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Fresh Cranberries: Not Just for Sauce

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The cranberries: our favorite angsty 90s band, the best thing to ever come out of a bog, and Thanksgiving's truest underdog. Whether you bought one too many bags of cranberries or just want to shake things up, here's what to make with cranberries instead of—or in addition to—sauce.

"You're a dream to me" - The Cranberries
"You're a dream to me" - The Cranberries Photo by James Ransom
  • Candy 'em! Make these orange blossom-scented ones, or these classic ones. Then top cakes with them, float them in cocktails, or snack on them as is.
  • Add chopped fresh cranberries to the streusel-like filling for baked apples.
  • Use them to pave the surface of an upside-down cake—or a double upside-down cake.
  • Sub them for figs in everyone's favorite cookie-snack bar—or steamed pudding.
  • Or make them jammy and pipe them into doughnuts.
  • Chop them up and roll them into cinnamon-swirl bread.
  • Aargersi chops them up and adds them to salsa for a tart kick.
  • Add a couple of handfuls to to stews and braises.
  • Or macerate them with sugar, add vinegar, and turn them into a festive, zippy shrub.
  • Bake them into muffins, scones, or quick breads—or toss a handful into an apple or pear pie.
  • Make a cranberry-infused vodka! Here's how NWB does it: "Cut [the cranberries] in half, put them in a liter of vodka, let them soak for a week or two. The vodka turns a deep pink and has a great tart flavor. Cranberry vodka and soda with a lime is a perfect holiday season cocktail."
  • Stir mashed cranberries into a vinaigrette for a sharp, bright salad.
  • Turn them into sherbet! (You may need to increase the amount of sugar, since they're so tart.)

Where else do you find use for fresh cranberries? Share your tips in the comments!

Tags: thanksgiving leftovers, cranberries, unique ideas, new cranberry ideas