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Baking on a snow day - want to use up fresh cranberries

Another snow day here in Jersey, and I was thinking of baking. I have a half a bag of fresh cranberries that I want to use, and trying to think what I can do - could I add them to brownies? Maybe do scones? Most recipes call for dried cranberries, so do I need to do anything special? I'm not a very good improv baker, so recipes welcome.

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  1. I make cranberry orange muffins with 1/2 cup of chopped fresh cranberries.

    1. Are you absolutely set on baking? I make a 'relish' of cranberries, jalapenos and oranges. It keeps forever in the fridge and is a great accompaniment to so many things.

      1 Reply
      1. re: c oliver

        I'd love that recipe, c oliver, even if you prefer to post in a different thread!

      2. I'd cooked them down into a chunky glaze and use it as a sauce for a roast (which on this snowy day in NJ I am doing right now). I'm also baking rye bread (it's rising) and a batch of peanut butter and jelly cookies for the snow shovel gang.

        16 Replies
        1. re: HillJ

          That might work too - Ive got dinner plans (a picky eater as our babysitter, AKA grandma), but I can do that and then add it to a roast later in the week.

          1. re: mickeygee

            If you enjoy the tart flavor of fresh cranberries already, then go easy on the sugar and taste as you go. I actually like raw cranberries as is. I pop them like candy. Cooking them down without much sugar will create a glaze very quickly. Low flame, slow and easy stirring.

            Enjoy the snow!

          2. re: HillJ

            Can you share the PBJ cookie recipe? Sow day here, and need something fun as an afternoon project

            1. re: cheesecake17

              Sure! I take my favorite PB cookie recipe and instead of making the traditional indents with a large fork I make a thumb indent and fill the indent with jam after the cookies have baked and cooled. Or, I bake off the entire recipe, let the cookies cool and then sandwich the jam between two cookies. Today I'm doing with the thumbprint version with black raspberry jam.

              This is the PB cookie recipe I use: http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2...

              black raspberry jam is my own batch.
              I used almond PB from WF because I had it on hand but any will do.

              Happy baking!

              1. re: HillJ

                I've got chunky on from WF (365 brand). Think that'll work?

                Also, does the dough need to chill for a full 2hrs?

                1. re: cheesecake17

                  Oh yeah, love chunky! It's a snowstorm in NJ right now so no I only left the dough on my back pantry for 30 mins and it was chilled enough :) If you're in a warm place chill for at least an hour or you could have tiny oil pools in your cookies. Btwn the butter & the PB called for the chill is important.

                  1. re: HillJ

                    It's snowing like crazy in Brooklyn now :(
                    We'll make and chill, either today or Wednesday (another snow day predicted)

                    1. re: cheesecake17

                      Ugh, more snow? Well we try and make the best of it... :)

                      1. re: HillJ

                        Wednesday 8 inches.
                        Saturday it's going to be 3" or 30"
                        Gonna stock up on flour & sugar :)

                        1. re: cheesecake17

                          I'm right there with you! Tomorrow I'm making baklava with pistachios and lamb meatballs with creamed spinach.

                          Saturday I'm suppose to be in PA, wonder if I'll make it there?!

                          1. re: HillJ

                            Yummm. Baklava is a favorite- I don't make it but I love to eat it!

                            Have you tried the lamb meatballs from Jerusalem? Current favorite.

                            Hope you make it to PA! This weather has been insane

                            1. re: cheesecake17

                              Yes I own a copy of Jerusalem and I adore all types of lamb dishes.

                              In 2013 I was on a baklava sojourn. Relearning, playing with the recipe, working out my issues with the dough. Now I'm happy and now I just make a batch without second guessing myself. NOW I love making baklava. Before, it was like taking a course 4x's until I finally passed!

                              1. re: HillJ

                                Definitely try the lamb meatballs with herbs (I skipped the yogurt). Went over VERY well around here.

                                My grandma makes baklava that's unbelievable. One of these days I'm going to have to write down the recipe.

                                1. re: cheesecake17

                                  Thanks, I will. You are lucky to have a Grandma who makes wonderful baklava!

                                  1. re: HillJ

                                    She makes wonderful everything! And shes always teaching and helping me. I'm super thankful

                    2. re: HillJ

                      didn't figure you to be in NJ HillJ.

            2. I would suggest brownies and or blondies. I've used them in a brownie before; I just roughly chopped them before adding to the batter. You may want to add a bit more sugar to the recipe to allow for the bitterness of the fresh cranberry.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Cherylptw

                i love them in chocolate chip blondies, but do not add extra sugar. i whiz the cranberries in the food pro, so the pieces are pretty small and that little pop of tartness is just delicious for me.

                1. re: Cherylptw

                  +1 love to use them in a white chocolate brownie (with or without a swirl of nutella… or a dark chocolate brownie with that swirl of nutella)

                2. They need serious sweetening. Cook them into a conserve which can be a topping for pudding, ice cream, shortcake, or poundcake. Use oranges/juice in it, or any other fruit you have on hand in whatever form. Depending on the fruit(s), spice with clove, cinnamon, cardamom, etc.

                  Or make a cranberry upside down cake, using a generous amount of sugar and raw berries. Fill in with apple or pear slices if you don't have enough berries.

                  I have a recipe for cranberry topped meatloaf that I could dig out upon request.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: greygarious

                    Could you post that on the meat loaf thread please? Sounds like a delicious and interesting twist.

                    1. re: meatn3

                      Looked at it and it calls for cranberry sauce, not berries.
                      It's just 3/4 cup each whole berry sauce and brown sugar in the bottom of a greased loaf pan, topped with a pretty typical meatloaf mixture based on 2.5# meat. You turn out the cooked loaf after 10-15 minutes of resting time.

                  2. If you compensate with a little extra apple in place of the cranberries (and also then bumping down the sugar in the fruit mixture), then this looks like a nice recipe from Ina Garten for a cranberry apple cake.


                    I've also had this cranberry cake recipe in my files to make sometime, but have not made it- maybe you'll beat me to it and let us know how it turns out!


                    2 Replies
                    1. re: 4Snisl

                      I've made the kitchn's cranberry cake and it is delish. The second time I made it I added a layer of parchment paper to the bottom of the springform pan as it really bonded to the "lightly greased" pan the first time around. I also tried it as a loaf but the results were not as good (the ends were over done but the center was not cooked through). I've never done the topping because the cake (in a springform pan) doesn't need it, IMO.

                      1. re: 4Snisl

                        I've made inas recipe a few times and it always get rave reviews. Next time I want to try with blueberries.

                      2. I made cranberry bars recently (think lemon bars, but cranberry curd instead)

                        16 Replies
                        1. re: cheesecake17

                          Interesting. How'd you do the cranberry curd?

                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                            I found the recipe on a blog (forgot which). The cranberry curd was that recipe- it was really good.
                            The crust recipe was adapted, and there was no nuts and minimal sugar. It was ok, prob better with the walnuts.

                            The curd was delicious- lick it off a spoon good.

                            1. re: cheesecake17

                              These are so pretty! I'm so glad Caitlin asked you about these!

                              1. re: cheesecake17

                                Funny, when Caitlin asked, I googled and found that recipe, too. My first thought was almond shortbread instead of walnut. But what a great idea!

                                1. re: kattyeyes

                                  And so pretty!
                                  I ended up scraping out all the cranberry mixture and eating it with yogurt.
                                  Husband ate it as is and loved it

                                  1. re: cheesecake17

                                    Totally on my baking wish list for my one bag of frozen cranberry "reserves." Thanks for sharing!

                                    1. re: kattyeyes

                                      Ditto, thanks, cheesecake17. An almond crust would be great with that, and the curd on its own sounds great, too. I'm kicking myself for failing to stockpile cranberries for the freezer!

                                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                        Not sure where you are, but in ny I can still get fresh cranberries

                                        1. re: cheesecake17

                                          Hmm. I'm in CT and I'm pretty sure they left the supermarket shortly after Christmas--along with my favorite cranberry English muffins. I'll hafta look more carefully on my next trip.

                                          1. re: kattyeyes

                                            I've seen them in some local fruit/vegetable places. Could be that they're left from the holidays, but they looked fresh

                                          2. re: cheesecake17

                                            I'm in Northern California, and the cranberries are long gone from the markets.

                                      2. re: cheesecake17

                                        Using your recipe as inspiration and a jump off point, today I made my own--1 cup of cranberry curd for bars with an almond shortbread base, 1 cup in a jar for eating by the spoonful or as desired. So glad I had a bag of frozen cranberries. Next year I need to remember to stash more than one. Thank you for sharing a great idea. :)

                                      3. re: kattyeyes

                                        i loves these too! and YES to almond -- am not a fan of walnut.

                                    1. re: geminigirl

                                      Having just made some today, that looks like more than double the amount of sugar you'd need for a bag of cranberries (and I, personally, am a major sugar bear!). I used 3/4 cup along with half a fresh lemon squeezed. Hers even has OJ in it. YIPES!

                                  2. Make an apple crisp and throw the cranberries in with the apples.

                                    1. Cranberry nut bread with walnuts.

                                      1. A cranberry compote always comes in handy,

                                            1. re: Chefpaulo

                                              This looks terrific and fairly easy to make. The recipe says that you need a FP with a minimum 10 qt capacity. Mine is 7 quarts. Is there any way to tweak the recipe to do it in a 7 qt?

                                              1. re: masha

                                                Dear Masha,
                                                Cups, not quarts. If concerned, just split the ingredients and do it in two batches but I think you'll be OK with your 7 cup model as there are only 5 and 1/4 cups of bulk ingredients, plus the egg and the small additives. But do use an 11-inch tart pan. And French vanilla ice cream is the best complement.
                                                [I am sorry some found it "too tart." The ice cream really evens this out into a memorable dessert.]

                                                1. re: Chefpaulo

                                                  Yes, of course, cups. Thanks for the advice. (My husband loves tart desserts to I am thinking of making it for Valentine's Day.)

                                            2. My advice is to leave the cranberries in the freezer. Next summer when the weather is really hot, make cranberry-orange relish (cranberries, sugar, and a whole orange, in the Cuisinart) and serve it with cold chicken. Refreshing.

                                              1. You've probably used up the cranberries by now but, if not, here is a very easy recipe for "cranberry walnut pie" -- really more like a big cookie:
                                                It may require more cranberries than you have, however.

                                                1. this post inspired me to use up the bag of cranberries in the freezer... made a cranapple crumble. perfect lunch dessert on Midwest snow day.

                                                  1. Oh, and there is always cranberry vodka!

                                                    1. Laurie Colwin's Nantucket Cranberry Pie! Which is actually a cake, and ridiculously easy. I like it with whipped cream.


                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: LeoLioness

                                                        I was going to suggest a Cranberry Upside Down Cake but it's very similar to the recipe you listed. Uses brown sugar instead of white sugar on the bottom & you invert it onto a plate after baking.

                                                      2. imagine it's too late, but at thanksgiving time to use up extra cranberries, i cooked em down with water and just a little bit of brown sugar, then pureed em and substituted into a biscotti recipe for some of the fat. had to bake them a little longer, but they were great with a cream cheese drizzle.

                                                        1. I wound up adding them to Nigella Lawson's brownie recipe. I also subbed in white whole wheat flour, which made them a little denser, but still yummy. I'm not someone who likes too much sweet, so the tart was a great complement. Thanks for all the other ideas, I might start stocking up on cranberries :)