Cranberries, Cranberries, Cranberries!
Written by Tamberlyn Dobrowski
Photography by Taylor Mathis
You can whip up sauces, chutneys and jellies. Crush them to make juice or dry them to sprinkle on salads. If you are truly ambitious, gather family and friends for a cranberry-stringing party! (Be sure to supply plenty of marshmallow-topped hot cocoa and sugar cookies.) For a festive addition to your holiday table, float them in champagne flutes.
Cranberries—deep red in color and tart in taste—are a must-have on the season’s tables. This year, dare to go beyond the tried-and-true sauce and try these recipes. Your guests will love you for it.
I came across this sweet confectionary on pisforparty.blogspot.com. The ingredients and preparation are simple and the presentation idea is elegant. The cranberries burst in your mouth and are tart and sweet. The poppers will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week in an airtight container.
See full post for recipes!
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups water
1 bag fresh cranberries
1 cup superfine or powdered sugar
Dissolve the granulated sugar in water over low heat in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer; remove from heat. (Do not boil—you do not want the cranberries to pop.) Stir in cranberries; pour mixture into a bowl which will be refrigerated for 8 hours.
Drain cranberries. Fill a container or bowl with the powdered sugar and coat the entire berry with it by rolling it around in the container. Spread out the berries on wax paper and wait for them to dry (about 1–2 hours). Keep in a cool, dry place for up to a week before serving.
Bundt cakes are a go-to for me, one bowl and easy ingredients. This cake is not too sweet or too spicy and so beautiful when you cut and see the red cranberries. It also freezes well.
SPICED CRANBERRY BUNDT CAKE
Serves 12 to 14
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup almond flour or almond meal* (about 2 1⁄2 ounces)
2 1⁄2 teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder**
1 teaspoon baking powder
1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1⁄2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed golden brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 1⁄2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup plain reduced-fat (2%) Greek-style yogurt
1 cup chopped toasted almonds
1 cup halved fresh or frozen cranberries (do not thaw)
1⁄2 cup dried sweetened cranberries
1/3 cup powdered sugar
2 to 4 teaspoons orange juice
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour 12-cup Bundt pan. Whisk first 8 ingredients in medium bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until smooth. Add both sugars and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating one minute after each addition. Beat in vanilla extract, then Greek-style yogurt. Add dry ingredients; beat just until blended. Fold in almonds and all cranberries. Transfer batter to prepared Bundt pan.
Bake cake until tester inserted near center comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Cool cake in pan 10 minutes. Turn cake out onto rack and cool completely.
To prepare icing, stir powdered sugar and 2 teaspoons orange juice in small bowl until sugar dissolves. Mix in more juice by ½ teaspoonfuls to reach consistency of heavy cream. Spoon icing over cake, allowing it to drip down sides. Let stand until icing sets, at least 30 minutes.
* Sometimes labeled ground almonds; available at specialty foods stores and natural foods stores.
** A spice blend that usually contains ground fennel seeds, Szechuan peppercorns, cinnamon, star anise, and cloves; available in the spice section of most supermarkets and online at penzeys.com.
PLAN AHEAD! Cake can be made up to three days ahead. Cover with cake dome and store at room temperature.
I love homemade Christmas gifts from the kitchen. Granola is perfect to give. Candied orange peel is the star of this granola. It will keep up to 2 weeks in an airtight container making it easy to have on hand when you have guests. Top ice cream, yogurt, or fruit for a little sweet and crunch.
CRANBERRY AND ORANGE GRANOLA
Makes 4 cups
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup sliced almonds
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1⁄2 cup pure maple syrup (preferably Grade B)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon hazelnut or grapeseed oil
1⁄4 cup dried cranberries
1⁄4 cup golden raisins
1⁄3 cup candied orange peel, sliced into long, thin strips
Preheat oven to 300°. Spread oats on a large rimmed baking sheet. Toast, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and fragrant, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a heatproof bowl; add almonds and let cool slightly. Coat same baking sheet with nonstick spray. Whisk maple syrup, butter, and hazelnut oil in a small bowl to blend. Pour syrup mixture over oats; stir thoroughly to coat. Spread mixture on prepared sheet.
Bake granola, stirring occasionally, until the oats are light golden, about 15 minutes. Stir in the cranberries and raisins; bake for 10 minutes longer. Remove granola from oven and let cool slightly. Stir in the orange peel. Let cool completely, then break into pieces.
PLAN AHEAD! Store airtight at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.