Cranberries: The Holiday Star
By CHRISTINE GARdnERfood@tylerpaper.com
This tiny tart berry is often misunderstood and relegated to Thanksgiving dinner or garland on the Christmas tree.Cranberry Gorgonzola Dip
Despite being a holiday favorite, it deserves a starring role throughout the year as an ingredient in sauces, baked goods, drinks, salads, desserts and dips.
With a little coaxing the cranberries' tart nature easily turns sweet. Enjoy them fresh to take full advantage of their nutrients and antioxidants and keep the canned, dried and bottled versions on the shelf.
Finding fresh cranberries outside of November or December can be difficult, so grab a few bags now and keep them in the freezer to be use year-round.
IngredientsCranberry Almond Muffins
8 ounce package room temperature
1/2 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons chopped green onions
2 tablespoons chopped pecans
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries, chopped
Heat oven to 400 degrees. In a mixing bowl combine the cream cheese, gorgonzola and sour cream with an electric mixer. Beat in the milk and egg. Using a spatula gently fold in the green onions and cranberries. Top with pecans. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until set. Let stand 15 minutes before serving. Serve with crackers or pita chips.
Vegetable oil cooking spray
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup whole-wheat flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup almond flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2/3 cup nonfat milk
2/3 cup plain low-fat yogurt
2 large eggs
1 orange, zested and juiced
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
1/2 cup sliced almonds---
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 16 cups of two 12-cup muffin tins with baking cups, and lightly coat each with cooking spray. Whisk together sugar, flours, baking soda, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Whisk together milk, yogurt, eggs, and orange zest and juice in a medium bowl. Fold milk mixture into flour mixture, then gently fold in cranberries until combined. Spoon batter into baking cups until each is three-quarters full. Sprinkle with almonds. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of each comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer pans to wire racks, and let cool for 10 minutes. Turn out muffins onto racks, and let cool completely.
Recipe from marthastewart.comCranberry Simple Syrup
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
1 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
Place cranberries, water sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until cranberries are falling apart, about 15 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a medium bowl and let the strainer sit over the bowl until the syrup has cooled to room temperature, about 1 hour. Discard the solids and refrigerate the syrup in a container with a tight fitting lid for up to 2 weeks. Use a spoon full in water, club soda or other beverages to add cranberry flavoring. Or spoon over ice cream or desserts
Recipe from chow.comCranberry Compote & Chocolate Mousse Parfaits
2 cups fresh cranberries
3/4 cup sugar, divided
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons raspberry liqueur
1/2 cup cream, plus 1 cup cream
4 ounces baking chocolate
8 ounces cream cheese
2 tablespoons sugar
In a saucepan, combine the cranberries, 1/2 cup sugar, brown sugar, orange juice, and liqueur. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries begin to burst and the sauce thickens, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool completely in the refrigerator. In another saucepan bring 1/2 cup cream to a simmer. Remove from heat and add chocolate. Stir until chocolate is melted.
In a mixing bowl combine the cream cheese and sugar with an electric mixer. Slowly begin to add the melted chocolate. Once incorporated add the remaining cup of cream and beat until the mixture is creamy and fluffy. Assemble the parfait by layering in a dessert cup the cranberry compote and the chocolate mousse. Garnish with whipped cream, sugared cranberries or chocolate sprinkles.Sugared Cranberries
2 cups fresh cranberries (never frozen)
2 cups water
3 cups sugar, divided, plus more for final dusting
Place the cranberries in a large glass bowl. In a saucepan combine water and 2 cups sugar. Bring to a simmer and stir until sugar dissolves. Set aside to cool slightly. When the syrup is lukewarm pour it over the cranberries. Place in the refrigerator overnight. Drain the cranberries but do not rinse. Working in small batches transfer the berries to a smaller bowl and toss with a small amount of sugar.
Scatter them onto a baking sheet lined with wax paper. You want the berries to have a light coating of sugar. Don't let your sugar get too damp. Continue until all of the berries are coated. Leave the tray on the counter for two hours to dry. Do not refrigerate. Once dry toss the berries one last time in 1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar for a final coating. Can be eaten whole or use as a garnish for desserts, cakes or cookies.