on top of each pan.
- Sprinkle sugar on top of almonds.
- Bake in a pre-heated oven for 18 – 20 minutes until centers are set, top and sides are lightly browned. I baked for 20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and cool the pans on a cooling rack. Let the pans cool completely. This will take at least 30 – 45 minutes are even longer.
- Using the edges of the foil, lift the cookie cake from the pan and cut each cookie cake into 16 wedges. Make sure the cookie cakes cool completely before cutting them, for easy cutting.
- Store them in an air tight container and if layering them, place a wax paper between the wedges. The recipe says these stay good for 2 days at room temperature or can be freeze for up to 3 months.
- I mistakenly used egg and was afraid I might have to bake these again. But luckily they turned out pretty good. When I pulled out the cookie cakes from the oven after 20 minutes of baking, the center of the cake was soft, just like how the cookies are. But as the cake cooled completely, the center hardened and turned out perfect.
- Cut the cakes only after they cool completely. I cut one cake while it was still a little warm and it was a little difficult to cut the cake into 16 wedges. The second cake, I let it cool completely and cutting it into wedges was a breeze.
- Oven temperatures vary from oven to oven. Check the cakes soon to avoid burning and some ovens might require longer baking.