With the school holidays upon us, a great idea to keep your children occupied is to enlist their help in baking some tasty sweets. Try one of these delicious, cranberry inspired recipe ideas to fill your home with the aroma of freshly baked goods and treat the family. Some are special indulgences such as the cranberry cupcakes, whereas the cranberry, pecan and maple muffins are perfect as an everyday healthy snack.
Cranberries are not only versatile and easy to incorporate into your diet, but they are also jam packed with antioxidants, which is important for you and the kids as it helps prevent cold and flu nasties in the upcoming winter months.
VANILLA CRANBERRY WAFFLES
250g cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla
250g butter at room temperature
100g dried cranberries
In a bowl mix together the sugar and flour. Add cream cheese, eggs, vanilla and butter and mix it with a hand mixer to smooth dough. Add cranberries and fold them in with a spoon.
Preheat a waffle iron. Pour dough with a scoop into the rear part of the waffle iron, close the cap and bake for a couple of minutes.
Serve the waffles with whipped cream and sprinkled with icing sugar. Makes 16 waffles.
CRANBERRY CUP CAKES
1 ¼ cups fresh or frozen cranberries
2 Tbsp caster sugar
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp water
¾ cup caster sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups SR flour, sifted
½ cup milk
1 ½ cups icing sugar, sifted
2 Tbsp butter
Place cranberries, caster sugar, lemon juice and water in a small saucepan. Cook for about 5 minutes over a moderate heat until berries ‘burst’ and are softened. Crush berries using the back of a spoon until a thick puree emerges. Cool. Remove 2 tablespoons and push through a sieve. Set aside for icing.
Preheat oven to 180deg C and line a large muffin tray or two small muffin trays with patty cases. Cream butter and caster sugar until pale. Add beaten eggs and cooled cranberry mixture. Stir in sifted flour, salt and milk. Spoon mixture into paper cases and bake for about 20 minutes or until golden (12-15 minutes if using smaller muffin size).
Cool on a wire rack Icing: Place butter, reserved strained cranberry puree in a bowl. Beat in icing sugar gradually until thick and smooth. Use to decorate cup cakes.
DAIRY FREE, LOW FAT, CRANBERRY PECAN & MAPLE MUFFINS
2 apples peeled and finely chopped
2 ripe bananas
100g dried or frozen cranberries
50g pitted dates, chopped
125ml maple syrup
3 Tbsp pecan nuts, finely chopped
310g wholemeal spelt flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350oF/ Gas 4).
Mix together all the ingredients by hand until well combined. Add 375ml of water and fold together. The mixture should not be too wet; if it is, add a little more flour.
Lightly spray a 12 holes muffin tin with oil and spoon the mixture into the tin. Bake for about 25 minutes. Makes 12
Source: Cranberry Media Bureau
Health Benefits of Cranberries:
Cranberries contain bacteria-blocking compounds that are believed to be helpful in preventing urinary tract infections, and recent research suggests this same function may be useful in blocking the bacteria responsible for stomach ulcers and certain oral bacteria that can lead to gum disease.