Archive for: cranberry
You can’t go wrong with apple pie for any occasion and this is especially true when it comes to miniature pies. Mini pies give you the option of having a whole pie (that you can actually eat in one sitting!) all to yourself, and a stockpile of other little pies that you can either share or pop into the freezer for later.
These Individual Cranberry Apple Pies are apple pies with a sweet-tart cranberry twist to them. The apple pie filling is basically the same one that I use when making regular mini apple pies, but when I put the filling into the pies, I also add a generous scoop of whole berry cranberry sauce. I find that the cranberry sauce not only has a wonderfully bright flavor that works well with the lightly spiced apples, but that the consistency of the sauce is a lot like pie filling to begin with and so it incorporates into the pies very well. I tend not to use apples that are too tart when making this combination (skipping granny smiths in favor of something milder) because I don’t want the filling for my pies to be too tart and I want there to be a clear difference between the apple and the cranberries.
I always use homemade cranberry sauce when making this recipe, but there are good store bought brands out there that will also work perfectly well in this recipe (and save some time over making your own sauce). Just be sure to choose a whole-berry sauce and not a cranberry jelly, which will not really incorporate well into the pie filling. Choosing a cranberry sauce that has other elements in it – such as orange zest, cinnamon or other spices – will just make the pie that much more interesting.
These pies can be baked in miniature pie pans, individual muffin pans or prepared in a countertop pie maker, such as my mini pie maker from Breville (which I used to make the pies pictured here). They can be served hot or at room temperature. Leftover pies can be cooled, frozen and reheated in the oven or in a pie maker to crisp them up for later snacking. However you serve your pies, don’t forget to top them off with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream, which is the perfect finish to this pie filling.
You won’t find too many bar cookies out there that look as festive as these Cranberry and Pistachio Squares. These bar cookies are studded with bright green pistachio nuts and are bursting with whole, red cranberries. On the lightly colored cookie background, the red and green pop out vividly – and that will definitely make you want to reach out and grab a square for a taste.
The bars look similar to blondies, but are much more tender than your average blondie is. They’re soft and a little bit crumbly, with a thin, crisp topping of coarse sugar. Whole cranberries – you can use fresh or frozen – are coarsely chopped and added into the bars. They are not only brightly colored, but their bright and tangy flavor comes through clearly. It also makes the bars seem very fresh and really makes them stand out from bar cookies that only use dried cranberries. Pistachios are incorporated into the dough alongside the cranberries and a few of them are also sprinkled on top to add some texture.
I prefer using lightly salted pistachios for this recipe because it adds just a hint of saltiness to the topping of these squares (you will not notice any extra salt in the bars themselves). It’s a nice contrast to the coarse sugar that is also sprinkled on top. I also happen to prefer eating lightly salted pistachios. If you prefer unsalted, they will work just as well in the recipe and you will still get bars with a delicious combination of cranberries and pistachios.
Fresh cranberries can be a great ingredient to work with, and not just when you want to make cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving dinner. The berries have a vivid red color and a bright, tart flavor that goes well with all kinds of different flavors, from chocolate to toasted coconut. People don’t seem to reach for cranberries as often as blueberries, raspberries and other popular berries, but I definitely try to take advantage of fresh cranberries in the fall and winter when they’re widely available.
Double Chocolate Chip Cranberry Bread is a great recipe for fans of chocolate and cranberries. The bread has a good chocolate flavor, a soft and slightly cake-like crumb, and plenty of zesty cranberries scattered throughout to liven up each bite. There are also a generous number of chocolate chips in this bread, so you get a double dose of chocolate. This is a great bread to serve at a brunch with coffee, but it is so simple to put together that it is a good recipe to make without a special occasion just to enjoy at home.
This bread keeps well for several days when stored in an airtight container. It is very good served at room temperature, but becomes quite decadent when you warm up a slice slightly (10 seconds or so in the microwave is usually enough) because the chocolate chips become melted and the bread turns into a rich dessert! I prefer using fresh cranberries in this bread when I have them, but frozen berries will work too. Frozen berries should not be defrosted before adding them into the recipe and the bread may need an extra minute or two in the oven.
Biscotti are one of my favorite cookies to make for a couple of reasons. They’re not too difficult to make, they keep extremely well and they always taste better than store bought. I also like being able to put my own flavor twists on biscotti, as the options when you buy them in a store are often quite limited. That isn’t to say that I don’t appreciate a good almond biscotti (probably the most popular base flavor) as much as the next person, just that I like a little variety.
These Coconut Cranberry Biscotti are one of my favorite variations. The cookies use shredded coconut in place of almonds or other nuts that are traditionally included in biscotti, and they are studded with dried cranberries that add a pop of color and sweet-tart flavor. The biscotti have a subtle coconut flavor to them, but it is not overwhelming. They’re not too sweet, so I typically use sweetened shredded coconut in my batches, though unsweetened coconut will work just as well if you tend to have that on hand.
The dough for these cookies is baked in large logs, which are cooled slightly before being sliced and baked a second time. You will need a very sharp knife – either a bread knife or a large chef’s knife – to get a clean cut on your cookies, as the cranberries can get “caught” on a dull blade. Still, the finished cookies will taste good in the end, they’ll just look a little prettier if you sharpen your knives first! The cookies, once baked, will keep very well in an airtight container for at least a week or two. Mine don’t last much longer than that – and I doubt yours will either.
A basic cinnamon streusel is a classic topping for coffee cake, but coffee cakes, like muffins, are things that can easily be transformed by the addition of a few flavorful extra ingredients. There is no cinnamon in sight in this Cranberry Nut Coffee Cake, but there are lots of crunchy pecans, sweet-tart dried cranberries and a brown sugar streusel – all of which will make you reach for seconds even before you’ve finished your first piece.
The cake has a soft, buttery crumb and a texture that is almost like pound cake. It is dense enough to hold up the streusel layer and support all the dried cranberries packed into the batter, but it is still very tender. Instead of using buttermilk or milk as the liquid in this cake, I used sour cream to enrich it. Both full fat and low fat sour cream will give you good results, and having the lower fat option allows you to lighten up the coffee cake a little bit if you want to.
I like dried cranberries for this coffee cake. They’re sweet, tart and available year round, while fresh and even frozen cranberries can be very difficult to find if you want to bake this cake in the spring. Fresh and frozen cranberries can be chopped up and added to the coffee cake batter to add an even brighter cranberry flavor. Another flavor variation I like to use in this cake is to add some orange zest to the batter, as oranges and cranberries are an excellent pairing.