Tag Archives: Baking

Cranberry Walnut Bread {a Recipe}


Around Thanksgiving I shared over on Instagram about my Cranberry Walnut Bread, but there’s more to the story. When I was pregnant with the triplets Panera had Cranberry Walnut bagels which were DELICIOUS! Of course, after Christmas they disappeared, because we can’t tolerate such things out of season.img_1537

For years I’ve been trying to find a recipe for a Cranberry Walnut bread, but most of them were a baking soda/powder recipe, which was NOT what I wanted. I wanted a yeast bread. I wanted it to be more of a brown bread. So I started trying recipe after recipe to find the right one.


One day I was making one of my  favorite breads, molasses brown bread, when it hit me…it’s the perfect bread for cranberries and walnuts! Here is my recipe, per request. The recipe does freeze well, but there’s nothing quite like a hot slice of bread with melted butter.


Cranberry Walnut Bread
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 2 loaves
  • 1-1/2 cups boiling water
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 2 tablespoons shortening
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • ¾ cup warm water (110° to 115°)
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 4-3/4 to 5-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  1. In a bowl, combine first four ingredients. Cool to 110°-115°. In a bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Sprinkle with sugar. Add oat mixture, brown sugar, molasses and 3 cups flour; mix well. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
  2. Turn onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl; turn once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  3. Punch dough down. Divide in half; shape into loaves. Place in two greased 9x5-in. loaf pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30-45 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 375°. Bake 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool. Brush with butter. Yield: 2 loaves.


My Favorite Things – A Collection of White House Christmas Bests

Over the past 9 years of blogging I’ve written quite a bit about my favorite time of the year, Christmas. From books we love to things we do, recipes and ways to enjoy the season more fully. For a while now I’ve been meaning to collect all of these posts together in one place…and now I am.

For the Book Lover!


http://jessicam white.com/new-favorite-christmas-books-children

For the Foodie!

For the Stressed-Out!

a Simple Christmas @JessicaMWhite.com
Taking the Stress out Christmas Shopping @JessicaMWhite.com


My Favorite Kitchen Must-Haves

My Favorite MUST HAVE Kitchen Tools @JessicaMWhite.com

**This post contains affiliate links: Click here to read my disclosure policy. If you make a purchase through any of these links, I will receive a small percentage of the sale, at no extra cost to you. Thank you!

A while ago I kept coming across posts about what people considered their “must-have” kitchen gadgets, and I thought to myself, that’s ridiculous, there is nothing in my kitchen that I couldn’t live without. Honestly there isn’t, but there are a few things that definitely make my life a bit easier.

My Favorite MUST HAVE Kitchen Tools @JessicaMWhite.com

My first kitchen love has been and always will be my Kitchen-Aid Stand Mixer. My MIL bought me this as my shower gift {I have the 6 qt professional}, and I have loved it forever! Growing up we didn’t have one of these, and when Matt and I started dating his mother did, and mine didn’t. It was a whole new world to have that thing {we’d been standing over bowls with a hand mixer or spoon}. There’s so much I can do with it, and tons that I have still never done with it.

My Immersion Blender didn’t become popular until Ave was born. It suddenly made baby food processing infinitely easier, then I realized I could do so much more with it! Chunky sauces thinned, guacamole, soups, anything! If something needs to get smoothed out, this is so much easier to use than a big food processor or blender {which my blenders always seem to be broken: Anyone else with that problem?}.

I’ve long been a believer in using cookie scoops, it was only this fall that I decided to splurge and by myself a 1/4 cup Muffin Scoop: Game changer! No more messes while making muffins or cupcakes or dishing out equal portions of ANYTHING {which are a necessity in this household!}.

Once upon a time I bought a Pampered Chef Mix’n Scraper, which I loved, then someone bought me a kitchen aid three pack of Assorted Scrappers and oh my…there was this thin, long handled scraper in there that was awesome! A medium scraper is great for mixing and stirring thinner batters, but that thin, long handled one is a dream to clean appliances {like the immersion blender} and scrape out containers.

When it comes to measuring ingredients there are two things that I couldn’t live without my Pyrex Liquid Measuring Cups and a 5 piece measuring cups {includes 3/4 cup}. The Pyrex is great because I can microwave or heat them and they’re just all around awesome {I use the bigger ones-2 cup and 4 cup} for mixing small batches of batter. The greatest thing about a 5 piece measuring cup set is the inclusion of a 3/4 cup…it takes all the work out of 1.5 cup measurements…there is no getting multiple pieces dirty, just one and it’s done!

While I love my Stand Mixer there are definitely times when it would be overkill to use {quick breads, muffins, and other easy to mix dough}, that’s is when it’s really handy to have a Big plastic mixing bowl or 3. They’re light weight, easy to clean, and make a lot less work than scrubbing out the beaters of a stand mixer.

Last, but certainly not least is our Kitchen Scale; this thing gets used constantly…several times a day; from ingredients for recipes, letters, and anything else you name it…our kitchen scale is used for it. It’s so small and convenient that it just sits in a drawer and I can whip it out and put it back in seconds!

What are your favorite kitchen tools? Are they expensive gizmos or common-sense gadgets?

This Christmas…

a Simple Christmas @JessicaMWhite.com

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Advent and the Christmas Season are hands-down my favorite time of the year; always have been, always will be. But for the past few years I’ve just not been feeling it. The idea of pulling boxes from the attic and putting all sorts of decorations up {only to yell at kids not to touch them} just wasn’t appealing to me. This year, I’m hoping to get a year in of decorating before next year’s battle of the “No”s begins again.
I sat down the other night and pulled together all of my favorite Christmas posts from the last few years; be sure to click over and check them out!

For the Book Lover!

For the Foodie!

For the Stressed-Out!

a Simple Christmas @JessicaMWhite.com
Taking the Stress out Christmas Shopping @JessicaMWhite.com

Cookies & Memories

None of us could fathom why my Oma would spend the countless hours that she did making those cookies: The ones that had to be rolled out to paper thin-ness, the ones that were more nuts and butter than flour, the ones that no matter what you did the dough crumbled at the most feathery of touches. Always wondering why on earth you made a double batch of these things, but glad in the end that you did.

“You’re as bad as your grandmother!”

I’ve now had the mantle of Spitzbuben-perfection passed on to me. I roll the dough, paper thin, patching the cracks with a gentle push, stabbing dough over and over again with my Oma’s cookie cutters.  Cookie cutters that are probably older than my mother, but show the quality of their craftsmanship in that very age.

And I think to myself, all the while, that I don’t even remember ever making these cookies even once with her. They were the cookies that were made during the Silent Night. Which is it that stands? The memory of a perfect sandwich of butter, nuts, and raspberry jam or the memory of my Oma actually making them? And does it really even matter?

Whether it’s the cookie or the experience, it’s still my Oma. It’s still her hands that made each and everyone of the thousands upon thousands that she made during her life. It’s still her hands that molded the dough and held the cookie cutters. It’s still her hands that have molded us into who WE are.

My Oma was not one to tell you how much she loved you. She was German. She was born in 1931, at the beginning of Hitler and WWII; there was no room for emotion, but there was room for love. To her, growing up with so little, most likely hungry, to her, love was food. It was the food she made that showed her love: The more difficult, the more time consuming, the more fragile, the more love.

And you know what, that “You’re as bad as your grandmother”…. I take that as a compliment.

Cookies and Memories My Oma's Spitzbuben Cookie Recipe @JessicaMWhite.com


*And yes, you may need to add a touch more butter to the dough to get it just right.