Q: I’d like to make holiday gifts featuring cranberries. Are there any recipes you’d recommend that aren’t too complicated, expensive or time-consuming to produce?
– Pam B., Atascadero
A: For a bright, flavorful and fun recipe, try orange cranberry scone mix in a jar.
Start with your favorite scone recipe, putting only the dry ingredients in the jar.
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Dry citrus zest and cranberries in a dehydrator following manufacturer’s instructions. Mix zest with sugar and place on top of dry ingredients, filling the remainder of jar with dried cranberries before putting on the lid.
Be sure to include a card letting your recipient know what wet ingredients to add and how to bake the scones.
You can re-purpose pint-size mason jars into charming gifts by tying on a tag with the scone recipe instructions using a festive ribbon. Buy a case of 12 jars in order to assemble several gifts at one time.
For something extra-special, place a jar in a pretty mixing bowl with a holiday dish towel and a wooden spoon, or wrap it in clear cellophane with a bag of loose leaf tea, a jar of sanding sugar and a fancy bow. A ceramic scone pan paired with a small, quarter-cup scoop and a jar of this festive mix would make any baker’s heart sing.
For different flavor profiles, you can use lemon or lime zest or add some candied ginger to the mix.
For an easy holiday jam, try this recipe for pineapple cranberry freezer jam, courtesy of canning company Ball.
With a unique tangy and sweet flavor, this jam is sure to please anyone who receives a jar. The jam can be kept in the freezer for up to one year and can be removed for gift giving at any time.
Gifts from your heart and hands are memorable ones and enjoyed by all.
Pineapple Cranberry Freezer Jam
Makes about 4 (8-ounce) half pints.
1 ½ cups sugar
5 tablespoons instant pectin
2 cups fresh or frozen coarsely chopped cranberries
1 8-ounce can crushed pineapple with juice
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoons orange zest
4 plastic 8-ounce freezer jars
Stir sugar and instant pectin in a bowl until well blended. Add cranberries, pineapple and juice, lemon juice and orange zest. Stir for three minutes.
Ladle cranberry pineapple jam into clean jars to fill line. Twist on lids. Let stand until thickened about 30 minutes. Refrigerate up to three weeks or freeze up to one year.