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For Crying Out Cranberry!

November 16, 2006
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Fresh, canned or dried cranberries add a festive touch to everything from breads and desserts to entrees and sandwiches. So get creative with these delightful recipes.

Cranberries are also rich in antioxidants, as well as good for the bladder.

For Thanksgiving breakfast -- or anytime you're craving something sweet and tart -- try these flavorful treats.

Cranberry-Praline Quick Bread
(dairy)

A brown-sugar glaze adds a festive touch to these cranberry mini-loaves.

Bread Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour 
1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries 
1 cup sugar 
1 cup sour cream 
1/2 cup butter, softened 
2 eggs 
1 tsp. vanilla 
2 tsps. baking powder 
1/2 tsp. baking soda 
1/2 tsp. salt 
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Glaze Ingredients:

1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar 
1/3 cup butter 
1/4 cup finely chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine 2 tablespoons flour and cranberries in small bowl; toss to coat. Set aside.

Combine sugar, sour cream, butter, eggs and vanilla in a large bowl.

Beat at medium speed, scraping the bowl often, until creamy.

Reduce speed to low; add the remaining flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Beat just until moistened.

Stir in the cranberry mixture and 1/2 cup pecans by hand.

Spoon the batter evenly into 4 greased and floured mini-loaf pans (51/2x3-inch).

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans.

Meanwhile, combine the brown sugar and 1/3 cup butter in a 1-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil (3 to 4 minutes).

Spoon glaze mixture over the warm loaves. Immediately sprinkle with 1/4-cup pecans.

Recipe Tip: One greased (9x5-inch) loaf pan can be used instead of the 4 mini ones. Bake for 60 to 65 minutes.

Makes 4 mini-loafs or 32 servings.

Approximate nutrients per serving: calories, 150; fat, 9 g; carbohydrates, 16 g; protein, 2 g; cholesterol, 30 mg; sodium, 130 mg.

Cranberry-Orange Coffee Cake
(dairy)

One can of whole cranberry sauce turns ordinary cake into a luscious holiday treat.

1 cup sugar 
3/4 cup butter, softened 
3 eggs 
1 Tbsp. freshly grated orange peel 
1 tsp. vanilla 
3 cups all-purpose flour 
1 and 1/2 tsps. baking powder 
1 and 1/2 tsps. baking soda 
1/2 tsp. salt 
1 and 1/2 cups sour cream 
1 cup whole-berry cranberry sauce 
confectioners' sugar (optional) nutmeg (optional) 
currants, orange peel and/or mint leaves (optional)

Heat oven to 350°.

Grease and flour a 12-cup Bundt pan; set aside.

Combine 1 cup sugar, 3/4 cup butter, eggs, orange peel and vanilla in large bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Reduce speed to low. Beat, gradually adding flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt alternately with sour cream, until well-mixed.

Spoon 1/3 of batter into prepared pan; spread to cover bottom. Spread 1/2 cranberry sauce on top of batter. Repeat layers, ending with batter.

Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before inverting onto a serving plate. Cool completely.

Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar and nutmeg, if desired.

Garnish each serving with currants, orange peel and mint leaves, as desired.

Serves 16.

Approximate nutrients per serving: calories, 300; fat, 14 g; carbohydrates, 39 g; protein, 4 g; cholesterol, 75 mg; sodium, 330 mg.

Rustic Apricot-Cranberry Tart
(dairy)

Sweet apricots and tart cranberries complement each other in this easy but elegant tart.

Filling Ingredients:

1 cup sugar 
2 cups fresh cranberries 
1/4 cup honey 
1 package (6 oz.) dried apricots, finely chopped 
4 Tbsps. orange juice 
3 Tbsps. cornstarch

Pastry Ingredients:

1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 
1 Tbsp. sugar 
1/4 tsp. salt 
1/2 cup butter, cut into chunks 
5-6 Tbsps. half-and-half

Topping Ingredients:

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped, sweetened

Garnish Ingredients:

sugared cranberries (optional) fresh mint leaves (optional)

Combine 1 cup sugar, cranberries, honey, apricots and 2 tablespoons orange juice in 2-quart saucepan.

Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture comes to a boil (5 to 6 minutes). Reduce heat to low; cook, stirring occasionally, until cranberries pop (4 to 5 minutes).

Stir together the cornstarch and remaining orange juice in a small bowl. Stir into the cranberry mixture.

Increase heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture returns to a boil. Boil for 1 minute. Cool for 1 hour.

Heat oven to 375°.

Combine flour, 1 tablespoon sugar and salt in a large bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or fork until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Add enough half-and-half just until flour is moistened. Shape into a ball.

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface into 13-inch circle. Place onto ungreased baking sheet.

Spread the cranberry mixture in 9-inch circle in the center of the pastry. Fold edges up over filling, crimping dough to fit.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until golden-brown. Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes. Run a narrow spatula under the bottom of the tart to loosen. Slide onto a wire rack. Cool completely.

Cut the tart into wedges; place onto individual serving plates. Top each wedge with sweetened whipped cream.

Garnish with sugared cranberries and mint leaves, if desired.

Recipe Tip: To make sugared cranberries, combine 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar in 1-quart saucepan.

Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves. Continue cooking until mixture just comes to a boil. Remove from heat; stir in 1 cup cranberries. Pour mixture into small bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.

Drain cranberries. Place 1/3 cup sugar in small shallow bowl.

Add cranberries, rolling to coat. Place sugared cranberries in single layer onto waxed paper. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour, or until dry.

Sugared cranberries can be stored in a container with a tight-fitting lid in a cool place for up to a week.

Serves 8.

Approximate nutrients per serving: calories, 450; fat, 16 g; carbohydrates, 73 g; protein, 4 g; cholesterol, 45 mg; sodium, 180 mg.

Coconut-Cranberry Bars
(dairy)

Bars with a shortbread crust, topped with a mixture of coconut, dried cranberries and brown sugar spell buttery goodness.

Crust Ingredients:

1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 
3/4 cup sugar 
3/4 cup butter

Topping Ingredients:

2 cups sweetened flaked coconut 
1 cup sweetened dried cranberries 
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar 
1/3 cup all-purpose flour 
3 eggs 
11/2 tsps. vanilla 
1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine 1 and 1/2 cups flour and sugar in a large bowl. Cut in the butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Press onto the bottom of an ungreased 13x9-inch baking pan.

Bake for 15 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned.

Combine all filling ingredients in a large bowl; mix well.

Spread over the hot, partially baked crust. Continue baking for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden-brown. Cool completely.

Cut into bars.

Makes 36 bars.

Approximate nutrients per serving: calories, 130; fat, 6 g; carbohydrates, 19 g; protein, 1 g; cholesterol, 30 mg; sodium, 70 mg.

Recipes come courtesy of Land O'Lakes.

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