Copycat Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars - Jo Cooks

These Copycat Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars covered in frosting and cranberries are melt in your mouth good and a perfect sweet treat when on the go.



Faerie Cakes

In Ireland, faerie cakes are served on Nollaig na mBan, or Women’s Christmas, which is celebrated on December 12th. Like hot cross buns, these faerie cakes are said to have magical properties. Besides enabling one to see faeries, they work as a fertility charm and will heal the sick….but only is baked on that day.


  • 1 stick butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • Grated rind of one orange
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • 1 ¼ cups flour
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1/3 cup sultanas
  • Sugar icing: 2 cups powdered sugar, 2 tbsp boiling water

Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, vanilla, and orange rind. Sieve the baking powder and flour together and add to the butter mixture. Add a little milk to create batter of dropping consistency. Fold in the sultanas and spoon the mixture into well-greased muffin cups.

Bake at 375 F for 25 minutes. Drizzle on the sugar icing and serve.

For sugar icing: combine powdered sugar and boiling water.

[Recipe Source: Celtic Folklore Cooking, Joanne Asala, Llewellyn Press, 1998.]


Vanilla hot chocolate

1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise 
2/3 cup sugar 
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ cup water
Pinch of salt
3 cups whole milk
1 ½ cups half and half
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chilled whipping cream

Using tip of small knife, scrape seeds from vanilla bean into processor; reserve bean. Add sugar to processor and blend 10 seconds. Transfer 3 tablespoons vanilla sugar to small bowl and reserve. Transfer remaining vanilla sugar from processor to heavy metal sauce-pan. Add unsweetened cocoa powder, ½ cup water and salt and whisk until smooth. Whisk over medium heat just until beginning to bubble. Whisk in whole milk and half and half. Add reserved vanilla bean; bring mixture to simmer. Remove from heat; Whisk in vanilla extract. Discard vanilla bean. Beat cream and reserved 3 tablespoons vanilla sugar in medium bowl until medium-firm peaks form. Divide hot chocolate
among 6 mugs; top with whipped cream and serve.

↢ Back to Yule - Winter Solstice



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Do you know any traditional Celtic dishes for yule? Everything I found so far is just generic Christmas-y treats and someone adding a star or something and calling it Celtic. - Indeed I do, my friend!


Winter Sabbat Wine

Winter Sabbat Wine Recipe1 Large Bottle of Red Wine3 Oranges3 Tablespoons Whole ClovesGround Nutmeg3 Cinnamon Sticks1 Cup Brandy1 Cup Apple Cider Pour wine into a non-metallic and heat proof container. Wash oranges and cut into thin slices, then add them to the wine.


  • 6 cups water
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 5 tea bags of green, black, or ginger tea
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • Honey to taste


Bring first 3 ingredients to boil in heavy large saucepan over high heat. Remove from heat. Add tea bags. Cover and let steep 10 minutes. Discard tea bags. Add orange and lemon juices to tea mixture. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Re-warm before continuing.) Using slotted spoon, remove whole spices. Serve hot.

Makes 6 servings.


Faery Tarts

Based on something I read a long time ago, Faery Tarts are one of my favorite things to give as an offering. They’re sweet, creamy, and make just as good a snack for mortals as they do for the fair folk.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 5 minutes


A spice of your choosing (I usually use allspice or cinnamon)

5 dried figs OR 2 ½ fresh ones

300 Grams of smooth ricotta cheese (about 1 package)

2 ½ tablespoons of sugar

10 Cookies (can be homemade or store bought, any kind will do)



1 plate

1 cooking sheet


  1. Make the cookies. If you’re using store bought, pop them in at 200F / 93C for a few minutes to warm them up. When you take your cookies out of the oven, press down on the center and gently lift the sides of it up to create a small indent.
  2. Thoroughly mix your ricotta and your sugar.  
  3. If you’re using dried figs, cut them in half, and if they’re fresh, cut them into quarters.
  4. Dollop a bit of ricotta cheese onto the cookie and sprinkle a bit of your spice onto it, then place the fig on top. Drizzle with honey.
  5. If you wish, say a blessing over the finished product, and bobs-your-uncle, ready for a handy dandy sacrifice. :D

Magickal Breakdown

As I’ve said, these cookies are really great for offerings to the fair folk- depending on who you’re sacrificing to, of course. Wouldn’t recommend trying to give these to brownies, for example. Still, if you’re into fae magick and looking for a way to give something you’ve made with your own hands, these Faery Tarts might just do the trick.

Figs: Figs are a very ancient food and were a huge part of the Mediterranean diet for a very long time. They are symbols of love and fertility, and it’s said that if one bites into a fig while another is holding it they will become instantly infatuated with each other.

Cinnamon: Cinnamon is closely associated with money, happiness, and love. It tends to be a common flavor in winter and in holiday baking. It’s also used for digestion and can help with motion sickness and morning sickness and is used in various healing spells. Associated with the sun and fire.


Celebrate Yule

Outside:Leave out birdseed ornaments as offerings to the seasonIf snowing, play in the snowfall to appreciate the changing season or collect some for snow waterAfter the sun has gone down, burn a yule log in a bonfireTake some friends and go wassailing!