Cranberry Week – Honey Whole Cranberry Sauce

Per Susie’s request…  🙂

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/4 cup 100 percent cranberry juice, not cocktail
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 pound fresh cranberries, approximately 4 cups

Directions

Wash the cranberries and discard any soft or wrinkled ones.

Combine the orange juice, cranberry juice and honey in a 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the cranberries and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries burst and the mixture thickens. . Place in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours and up to overnight.

Remove from the refrigerator and serve.

Cheery Cranberry Cocktails

Have you ever noticed how many mixed drinks contain cranberry juice? Why is that, I wondered?  

The answer was easy to find. Cranberry juice is unique in that it can can be paired with a variety of flavors and will nearly always taste great.

In many mixed drinks cranberry juice is used to finish off a drink or to give it that “something special”. Cranberry juice’s sweet and tart flavor pairs well with practically any type of alcohol including vodka, gin, bourbon, rum and tequila. It even enhances the flavor of Champagne!

In addition to the drinks below, there is cranberry juice in The Samhain and also in The Bee-tini, which you can find in Cooking With Honey.

Honey Cranberry Champagne Cocktail

Ingredients

  • 1-ounce cranberry juice (sweetened)
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 wedge lime
  • Champagne or sparkling wine
  • Cranberries (frozen)

Directions

In a chilled Champagne flute add cranberry juice, honey and a squeeze of lime. Stir gently until honey is blended in.  Top off the glass with Champagne. Garnish with 3 or 4 cranberries.

Honey Cranberry Slush

Photo courtesy of Amy Marrero Doyle

Ingredients 

1 cup frozen cranberry juice concentrate

1/2 cup honey

juice of 1 lemon

1 (12 ounce) can chilled lemon-lime soda

1 cup bourbon

Directions

In a medium bowl, stir together the cranberry juice concentrate, honey, lemon juice, lemon-lime soda and bourbon. Cover and freeze overnight. It will remain slushy because of the bourbon. Scoop spoonfuls into small glasses to serve as a cocktail.

Recipe makes 6 servings

Cranberry Week – Honey Cranberry White Chocolate Cupcakes

Cranberries were probably a part of the original Thanksgiving feast, although not in sauce form. The Native Americans used them for food, medicine, and even dye. Most importantly, cranberries were used as a preservative because they contain benzoic acid, so they added the fruit to meats and grains to extend their shelf life. General Ulysses S. Grant ordered cranberry sauce to be served to his troops in 1864, probably to prevent scurvy during the winter. It was first put into cans in 1912 by a company that eventually came to be known as Ocean Spray. 

Ingredients:

6 ounces of white chocolate chips

3/4 cup of softened butter

1 cup of honey

4 eggs

1/2 cup of cake flour

1 1/2 cups of flour

1 teaspoon of orange zest

2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed orange juice

2 teaspoons of baking powder

1 1/4 cup of fresh cranberries

Cream  butter and honey until light and fluffy, at least five minutes. Add eggs one at a time. Mix in orange zest, juice and baking powder. Slowly add flours, scraping the sides after each addition. Lastly add cranberries and white chocolate chips. Bake at 350 degrees for 18-21 minutes. Cool before frosting.

Frosting and Cranberry Drizzle:

1/2 can of whole cranberry jelly

1/4 cup of cranberry juice

2 tablespoons of honey

8 ounces of white chocolate

1 cup of butter

1 teaspoon of vanilla

2 tablespoons of milk

3-4 cups of powdered sugar (or until desired consistency)

Melt white chocolate on a double broiler and set aside, cool completely before using.

In a clean pan add cranberry juice, honey and whole cranberry jelly and heat. Whisk and stir until smooth and blended. Set aside and let it cool completely before using as a drizzle.

In a mixing bowl cream butter until light and fluffy, at least five minutes. Beat in white chocolate until smooth and blended. Add vanilla and milk and mix thoroughly. Lastly add powdered sugar, one cup at a time scraping the sides of your bowl. Add powdered sugar until you reach the consistency you like. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before frosting.

Frost cool cupcakes and drizzle with cranberry syrup.

Cranberry Week – Honey Cranberry Fudge Pie

Did you know that cranberries have anti-adhesion properties that reduce the number of oral bacteria that cause cavities and dental plaque?  They also help reverse periodontal (gum) disease.

Crust

1 2/3 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
5 tablespoons melted butter

Filling

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips or chopped semisweet chocolate (also good with white chocolate!!)
2/3 cup (5 3/8 ounces) heavy cream
3/4 cup diced walnuts or pecans

Topping*

1 cup honey
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups cranberry juice
1 cup dried cranberries
12-ounce package fresh or frozen cranberries, a generous 3 cups
*You’ll need about 15 ounces (a scant 1 1/2 cups) topping for the pie. Enjoy the remainder on its own.

Directions

1) Preheat the oven to 375°F.

2) To make the crust: Process the crackers, sugar, and melted butter in a food processor until crumbly and well combined.

3) Press into the bottom and up the sides of a 9″ pie pan.

4) Bake the crust for about 7 to 8 minutes, until it’s set, but not brown. Remove from the oven and cool.

5) To make the filling: Put the chips (or chopped chocolate) and cream in a microwave-safe container, and heat for about 90 seconds.

6) Remove from the microwave, and stir until the mixture becomes smooth and dark brown; you’re simply making a basic ganache.

7) Spoon the hot ganache into the cooled crust, and sprinkle the nuts on top.

8) Refrigerate the pie for at least 1 hour, probably 2, until the ganache has firmed up.

9) While the pie is chilling, make the topping. Bring the honey, salt, and cranberry juice to a boil.

10) Stir in the dried cranberries, and simmer for about 5 minutes.

11) Add the fresh or frozen cranberries, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes, until some of the berries have burst.

12) Remove the cranberries from the heat, spoon into a bowl, and chill.

13) To finish assembling the pie: Spoon 1 1/2 cups cranberry sauce atop the fudge/nut filling. Chill until ready to serve.

Yield: 9″ pie, 8 to 10 rich servings.

Cranberry Week

I voted this morning. Voting always makes me emotional. When I get emotional, I usually start thinking about cooking with honey. Today it was cooking with honey and cranberries.

Cranberries are quintessentially American. With the elections today and Thanksgiving coming up, it’s the perfect time to have a Cranberry Week on Romancing the Bee!

Native Americans used the cranberries as a staple as early as 1550. They ate cranberries fresh, ground, or mashed with cornmeal and baked it into bread. They also mixed berries with wild game and melted fat to form pemmican, a survival ration for the winter months. Honey was used to sweeten the berry’s tangy flavor.

By 1620 Pilgrims learned how to use cranberries from the Native Americans. There are several theories of how the berry was named. German and Dutch settlers named the berry “crane-berry” because it appeared to be the favorite food of cranes or the blossom resembles the head and neck of an English crane. Eventually craneberry was shortened to cranberry. By 1683 cranberry juice was made by the settlers.

The health benefits of cranberries rival those of honey. Cranberries have vitamin C and fiber, and are only 45 calories per cup. In disease-fighting antioxidants, cranberries outrank nearly every fruit and vegetable–including strawberries, spinach, broccoli, red grapes, apples, raspberries, and cherries.

So let’s celebrate Cranberry Week by baking some Honey Cranberry Cosmo Cupcakes!  To your health!!

Makes 3 dozen
Ingredients

FOR THE CUPCAKES
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups honey
4 eggs
1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
2 tablespoons  cranberry juice cocktail
2 tablespoons   lime juice
2 tablespoons triple sec
1 teaspoon  vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
Food coloring (optional)

FOR THE FROSTING
1/2 cup (1 stick or 113 grams) butter
1 pound (about 4 cups) confectioners’ sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cranberry juice cocktail
1 tablespoon vodka
2 1/2 teaspoons lime juice
2 teaspoons  triple sec
2 tablespoons milk
Food coloring (optional)

To make the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, cream the butter and honey together until light and fluffy, at least five minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a tim, then stir in the lime and orange zests. Add the cranberry juice, lime juice, triple sec and vanilla, and stir until combined.

Sprinkle 1/3 of the flour mixture over the batter and beat until just combined. Stir in half of the sour cream, then another 1/3 of the flour, and mix again until just combined. Stir in the remaining sour cream until just combined, then add the remaining flour and mix until combined, about 30 seconds. Don’t over mix.

Place 3 tablespoons of batter in each cupcake liner and bake for 17 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

To make the frosting: In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, beat the butter for about 30 seconds. Beat in the sugar and salt until combined. Add the cranberry, vodka, lime juice, and triple sec and whisk on high for at least 5 minutes, until light and fluffy. If the frosting is too thick, add some of the milk, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached.

Stir in food coloring, if using. Garnish with a slice of lime.