Cranberries are captivating with their beautiful ruby-red hues and their unique tangy taste! Even though 20% of all cranberries are eaten at Thanksgiving, that doesn’t mean that they only enhance turkey dinners! Cranberries are so versatile that you can eat them in one form or another all throughout the day. For those of us over 60 with some loss of our sense of taste cranberries add a nice tart flavor to any food to which it’s added.
A Few Interesting Facts About Cranberries
Did you know that:
- 95% of all cranberries are processed into juice?
- Cranberry sauce was the first commercially processed food product?
- Cranberries in the US are grown mainly in Wisconsin and Massachusetts?
- Good cranberries bounce?
- Cranberries are not grown in water?
- Cranberries are grown in marshes or bogs and water is brought in at harvest time to float the cranberries to the surface for easier harvesting?
Today I’d like to share with you 3 delectable recipes featuring captivating cranberries. First, let Cranberry Almond Muffins start your day in a most delicious way!
These muffins are made by mixing together the dry ingredients, then mixing together the wet ingredients, combining the wet and dry ingredients, adding the cranberries and portioning the batter into muffin tins. (See photos below.)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup milk
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 2/3 cup whole cranberries
- Topping: 1 tablespoon butter, cut into 12 cubes
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Mix flours, sugar, baking powder and salt together.
- Whisk together egg, milk, melted butter and almond extract.
- Fold liquid ingredients into dry ingredients. Stir in cranberries.
- Put batter into greased muffin tins or tins lined with baking cups.
- Top each muffin with butter, sugar, cinnamon and almonds.
- Bake 22 minutes or until muffins test done with a toothpick.
- These muffins would be wonderful on Christmas morning!
The next recipe, Cranberry Coffee Cake, also features the combination of cranberries with almonds and almond extract. The batter is prepared in a mixer by creaming the sugar and butter together, and then adding the eggs. The dry ingredients are added alternately with the addition of sour cream to the batter.
Into a greased tube pan or Bundt pan, half of the batter is poured and topped with cranberry sauce and chopped nuts. The remaining batter is added on top of this layer and again topped with cranberry sauce and chopped nuts. A knife or spatula is used to swirl the cranberry sauce through the batter.
The Cranberry Coffee Cake is baked for 55 minutes, and then allowed to cool before glazing with a confectioner’s sugar, water and almond extract glaze.
- 1 stick (1/4 lb.) butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (1/2 pint) sour cream
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 8-oz. can whole cranberry sauce
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts
- Glaze: 3/4 cup confectioner's sugar, 1 tablespoon warm water and 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- Cream butter and sugar with electric mixer. Add unbeaten eggs one at a time, beating after each addition, on medium speed. Mix dry ingredients and add alternately with sour cream. Add flavoring. Grease a tube pan or Bundt pan. Pour a layer of batter on the bottom, then swirl some cranberry sauce over the batter and sprinkle on some nuts. Add more batter, more cranberry sauce, the remaining batter and remaining cranberry sauce. Swirl the cranberry sauce into the
- batter with spatula or knife. Sprinkle with nuts. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 55 minutes or until cake tests done with a toothpick. Cool in pan 5 minutes, then turn onto rack to cool or serve. If desired drizzle with glaze. Mix confectioner's sugar, warm water and almond extract together and drizzle over partially cooled coffee cake.
The third recipe, Cranberry Meatballs, could be made into smaller cocktail meatballs for an appetizer. These meatballs are so yummy! The ingredients are combined and formed into walnut-sized meatballs and placed into a 13″ x 9″ x 2″ baking dish.
The topping ingredients are mixed together and poured over the meatballs.
The meatballs are baked for 30-40 minutes and the yield is 24 meatballs. We enjoyed the meatballs with rice and Honey-Glazed Carrots (click here for Honey-Glazed Carrots recipe).
- 1 pound ground beef (ground turkey would also work)
- 1 cup cooked rice
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/4 cup onion, minced
- 1 tablespoon Worchestershire sauce
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Topping: 1 14-oz. can whole cranberry sauce
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Mix all ingredients (except the last three) and form into walnut-sized meatballs. Place in a 13" x 9" x 2" baking dish. Combine last 3 ingredients and pour over the meatballs. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 30-40 minutes, until meat is done.
- This recipe can be used for cocktail meatballs if made smaller in size.
Cranberries are usually only available in the fall so if you want to have cranberries on hand year round buy them now and freeze them for later use.
If you’d like to make your own cranberry sauce, click here for How to Make Homemade Cranberry Sauce.
Cranberries are unique in that they combine with many different flavors very well. Serve one of these recipes to your family and friends soon and they will be captivated by cranberries!
Remember to Savor the Flavor!
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