A tangy, yet spicy jelly on top of a mild cheese is such a wonderful appetizer. I’ve enjoyed many of these appetizers through the years but Christmas 2021, I made my own! After the epic fail of Grape Jalapeno jam a few years ago, I was a little nervous. Never fear, this recipe is a winner! Other than cleaning and chopping the jalapenos, this was an easy recipe and yielded 7 half pints of Jelly and a little more to enjoy immediately! It was wonderful on top of cream cheese or brie. It would be marvelous with chicken or fish, too.
It you make homemade Christmas gifts, I would highly recommend this for friends and family!
Cranberry Pepper Jelly
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries (I used a 12 oz. package of fresh cranberries)
1 cup jalapeno
2 cups cider vinegar
1 cup water
4 cups sugar
6 tbsp. Ball RealFruit™ Low or No-Sugar Pectin
Sort & wash cranberries. Measure pectin and add 1/2 cup sugar to it.
Add vinegar and water to large stock pot.
Chop and remove seeds from jalapenos. 1 cup of jalapenos makes a fairly mild jelly.
Add peppers and cranberries to the vinegar and water to pan.
Bring to boil.
Simmer for about 10 minutes until everything is soft.
Strain out the cranberries and pepper mixture with a slotted spoon to a food processor or blender.
Blend until very smooth. (you can add some of the liquid from the pan to help break up the cranberries and peppers, if you need to)
Return to the saucepan.
Add sugar/pectin mixture. Bring to rolling boil.
Add the remainder of the sugar.
Bring back to a full rolling boil. Boil hard for 1 minute.
Fill hot jam into hot jars.
Attach lids. Tighten bands finger tip tight.
Process in water bath canning pot for 15 minutes. Turn of heat, allow jars to sit in hot water for at least 5 minutes.
Lemon Bars in the Spring and Cranberry Lemon Bars for the holidays! With a bag of lemons and a large bag of cranberries on hand, I decided to make these delicious bars. I forgot to sprinkle with powdered sugar, but I was too anxious to taste them. They are tart with a burst of flavor from the cranberries. The bars were a real hit!
Cranberry Lemon Bars
FOR THE CRANBERRY LAYER:
1 (12-ounce/340-gram) bag fresh or frozen cranberries
Start preparing the cranberry layer: Combine the cranberries, sugar and 3 tablespoons water in a medium saucepan. Zest 2 of the lemons directly into the saucepan; reserve the lemons. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Continue boiling, stirring occasionally, until the berries burst and the mixture is jammy, 7 to 9 minutes. Remove from the heat and reserve.
Make the crust: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom and sides of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with one large sheet of heavy aluminum foil, making sure there are no gaps or holes, then generously coat with cooking spray.
Whisk the flour, sugar and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk the vanilla into the butter, then pour over the flour mixture. Stir until the dough comes together in a mass. Press into an even layer in the prepared pan. Bake until golden brown around the edges and dry and golden on top, 17 to 20 minutes.
While the crust bakes, begin preparing the lemon layer: Squeeze the juice from the 2 reserved zested lemons. You should have 1/2 cup. Squeeze the juice from another lemon, if needed.
Whisk the sugar, flour and salt in a medium bowl. Add the eggs and whisk gently just until incorporated. Add the lemon juice and stir gently with the whisk just until smooth.
Let the crust cool for 5 minutes, then spread the cranberry mixture evenly over the crust. Carefully and slowly pour the lemon mixture on top to create two distinct layers.
Return the pan to the oven and bake until the filling is set, 18 to 22 minutes. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack, then refrigerate until cold and firm, at least 2 hours. Using the foil, slide the bars out of the pan and onto a cutting board. Cut into 24 squares, wiping your knife between cuts for clean slices. If desired, sift confectioners’ sugar over the tops just before serving.
Crisp, autumn apples paired with nuts, dried cranberries, feta and salad greens. Yum! The salad dressing is the perfect pairing as well. A great salad as an entree or as a side. It’s Fall Y’all!
APPLE CRANBERRY WALNUT SALAD
6 cups salad (I used a combination of arugula and baby spinach, any spring green mix will do)
1 red apple
1 green apple
1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped (I used pecans)
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1 cup apple juice
4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (or white vinegar in a pinch)
2 tablespoons honey
scant ½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ cup oil
Core and chop apples (thin slices or 1 inch chunks). Toss lettuce, apples, walnuts, feta, and cranberries together in a large bowl.
Whisk together all dressing ingredients. Toss with salad immediately before serving. Enjoy!
Cranberry and Orange are a culinary match made in heaven. The combination in this wonderful quick bread is divine, especially with the addition of Orange Glaze.
The bread is great with a cup of coffee or tea or can be served as a dessert.
CRANBERRY ORANGE BREAD WITH ORANGE GLAZE
1 1/2 cups all-purpose Gold Medal flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup granulated sugar
Zest of 1 large orange
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup fresh cranberries
For the orange glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon orange zest
Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray a 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder. In a small bowl, combine sugar and orange zest. Rub together with your fingers until fragrant. Whisk into the flour mixture. Set aside.
In a separate medium bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, orange juice, and vanilla.
Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Stir until just combined. Fold in the cranberries. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
Bake for 70-75 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. If your loaf starts to get too brown drape a piece of foil over the top to finish baking. I did this during the last 10 minutes of the baking time.
Remove bread from oven and place on a cooling rack and cool for 15 minutes. Loosen the sides of the bread with a knife. Carefully remove loaf from pan. Let cool completely on wire rack.
While the bread is cooling, make the orange glaze. In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar, orange juice, and orange zest. Whisk until smooth. Drizzle the glaze over the bread. Cut and serve.
Note-The bread is best eaten within 2-3 days or freeze.
Cranberry relish for the holidays is a tradition. I’ve made cooked and raw cranberry sauce, but the addition of raspberries, is a nice change. Cranberry relish is great with the big meal but also great on a leftover turkey sandwich.
Wishing everyone a wonderful, safe, healthy Thanksgiving in this difficult 2020. Let’s take the time to count our many blessings, thank our medical and essential workers, hug (virtual and real) those we love, help those in need, take care of ourselves, and breathe!
1 1/3 cup sugar
1 cup water
3 cups fresh cranberries
1 cup frozen raspberries
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a saucepan, combine ALL ingredients.
Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
After 10 minutes, mash up berries using a potato masher or fork or something to mash up the berries. You can mash up all the berries, some, or none, depending on how chunky you like your cranberry sauce.
Cranberry Coffee Cake is a new recipe that my sister-in-law, Donna, shared with me several weeks ago. The Mother’s Day weekend coffee/tea was a great time to try it. The cake is so moist and the extra treat of cranberry is so good. I chose to go without nuts this time but the glaze was a wonderful touch.
This coffee cake is wonderful anytime of year but could be a wonderful addition to your holiday go-to-recipes.
CRANBERRY COFFEE CAKE
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 can (16 ounces) whole-berry cranberry sauce
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
5 teaspoons warm water
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs; mix well.
Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream. Add extract.
Spoon a third of the batter into a tube or bundt pan. Top with a third of the cranberry sauce.
Repeat layers twice. Sprinkle with walnuts (optional).
Bake for 55-60 minutes until a toothpick inserted hear the center comes out clean.
Allow cake to cool and transfer to serving plate.
Optional: Combine glaze ingredients and drizzle over cake.
Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars are daughter Sarah’s favorite holiday treat. When she was a teenager I bought her a pan of Cranberry Bliss Bars for her November birthday and she was ‘WOW’d’. Before Christmas this year she was very depressed that Starbucks/Denver had sold out of Cranberry Bliss Bars and, being pregnant, she had cravings that we needed to fill.
Sarah found this recipe on Pinterest and we made them for the holidays. They were delicious and very close to what we experience at Starbuck’s. Perhaps this will become a new Valentine’s tradition in our house and in yours. XOXOXOXOX
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) salted butter, cubed
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup dried cranberries
6 ounces white baking chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
6 ounces white baking chocolate, melted
1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 13×9-inch baking dish with nonstick spray.
Prepare the blondie layer: In a medium bowl, melt butter for one minute in the microwave; stir in brown sugar. Scrape the butter & sugar into a large bowl and let cool to room temperature. Use an electric mixer to beat in the eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon; gradually add the dry mixture to the butter mixture. Stir in the cranberries and chopped chocolate (the batter will be thick).
Spread the blondie batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 18-21 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean (do not overbake). Cool completely on a wire rack.
Prepare the frosting: In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar until well-blended. Gradually add half of the melted white chocolate; beat until blended. Frost brownies. Sprinkle with cranberries. Drizzle with remaining melted white chocolate. Cut into bars- square or triangle-shaped. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
*If you’d like to add an orange flavor to these bars, add 1 tablespoon grated orange zest to the frosting.
Cranberry Bread was a favorite of mine back in the day. I would make several loaves to give as gifts for the holidays when I young, single and fancy-free in St. Joe, MO. I’m glad to have this recipe back on my radar screen. The kids loved it. The tartness of the cranberries complimented by the sweet dough is wonderfully delicious warm from the oven with butter.
The bread freezes well to make ahead for holiday gifts.
2 cups flour, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon soda
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons margarine, melted
3/4 cup orange juice
1 beaten egg
1 cup raw cranberries, chopped
1/2 cup chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts)
Sift the flour, baking powder, salt, soda and sugar. Add the orange juice, melted butter, then add beaten egg.
Mix well and add the chopped cranberries. Put into greased loaf pan and fill half full of batter.
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Cool for 10 minutes and then run knife around the pan to remove loaf.
Cranberry relish is Thanksgiving tradition. My Mother always served fresh cranberry relish and I have continue the tradition. The relish is tart and crisp, a nice contrast to the savory turkey, gravy, and dressing. If you prefer a sweeter relish, add more sugar to taste.
As I prepare the relish, I wondered how my Mother chopped the ingredients without our Food Processors and the I remembered…she used the cast iron food grinder…which I still have. It worked beautifully AND helped build those arm muscles. If only I had a place to attach the grinder so I could use it!
This Thanksgiving, as always, be thankful for our families, our health, our friends and that we have the joy of sharing Thanksgiving with loved ones!
FRESH CRANBERRY RELISH
1 bag fresh cranberries
1 red apple
1/2 to 1 cup sugar (to taste)
A day or two before serving, rinse the cranberries. Remove any soft or blemished cranberries.
Wash and core red apple and chop into large chunks.
Wash and halve and orange. Remove white membranes and slice off top and bottom peel of orange. Chop into large chunks.
Place cranberries, apple, orange and sugar in food processor and chop until coarsely ground. Chill for a day or more and serve.