Friday, December 3, 2010

Sugar & Spice

Tonight I'm going to a holiday cookie exchange.  I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to bring something a bit out of the box.   I found these two recipes in a magazine this summer.  I bought a big stack of recipe magazines at a garage sale, for a quarter a piece.  Many of them were holiday recipes, so I've waited until now to make them.

The first recipe had me at the title.  Sugared Cranberries.  Yum.  The tartness of the cranberries, mingled with the sweet sugar coating...not to mention the *pop* you get when you bite into a cranberry.  Just perfect.

Sugared Cranberries

2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups water
3 cups fresh cranberries
1 cup superfine sugar

Combine granulated sugar and water in a small pot.  Over low heat, stir mixture until sugar dissolves.  Bring to a simmer and then remove from heat.  Let cool a few minutes, and then in a large bowl, pour sugar water over cranberries.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.

Drain cranberries in a colander (you may reserve the liquid to use for something else if you wish).  Place superfine sugar in a shallow dish.  Add a handful of cranberries at a time, and roll to coat with the sugar.  Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and let stand at room temperature for at least one hour, or until dry.  You may store in an airtight container in a cool place for up to a week.

*NOTE*  I used my food processor to  make my sugar become superfine (which helped a bit, but didn't process it as much as I hoped it would) but you should be able to find superfine sugar in your grocery stores.  Because my sugar wasn't superfine, the coating on the cranberries was a bit more crystallized, rather than the dusted look that the original picture had.  However, it didn't change the taste any.  They are still marvelous to eat.  Also, the first time I made these, I used cranberries that I had in my freezer from last year.  That batch didn't turn out as well, as some of the cranberries were bad.  I recommend using a fresh bag of cranberries if you make this.

The second recipe I've been waiting to try looked equally delicious to me.  Spiced Orange Pecans.

Spiced Orange Pecans

2 egg whites, lightly beaten
3 Tbsp orange juice concentrate
2 cups pecan halves
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 Tbsp cornstarch
2 Tbsp orange zest
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4  tsp allspice
1/4 tsp salt

In a large bowl, combine the egg whites and the orange juice.  Add pecans and toss to coat.  Drain.

In a second bowl, combine the remaining ingredients, then add to pecan mixture.  Toss to coat.

Spread in a single layer in a greased baking sheet (I lined it with aluminum foil to ease the cleanup process) and bake at 250 degrees for 30-35 minutes.  Pecans should then be dry and lightly browned.  Cool completely, then store in airtight container.

Enjoy exchanging holiday goodies!  I'd love to hear some of your favorites!


Jen Sue Wild said...

Yum!! My freind always brings some of her oreange spiced pecans with dried crazens in the.

My favorite Holiday goodie is pecan caramel bars.. My friend Dawn just brought me some over and I ate all of them..

I also love Garnie Obergs homade suckers.

And Lilas carmel pop corn.
Gee all my friends make such good yummy treats.

purejoy said...

mmmm. both look positively devine. seriously amazing. like i need to try good… mmmm. spiced orange pecans/? yeowwww, sounds deeelish!!

Jeff and Lori said...


Sorry I didn't stick around longer. I especially wanted to get a chance to spend time with you. I'm sure it was a fun evening. Thanks for sharing the yummy treats and recipes. I pretty sure I'll add them to my make-every-Christmas list. The flavors are amazing! I love that they are unique and yet so comfortingly Christmas-y. I'll sure miss having you so close, but I'm glad you're not going too far!

Colleen said...

Tart but tasty, those cranberries! Thanks for the recipe!

Dan and Katie said...

Ok so at the party I thought those were frozen cranberries for the punch! I thought, why did they display the frozen cranberries so nicely! DUH!!! Now I want to try some :)