Saturday, November 14, 2009

Chocolate Cake

My dear husband likes chocolate. Well, that is an understatement I guess... He is a chocolate snob. And that's ok :) That means that instead of eating a Twix Bar he will wait and eat chocolate truffles that I've made. He'll eat 20 chocolate truffles in one day, but still... this usually only happens a few times a year (usually revolving around finals). He's been in need of a chocolate fix and I'm not up for truffles.

I've been meaning to dive into my Cake Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum for awhile now and JD finally gave me the push I needed (read: He picked a recipe and said "make this"). This cake is amazing. The crumb is very fine. It is dense without being heavy. It literally melts in your mouth. I made a small 6 inch double layer cake and 9 cupcakes and we ate almost every single piece of this thing... The frosting is a Milk Chocolate Buttercream. Prepare yourself, this is not a low calorie dessert.
This is the last cupcake that I brought to a friend of mine. My son liked them without the frosting. He also actually ate the whole cupcake, which is a first. He usually just licks off the frosting and is done.


Milk Chocolate Buttercream

1 lb Milk Chocolate
8 Oz Dark Chocolate
12 Oz Butter, softened

Melt chocolate together over a double boiler until 1/2 is melted. Remove from heat and stir until all the chocolate is melted (will take a few minutes of constant stirring, but don't worry it will all melt. If it doesn't place it back on the double boiler for a few seconds and stir quickly. Don't overheat). In a bowl to fit on your mixer place your butter and the cookie paddle attachment. Beat the butter until smooth and starting to fluff a bit. Once the chocolate has melted and cooled until it is no longer hot to the touch pour the chocolate into the butter. Beat on medium for about 30 seconds and scrape down the bowl. Again beat until it is all one color and smooth. Frost :) It will begin to dry and harden on the top so whatever you don't use and want to keep, you can freeze for up to 6 months, room temperature for 3 days or fridge for 3 weeks.

Chocolate Butter Cake

1/2 C + 3 T unsweetened Cocoa
1 C Boiling Water (add 3 T for Utah Altitude Adjustment)
3 Large Eggs
2 1/4 tsp Vanilla
2 1/4 C + 2 T Sifted Cake Flour
1 1/2 C Sugar
1 T Baking Powder (Decrease to 2 7/8 tsp for Utah Altitude Adjustment)
3/4 tsp Salt
1 C Butter

In one bowl combine water and cocoa. In another bowl combing eggs, 1/4 coca mixture and vanilla. In yet another bowl combine remaining dry ingredients and whisk for about 30 seconds to incorporate everything. Add the butter and the remaining cocoa mixture. Mix on low until all the dry ingredients are moistened. Then increase to medium high for 1 minute 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides and add the egg mixture in 3 parts mixing for 20 seconds after each addition. Pour into greased and floured pans 9 inch cake pans. Bake 25-35 minutes at 350 (375 for Utah Altitude Adjustment) or until a toothpick comes out clean. If you want to do cupcakes it should make at least 20 (maybe 24... depending on how full you fill each cup). Bake at the same temperature as the cake, bake for 18-22 minutes, but start checking about 15 just in case.

Pomegranate Rice

I know it's not a great photo, but at least you can see all the goodness in this rice. It was SOOO good. The one thing to know though is to add the pistachios right before you serve it. I preferred the crunch they offered. They longer it sits the softer they get. Still good flavor, but the texture changes. It's definitely a great recipe, just not one that I want to cook and eat every night... kind of a Special Occasion side dish :)

I got this recipe from Better Homes and Gardens.

1 Shallot (or 1 T finely minced yellow onion)
1 T Canola Oil
1 C Jasmine or Long Grain White Rice (I used a Wild Rice medley you can purchase at Costco)
2 tsp Fresh Ginger
1/8 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 14 oz can Reduced Sodium Chicken Broth (You can use veggie stock or water)
1/4 C Water
1/2 C Roasted Salted Pistachio Nuts
1 C Pomegranate Seeds
Lemon Peel Strips

Heat oil in a saucepan and add shallots, cook until tender. Add rice, ginger, cinnamon and cook until rice begins to brown. Add water and broth and bring to a boil. Cover and turn to low. Simmer until rice is done. For the Jasmine or White Rice it will be about 20-25 minutes, for the Wild Rice Medley from Costco it will be about an hour. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Place in a bowl and stir in pomegranate seeds and pistachios. Garnish with lemon peel and serve.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Chocolate Cherry Cake

The water significantly changes the texture of this cake. With water its a cake with cherries in it. Without water its a cross between cherry brownies and a cherry cake... very rich but really good.

Chocolate Cherry Cake

1 chocolate cake mix

1 C water (optional)

1 egg

1 can (21 oz) cherry pie filling

1 ½ C chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together cake mix, water and egg until smooth. Fold in cherry pie filling. Pour into a greased 9x13 pinch pan. Bake 30-35 minutes or until cake springs back when touched. Sprinkle chocolate chips over the top of the cake and let melt. Once melted spread chocolate chips over the cake as frosting.

Cheesy Penne Pasta

This is mac n cheese for adults. You could just as easily substitute regular sharp cheddar for the white. It is really easy, just high in fat and calories.

Cheesy Penne Pasta

1 lb penne pasta

2 C aged white sharp cheddar

2 tsp Dijon Mustard

½ C Whole Milk

¾ C Heavy Cream

Boil noodles. Drain and add cheese. Add Heavy Cream, milk and Dijon mustard. Stir over medium low heat until cheese has melted.

Chicken Broccoli Alfredo

It isn't homemade, but looks it and almost tastes it. :) I'm sure you could substitute any boxed alfredo pasta and add any other veggies you want.

Chicken & Broccoli Alfredo

3 T Margarine

1 lb chicken breasts

½ c chopped red bell pepper

2 C Fresh or frozen broccoli florets (thawed)

1 ¾ C Water

½ C milk

1 pkg Knorr Pasta Sides, Alfredo

Melt 1 T margarine in a skillet and cook chicken thoroughly. Remove chicken and set aside. Melt remaining margarine in same skillet and cook red pepper. Stir in broccoli, water and milk. Bring to a boil. Stir in Alfredo pasta. Cook 8 minutes. Return chicken to skillet, heat through.

Veggie Rice Pilaf

This can easily be made Vegan by omitting the chicken stock and replacing with water or veggie stock. We forgot the almonds tonight, but it was great without.

Rice Pilaf

1 C Rice

2 C water or chicken stock

1/2 cup carrot, diced

1/2 cup green onion, diced
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup celery, diced
1/4 cup green pepper, diced
1/4 cup sweet red pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup almonds, sliced

salt to taste

1/4 tsp oregano

Sauté chopped vegetables in olive oil until clear, yet crisp: stir in oregano. Add rice and sauté until golden and fragrant. Add water or stock and bring to a boil. Cover and turn down to low and let simmer for 20 minutes. Add salt to taste. Dry-roast almonds in heavy skillet until lightly golden. Add almonds and mix.

Easiest Roast Chicken

When I say easy, I mean easy! You must let it rest!

Roast Chicken Dinner – Serves 4, about 250 calories per chicken breast (no skin, no bones), about 60 calories per drumstick (no skin, no bones), wings about 100 calories (no bones)

One 3-4 pound chicken

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 teaspoons minced thyme (optional)

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Rinse the chicken, then dry it very well with paper towels, inside and out. The less it steams, the drier the heat, the better.

Salt and pepper the cavity, then truss the bird. Trussing is not difficult, and if you roast chicken often, it's a good technique to feel comfortable with. When you truss a bird, the wings and legs stay close to the body; the ends of the drumsticks cover the top of the breast and keep it from drying out. Trussing helps the chicken to cook evenly, and it also makes for a more beautiful roasted bird.

Now, salt the chicken— rain the salt over the bird so that it has a nice uniform coating that will result in a crisp, salty, flavorful skin (about 1 tablespoon). When it's cooked, you should still be able to make out the salt baked onto the crisp skin. Season to taste with pepper.

Place the chicken in a sauté pan or roasting pan and, when the oven is up to temperature, put the chicken in the oven. I leave it alone—I don't baste it, I don't add butter; you can if you wish, but I feel this creates steam, which I don't want. Roast it until it's done, 50 to 60 minutes. Remove it from the oven and add the thyme, if using, to the pan. Baste the chicken with the juices and thyme and let it rest for 15 minutes on a cutting board.

Bagel Dogs

I know... they sound strange. They are however surprisingly good. They are better when you haven't eaten all day and you need to have your daily caloric intake in one meal, but hey... every now and then it's alright.

Bagel Dog – serves 16 (maybe 32 if you cut each one in half) Appx $1.23 per serving

JohnMorrell Polish Sausages (not Smoked) 48oz pkg
Hillshire Farms Pastrami 2-8 oz pkgs
1 LB Swiss Cheese
1/4 cup Dried Onions
4 pkg. yeast (or 4 T yeast)

1-2 tablespoons Poppy Seeds
1 egg beaten

8 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3 cups of warm water

3-4 Tablespoon of sugar
4 tablespoons of salt

In the bowl of a mixer combine: 3 ½ C Flour, 4 T yeast, sugar, salt and water. Mix until smooth and set aside for 5 minutes. Then add 4 1/2 to 5 cups of flour making a ball of dough. Set aside while you prepare centers.

Take 16 polish sausages (I use John Morrell they taste the best) slit them down the middle making room for the cheese and the pastrami. Take 2 packages of Hillshire Farms pastrami and slice each package in 8 equal portions. Take 1 pound of swiss cheese and cut into 16 equal strips. Beat 1 egg to brush on later and you will also need 1/4 cups dry onion and 2 tablespoons of poppy seeds.

Take the sausages and open them up sprinkle approx. 1/2 teaspoon of dried onion inside, place pastrami and cheese on top of that. Once they are all prepared with the meat and cheese take the dough and cut it into 16 pieces. Roll each piece out flat into a triangle. Place the meat on the shortest end as long as there is enough room to fold over the ends to seal. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with poppy seeds. Place on a baking sheet Bake @ 375 to 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until brown. If you want to you can freeze them individually then wrap in plastic wrap and put in zip lock bags to keep fresh. From frozen they take 5 extra minutes to bake. Enjoy!

These are traditionally served with Yellow Mustard.

Back Log

So apparently, it's been a while. I had a baby right after the last post and obviously haven't done much since. That will change though :)

I am in charge of a cooking group for my Church and we hold 8 classes each year. We usually cook 3-5 new things, maybe with a theme, maybe not :) Tonight we made 5 delicious meals and one dessert... the recipes are soon to come, but there are no photos, sorry. Maybe nest time! Hope you enjoy!

Friday, February 6, 2009

These cupcakes were awesome! I found a recipe for a chocolate cherry cake. Different then any chocolate cherry cake I've ever had, but it was awesome. My mom makes a delicious chocolate cherry cake with cherry pie filling and cake mix, super dense, fudgy and rich but awesome!

This is a chocolate cake with a cherry frosting. The frosting was light and fluffy and a little tangy which paired well with a very chocolatey cake.

Cherry Frosting

8 oz Sour Cream
1 C Whipping Cream
1 1/2 C Powdered Sugar
2 T Maraschino Cherry Juice

Whip all ingredients together until stiff peaks form. Frost cupcakes or a double layer chocolate cake of your choice. This generously frosted almost 2 dozen cupcakes. For a cake I would multiply it by 1.5 just to ensure that you have enough frosting. I preferred the frosting the next day as it stiffened up just a bit more.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Pulled Beef Enchiladas

My husband has been craving real beef enchiladas with red enchilada sauce. I found this recipe on a food blog ( I made a few adjustments and tripled the recipe, we had a 3.25 lb chuck roast we used in place of the blade steaks. I also didn't add the cilantro or jalapenos, we like hot but not so intense that it makes your eyes water and your nose run.

Next time I will use beef (or chicken) stock instead of water and I would cut the salt out since my tomato sauce is already salted. I cooked mine in a crock pot and it needed to cook about 6-8 hours, but only got to cook for about 4 and it still tasted great. Spanish rice and homemade refried beans or black beans would also be great with this. 

3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tbsp chili powder
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp oregano
1 to 1.25 lbs blade or chuck steaks, trimmed to small pieces
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
½ cup water
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack or mild cheddar
¼ cup chopped cilantro
¼ cup canned japapenos, chopped fine
12 (6-inch) corn tortillas, white or yellow

1. Combine garlic, chili powder, coriander, cumin, sugar, and 1 tsp salt in a small bowl. Pat the meat dry and sprinkle with salt. Heat oil in a dutch oven (or I used just a deep saucepan) over med high heat. Cook meat until browned on both sides. Transfer the meat to a plate. Add chopped onions to the pot and cook over medium heat until golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic mixture and cook till fragrent, about 1 minute. Add tomato sauce and water, bring to a boil. Return meat and juices to the pot, cover, reduce heat to low, and gently simmer till meat is tender and can br broken apart with a wooden spoon or fork, about 1 ½ hours.

2. Adjust oven rack t the middle position and heat oven to 350. Strain the beef mixture over a medium bowl, breaking meat into small pieces, reserve the sauce. Transfer meat to a bowl and mix with the cilantro, jalapenos, and 1 cup of cheese.

3. Spread ¾ cup of sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. Microwave tortillas 6 at a time until soft, 1 minute. Spread 1/3 cup beef mixture down the center of each tortilla, roll the tortillas tightly, and set in the baking dish seam side down. Repeat with remaining tortillas and beef, you may have to fit a few down the sides of the pan. Pour the remaining sauce over enchiladas and spread to coat evenly. Sprinkle remaining cheese over, wrap with foil, and baked until heated through, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking till cheese browns slightly, 5 minutes. Serve with your favorite toppings (guac, sour cream, salsa) Enjoy!!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Chicken Stock & Soup

My son loves soup. If I let him, he would have soup for breakfast, lunch and dinner. His favorite is Chicken Soup with rice or noodles. We've been purchasing the good stuff, Healthy Choice or Progresso low sodium for at best $0.75 per can. He can eat at least 1/2 a can and some days the whole thing.

Whole chickens were on sale at Albertson's for $0.69/lb so we purchased 4 chickens for about $14.00. We attempted our first chicken soup with homemade stock. It turned out really well, better then I thought it would. The soup after it was canned was much better then it was the day before which I thought was handy :)

The herbs are variable and completely up to your specific taste preferences. I made more stock last night from the left over carcass from dinner (it takes about 3 hours) and used Thyme, Parsley, and Oregano (the herbs used to season dinner).

Chicken Stock Recipe

1 Whole Chicken, cut into pieces (I obviously left it whole and it worked just fine. You can also use a carcass here instead of the whole chicken if that's all you have. OR you can use just legs and thighs, whatever you have on hand.)
4 Quarts Water (you may need to add more throughout cooking, next time I will start with 5 quarts)
2 Stalks Celery, quartered
2 Medium Onions, quartered
10 Peppercorns
2 Bay Leaves
1 T Salt (optional, you can add it at the end if you want for seasoning sake or just leave it out)
Optional Herbs: Rosemary, Thyme, Parsley, Oregano. You can use fresh or dried but fresh has a more substantial flavor.

Combine chicken and water in a large sauce pot or stock pot. Bring to a boil and boil for about 30 minutes to remove any impurities. Skim off the foam that has formed. Add remaining ingredients. If you are using fresh herbs be sure to tie it up in some cheesecloth before putting it in the water. Return to boil then reduce heat and simmer for 2-3 hours or until the chicken is tender. Remove from heat and skim off any additional foam. Line a colander with cheesecloth and place the colander over a large bowl. Pour stock through colander and let the chicken cool. If you wish, allow stock to cool until the fat solidifies and then return to a boil in a large sauce pot. From here you can can the stock as is or you can make it into soup.

For Canning: ladle hot stock into jars leaving 1 inch head space. Adjust lids and process in a pressure canner: pints for 20 minutes at 10 pounds pressure (15 pounds if you live above 1,000 ft altitude) and 25 minutes for quarts.

For Soup: Combine 4 quarts chicken stock, about 2-3 cups celery (depending on how much you want), 2-3 cups sliced carrots, 1-2 cups chopped onion, salt and pepper to taste in a large stock pot or sauce pot. Brig mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until carrots are tender. Adjust seasonings as desired, you can add bouillon as well if you want to. Serve from here or can as follows: pints 1 hour and 15 minutes, quarts 1 hour and 30 minutes at 10 pounds pressure (15 pounds if you live above 1,000 ft altitude).

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Tarte Tatin

Please forgive the overly orange tint to this picture. Unfortunately an orange Tupperware plate is the only plate that I have large enough to hold this masterpiece. I've been craving Caramel (or toffee or any browned sugar really) for the last few weeks. I saw a recipe on one of my favorite food blogs for an apple upside down cake and wanted to do something with my apples.
I attempted a Tarte Tatin. It is a french upside-down apple tart. I have to admit, it was awesome. The toffee coated edges are my favorite. My husband said it needed something to "tart it up a bit, like stiletto heels." I'll try this again but next time I am going to try adding some lemon zest to the crust along with replacing the water with lemon juice. We'll see if that works. My other thought is to add some cranberries right before the crust goes on. We'll tweak it and I'll you know how it goes.
I used a 10 inch cast iron skillet and it worked beautifully.
6 medium-large Golden Delicious Apples (or about 3 pounds. I used Fuji and Braeburn since that's what I had I don't know if Granny Smith would work, they might have a bit too much juice)
1/2 C Butter
1 C White Sugar
1.) Make dough (see below). Roll into a 12 inch round and refrigerate.
2.) Peel, core and quarter the apples, set aside
3.) Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.Melt the butter in the skillet and sprinkle the sugar evenly over the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat and arrange the apples against the side of the pan, standing the apples on a thin edge to fit as many as possible (it will not stay pretty unless you rearrange before you put on the crust). Fill the center of the skillet with as many apples as possible. (There may be some left over)
4.) Place the skillet over high heat and cook, stirring frequently for about 15-18 minutes. (The sugar should be caramelized and the apples should be slightly tender).
5.) Remove the skillet from heat and slide the prepared crust onto the apples. Being careful not to burn your fingers (I used forks), gently tuck the edges of the dough against the inner sides of the skillet (make sure it's around all the apples).
6.) Bake the tart until the crust is browned 25-35 minutes. Let cool on a rack for 20 minutes then loosen the sides with a knife and invert it onto a serving plate that can withstand heat. Return any apples that stick to the skillet to their proper place on top of the tart.
Serve immediately with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream
Flaky Butter Pie Crust (for 1 tatin or 9 inch pie crust)
1 1/4 C Flour
1/2 tsp white sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 C Cold Butter
1 1/2 T Shortening
1/4 C Cold Water (more as needed)
1.) Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl
2.) Cut butter into 1/4 inch pieces and cut into flour mixture with a pastry blender until it resembles pea-sized pieces.
3.) Add the shortening and cut into mixture. Continue to blend with the pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some pea-sized pieces. This should be done quickly to prevent the mixture from softening.
4.) Drizzle over flour mixture about 1/4 C Cold Water and gently mix until the mixture looks evenly moistened and begins to form small balls. Press down on the dough and if the balls do not stick together add a little water 1 T at a time. If they do, press the dough together with your hands until it is all incorporated. Do not overwork the dough. It should look rough.
5.) Roll between 2 pieces of plastic and refrigerate for the Tatin or wrap the unrolled dough in plastic and freeze or refrigerate. Frozen it will last up to 6 months, refrigerated it will last about 2-3 days.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Jam, Jelly, Preserves, etc

I've been getting into canning a lot lately and there have been awesome sales on fruit as well. I've been trying to figure out what the difference is between a fruit butter, conserve, jam, jelly, etc. In case you were wondering here are the differences.

Fruit Butter:

Fruit butter is made by cooking fruit pulp and sugar to a thick consistency that will spread easily.


Conserves are jam-like products made with a combination of two or more fruits, nuts, and raisins.


Jams are made by cooking crushed or chopped fruits with sugar. Jam can be made of one fruit or a combination of fruits, they do not hold the shape of the jar.


Juice strained from fruit is used to make jelly. It holds its shape when removed from the jar but can be spread easily.


Marmalade is a soft jelly containing small pieces of fruit and peel evenly suspended int he transparent jelly.


Fruit is preserved with sugar so it retains its shape, is transparent, shiny, tender and plump. The texture can vary from the thickness of honey to that of a soft jelly. A true preserve does not hold its shape when spooned from the jar.

Kiwi Jam

Reams (a grocery store here in Utah) had an awesome sale on Kiwi last week. It was only 9 cents per kiwi. So other than drying, which used up a little more than 1/2 of my kiwi supply I made Kiwi Jam with a friend of mine this morning. It turned out well, just a little different then planned. I would however make this again, it tastes really really good.

The recipe didn't turn out exactly as planned. That could have something to do with the fact that although I read the directions, I didn't fully read the directions if you know what I mean. First, you're not supposed to multiply the recipe, just make it as is. We tripled it. Second, you are supposed to add the pectin, let it boil then add the sugar. I added it all at once and then boiled it. Third, the recipe calls for 1 C unsweetened pineapple juice and I think I may have added an extra cup. Fourth, the recipe calls for 4 C of sugar. I only used about 8 C total (it should have been 12). Fifth, (yes I know I did a lot of things wrong) the yield says about 4 half-pints so we expected to make a total of about 12 half-pints. We made 15 half-pints and still had some left over that we put in a zip-loc container and froze.

Even for all the things I did wrong it turned out well. It tastes really good. The sugar doesn't overpower the Kiwi and the pineapple makes a great combo. If you want to learn more about Kiwi here's a link to wikipedia, it's actually pretty cool. Did you know it's actually a berry?

Kiwi Jam

3 C chopped and peeled kiwi
1 package powdered pectin
1 C unsweetened pineapple juice
4 C Sugar (I used 2 2/3 C per recipe)

Combine kiwi, powdered pectin and pineapple juice in a large sauce pot. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Add sugar, stirring until dissolved. Return to a rolling boil. Boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim foam if necessary. ladle hot jam into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Adjust two-piece caps. Process 10 minutes in a boiling water canner. (you have to adjust for altitude, this time is for sea-level processing)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Drying Kiwi

I haven't been able to find any instructions online or in the cook books I own regarding drying Kiwi. I'm making it up as I go. I currently have 5 racks of kiwi (appx 50 small) peeled and sliced about 1/4 inch thick with my dehydrator set at about 135 F. I did not sweeten them or dip them in citric acid as some websites say is done commercially. I started them about 6:50 PM. I'll dry them overnight and see how they go... It's a work in progress. Has anyone ever dried kiwi before?
Update: I was able to take off the majority of the kiwi (all but about 1.5 trays worth) at 8:30 AM. That's a total of about 13.5 hours of dry time. The remaining kiwi slices were a little thicker and stayed in the dryer until about 12:30 PM, so an additional 3 hours or so. They are tasty, a little tart, but still have a great kiwi taste. I'm sure you could do this in the oven, but you will not be able to do as many.
The 50 small kiwi I used made about 9.5 ounces of dried Kiwi. If you try this, let me know how it goes!

Drying Cranberries

I have been on a food preservation kick for the last little while. I recieved a dehydrator for Christmas 2007 and I love it. It is a L'Equip dehydrator with 6 racks. I've made jerky and a few dried fruits over the last year or so. I had some left over cranberries from Thanksgiving (about 2 pounds) and had no idea what to do with them, so I tried my hand at dehydrating. I searched online and in my cookbooks and could only find one semi-reliable recipe for drying cranberries. Here it is with my notes and comments throughout.

These turned out pretty well for the most part. They are still on the tart side, definately not as sweet as the Ocean Spray Craisins you can purchase at Costco, but still quite good. They are also much more sticky and it was bit of a pain to remove them from the drying racks. Next time I think I may not let them sit in the water for so long (pull them out just as they pop) and I'll let them cool before trying to make sure they are all popped.

Have you ever tried drying cranberries? Any tips or ideas would help.


Prep Time: 10 minutes (it took me about 20 mintues between picking over and removing the bad ones and getting them cooked a bit in the boiling syrup)

Cook Time: ~8 hours (I had to cook mine for about 18)

· 1 bag (12 oz) fresh whole cranberries
· 1 C sugar (or sugar substitute of your choice)
· 1/2 C water


Preheat oven to 200 F (or turn your dehydrator on high)
1. Put cranberries in large skillet, and pick through to remove soft and/or brown ones.
2. If sweetener is powdered, dissolve in water. (comparison of sources of "liquid Splenda"). Pour over cranberries and stir.
3. Heat on medium high until cranberries pop, about 4-5 minutes. Stir every minute or two. When all seem popped, turn off the burner and let them cool for 10 minutes. (If you heat the syrup before hand the cranberries will cook faster)
4. Squish them down with the back of a large spoon. Don't worry if it seems they are melding together. Let cool another 5 minutes or so.
5. Cover baking sheet with three layers of paper towels and a piece of parchment paper. If using a food dehydrator lightly spray trays with cooking oil.
6. Spread cranberries on the parchment or tray. If unpopped ones remain, squish them down now.
7. Put in oven and turn heat down to 150 F. Leave your dehydrator set at about 150 F.
8. In 2-4 hours, replace parchment and flip paper towels over. (You don't have to do this, but it speeds up the process.) If you are working with a dehydrator, just let them sit.
9. Start checking after 6 hours. Total time depends upon humidity and other factors. It usually takes me about 8 hours. It also depends on whether you want to dry them to the point where they still have some "give" or whether you like them "crispier". (It took me about 18 hours to dry them to the point where they were leathery with a little give)
10. Separate them, and store covered (zip-type bags or a food saver works as well).


I love to cook. I love reading about cooking and I love experimenting with food. This site is mainly an effort to keep my recipes straight and to keep my comments on recipes in a central location. Feel free to comment!