CRANBERRIES AND ALMONDS GO NUTS TOGETHER!
Posted by Zel Allen's nutgourmet on October 24, 2009
What a pair, those sweet-tart cranberries and crunchy, earthy almonds! They almost sing together in close harmony—they go together like strawberries and cream or mashed potatoes and gravy. You might even say they go nuts together—in a totally happy way. And for those who are not chocolate fans or who suffer from chocolate allergies, they will find these little balls of delight absolutely delicious and totally chocolate-free.
So in a wild and crazy kitchen experiment to create a fruity and nutty confection that holds together well and that also holds up well for several days in the fridge, I invited these divine little morsels to move in together. Now, they’re here to stay. I’ve even discovered they actually keep well in the fridge for two to three weeks—a terrific advantage when you want to keep something sweet to nibble on hand for unexpected visitors, or when you need something to give as a gift. Heck, these little sweeties can even cheer up a friend who’s got the flu.
Thinking ahead to the holidays, I love to make little sweet nibbles and bring them to a holiday potluck. They make a perfect hostess gift when I’m invited to a friend’s house for dinner, or to give as a thoughtful homemade holiday gift. And who doesn’t love to pop a mini morsel into the mouth and feel the near symphonic pleasure when those divine tart-sweet flavors bursts over the taste buds.
Imagine being on the receiving end of a gift-wrapped box or decorated jar of delectably sweet cranberry and almond treats. That is the joy you’ll be bringing to others with a little love spent in the kitchen preparing these tangy sweet treats that put the spotlight on cranberries and almonds.
NUTTY CRANBERRY CONFECTIONS
Yield: about 25 morsels
1 cup whole almonds
2 cups dried cranberries
18 pitted dates, snipped in half
1/4 cup apple juice
3 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped orange or lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 cup almond meal or finely grated dried unsweetened coconut
1 sprig of fresh mint
1. Place the almonds into the food processor and process until coarsely or finely ground, depending on how much texture you desire.
2. Add the remaining ingredients, except the almond meal and mint, and pulse and process until all the ingredients are well incorporated but still retain a little of the texture. You may have to stop the machine several times to redistribute the ingredients.
3. Using about a teaspoon of the fruit mixture, roll into 1-inch balls. Place the almond meal into a small bowl and roll the balls into the powdery meal to coat them.
4. Store the Nutty Cranberry Confections in a covered container in the refrigerator until ready to use. To serve, place the confections on a doily-lined serving dish and garnish with a sprig of mint.