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Cranberry: Count the ways

Nov 7th, 2017 | Category: Cooking

by Melanie Collins

Cranberry is delicious in all its ways and can accompany baked goods, main meals, sides, desserts and even drinks.

I have listed a few of my favorite recipes here (I love them all!), and also want to mention a couple others. Green beans served with cranberries, walnuts and feta makes for a delicious side dish, or combined into a salad with a vinaigrette and added pumpkin seeds! Cranberry relish, chutney, and applesauce is also delicious.cranberries-background

Being a big fan of Martha Stewart, I love her mulled cranberry cocktail. It is delicious served at Thanksgiving, or on a cold fall or winter night. You’ll need 1 quart cranberry juice, 1 cinnamon stick, 2 whole cloves, 1/2 cup cranberries, 1/2 cup sugar and 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (she says a 1/4, I like a 1/2). Combine the juice, cinnamon stick, and cloves in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer. In a small pan, combine the remaining ingredients – cranberries, sugar, cinnamon, with 2 tablespoons of water and heat over medium-low heat. Stir this until the cranberries are coated with the sugar mixture. When ready, pour some mulled cranberry into a mug, and place a few berries on a toothpick for decoration. Guests love this; it’s a simple, yet stunning presentation at the table.

Happy fall cooking.


Cranberry pears


3/4 cup water

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3 large pears, peeled and quartered 1/2 cup cranberries, frozen or fresh



Combine water, sugar and cinnamon in a saucepan over medium heat. Add in the pears, bringing the mixture to a boil. Stir in the cranberries, and reduce the heat. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Serve warm with a dollop of whipped cream or chilled with a cup of tea. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds, wheat germ or granola for a small bit of crunch if wanted.


Pumpkin seed-cranberry biscotti


2 eggs

1/4 cup olive or canola oil

3/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon almond extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted



Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, beat together eggs, oil, sugar and extracts until blended. In a second bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt. Add to egg mixture; mix just until moistened (dough will be sticky). Stir in pumpkin seeds and cranberries as evenly as you can.

Divide dough in half. On a greased baking sheet, shape and place rectangle size portions (lightly flour your hands if needed). Bake until golden brown, about 25-30 minutes.

Remove the two rectangles to wire racks and cool 10-15 minutes. Move the pieces to a cutting board, and using a serrated knife, cut diagonally into 3/4-inch slices. Return them to the baking sheets, with cut side down. Bake until firm, about 5 minutes. Turn; bake until lightly browned, 5-10 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool. Store in an airtight container. This recipe will make about 30 pieces.


Cranberry-orange cookies


1 cup butter, softened

1 cup white sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 egg

2 teaspoons grated orange zest

2 tablespoons orange juice

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

2 cups chopped cranberries

1/2 cup chopped walnuts or almonds, then chopped again for smaller pieces


1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest

3 tablespoons orange juice

1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar



Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Using a large bowl, cream together the butter and white and brown sugar until smooth. Add the egg, beat and blend well. Mix in 2 teaspoons orange zest and 2 tablespoons orange juice. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; stir into the orange mixture. Mix in cranberries and nuts.  Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet (or better yet, use parchment paper), about 2-3 inches apart.

Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until the edges are golden. Remove from cookie sheets to cool on wire racks.

Frosting: Mix together 1/2 teaspoon orange zest, 3 tablespoons orange juice and confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Spread over the tops of cooled cookies. Let stand, or eat!


Jalapeno-cranberry dip


12 oz cranberries

1 bunch cilantro leaves

2-3 jalapeños, seeded and diced

1/4 – 1/3 cup orange juice

1/4 cup lime juice

1/2 cup honey

salt, to taste

8 oz cream cheese



Place all ingredients except the cream cheese in a food processor and pulse until combined. Add the cream cheese and pulse until combined. Spoon the mixture into a bowl and refrigerate until ready to use. Serve with chips and extra cranberries for decorating the bowl.


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