At this time of year, everyone notices and appreciates festive touches to special dishes. Cranberries are perfect for adding bright dashes of color when you’re entertaining. Delight your guests and make them feel special with these easy garnish ideas.
Two or three bags of Ocean Spray® Fresh Cranberries will be enough to create all of these ideas, depending on the number of guests.
Drinks and Cocktails
Place 1 cup of sugar and 3 tablespoons Ocean Spray® Fresh Cranberries in a food processor. Process until smooth and sugar is evenly colored. Spoon sugar into a shallow dish. Dip rims of glasses or mugs in cranberry sugar 2 or 3 times or until rims are thickly coated with cranberry sugar. (No need to moisten rims first.)
Use this colorful sugar to rim the edges of cocktail glasses or cocoa mugs. Or serve Cranberry Margarita Molded Salad in individual serving glasses dipped in Cranberry Sugar.
Cranberry Swizzle Sticks
Rinse fresh cranberries and pat dry. Spear several fresh cranberries on festive cocktail stirrers or wooden skewers. Place in glasses and fill with sparkling water or cocktails, like the White Cosmopolitan or White Cranberry Vodka Cocktail.
Cranberry Ice Cubes
Rinse fresh cranberries and drain well. Place 2-3 cranberries in the bottom of each ice cube tray compartment. If desired, add a fresh mint leaf to each cube. Add water to trays, filling to top. Freeze until solid. Unmold cubes and use in juice or cocktails like our White Cranberry Wine Spritzer. You can also add some color to your table by placing in individual water glasses at each place setting.
Main Courses and Side Dishes
Place a 5-inch length of kitchen string on a work surface. Arrange fresh herbs such as rosemary, parsley, thyme, sage or basil at center of string. (It’s especially nice to use fresh stalks of the same herbs that are used in the dish you’re garnishing.) Tie bundle with string and trim ends. Thread a large darning needle with a 12-inch piece of kitchen string. Tie knot in end of string. Thread six fresh cranberries onto the string, remove needle and knot other end of string. Push three cranberries down to one end of the string, and three cranberries down to the other end of the string. Tie cranberry string around herb bundle. Place herb bundles around base of roasted turkey, or use to garnish other savory dishes such as stuffing or potatoes.
Cranberry Bulls Eyes
Cut a fresh orange into 1/4-inch slices. Cut the orange slices from one side to the inside edge of the rind on the other side. Pick up and gently twist. Place twisted slice on plate and tuck one cranberry into each side of the twist, pressing into place.
Toss together equal parts finely chopped fresh cranberries and finely chopped parsley. Add half as much grated orange peel. Sprinkle mixture like confetti around the edges of plates, or over sliced turkey platters or vegetable side dishes like our Confetti Corn Pudding.
Cranberry Herb Butter
Beat 1 cup softened butter, 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cranberries, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, 1/2 teaspoon dry basil and 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder in a small mixing bowl with an electric mixer until well blended. Scoop butter onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Use wrap to shape butter into a log 1-1/2 inches in diameter. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill 1 hour or until firm. Slice butter into 1/4-inch rounds and arrange on serving plate. Serve with vegetables or potatoes.
This butter can also be made without the basil and garlic powder and served with baskets of holiday breads, dinner rolls, popovers or croissants. It’s very good with our Rosemary Hazelnut Cranberry Bread.
Rinse fresh or frozen cranberries with cold water in a colander. Drain well and set aside.
Make an egg white wash by whisking one egg white and 1 Tablespoon of water in a small bowl.
Pour some granulated sugar on a plate or shallow bowl. Dip cranberries, one at a time, in egg wash, then roll in sugar. Place coated berries on sheet of waxed paper to dry. Continue to create the desired amount of berries.
Sugared cranberries arranged with mint leaves look spectacular on top of cakes, such as our Outrageous Chocolate Cranberry Fudge Cake, or place a few sugared cranberries on individual servings of cake, pies or tortes.
Cranberry Mint Confetti
Toss together equal parts finely chopped fresh cranberries and finely chopped mint. Add half as much grated orange peel. Sprinkle mixture like confetti around the edges of dessert plates.
Cranberry Chocolate Plate Art
Microwave 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips in a resealable food storage bag for 1 minute on high. Squeeze bag until chips are smooth. Add 3 tablespoons Ocean Spray® Jellied Cranberry Sauce and 1 teaspoon vegetable oil. Seal bag and gently squeeze until well combined. Clip one bottom corner of bag and drizzle dessert plates with chocolate mixture. Delight kids by spelling their names! Decorates about 12 dessert plates.