How did December go by so fast?! It's basically just a week till Christmas and I still have SO much left to do! Other than all the gift shopping I seem to have left until the last minute ????, I wanted to do so much more baking and cooking for the season this year! Honestly though, I feel like it isn't the holidays unless they sneak up you. Due to the large amount of shopping and internet searching I have left myself, I have a quick and easy holiday recipe to share with you today that'll be perfect for your Christmas get togethers: Holiday Orange Cranberry Sauce!
Ever since I shared those Cranberry Daiquiris last year, I've been meaning to do one full post on just the sauce itself. I do seem to use it quite often (LOVE cranberry sauce ????) every holiday season so it was about time we get down to the basics of this traditional side dish.
First off, I put ALL the orange flavor in it. Fresh orange zest and a little orange extract if you're feeling snazzy. The citrus flavor wonderfully compliments the tartness of the cranberries. And of course, don't forget the cinnamon sticks! This Holiday Orange Cranberry Sauce is definitely one of those recipes that really benefits from a cinnamon infusion. Just a hint of extra flavor! If you don't have cinnamon sticks and want to use ground cinnamon instead, be verrryyy careful how much you put in to the sauce. I would do just a pinch or two because it's a very subtle flavoring. Too much cinnamon and you'll overpower the rest of the sauce.
To be frank, I put this stuff on pretty much everything. You know how everyone ladles gravy onto their mashed potatoes and turkey? Nope. Orange Cranberry Sauce. That Slow Cooker Pot Roast I'm going to make Christmas eve? Yup! Drizzled with Orange Cranberry Sauce. It might seem strange, but I find meat and taters taste DELISH when they're served with massive dollop of this deliciousness. I think if you give it a go, you''ll be pleasantly surprised!
- 1 (12 ounce) bag fresh cranberries
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- Zest of 1 orange
- ½ teaspoon orange extract*
- In a small sauce pan, bring cranberries, sugar and water to a boil. Add range zest, orange extract and cinnamon sticks.
- Reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 10-15 minutes, until cranberries have burst, stirring occasionally.**
- Remove from heat. Discard the cinnamon sticks, and cool the sauce completely before serving (it will thicken as it cools).
*If you don't have orange extract, use a splash of the juice from the zested orange to add more flavor.
**For a thicker cranberry sauce, continue to cook, about 20-25 minutes. I prefer mine a little bit more juicy; a sauce instead of a relish.