Aside from opening up a can each year when Thanksgiving rolls around, how often do you cook with cranberries? If I had to guess I’d say not much, because most of the year, these tart little crimson jewels go fairly unnoticed. Of course the get a little slice of the spotlight that is the Thanksgiving table but, how often do you hear anyone say “this cranberry sauce is fantastic!”? The truth is, I’m not even a big fan of cranberry sauce myself, but it’s a shame that we limit our cranberry creations to a can because they have so much untapped potential. Fresh cranberries when raw tend to be dry and tart, but cook these little babies down and suddenly they’re juicy and bursting with mouth puckering flavor. To help shed some light on the vast potential of this fresh autumn fruit, I now present X ways to get creative with cranberries in your kitchen:

1. Cranberry-Ginger Pear Pie

If you’re a little tired of the same apple or pumpkin pies this holiday season, consider adding this gorgeous cranberry-ginger pear pie to your table. That tempting crispy topping will make it virtually impossible for your guests to resist.

http://www.browneyedbaker.com/cranberry-ginger-pear-pie/ Photo by: Brown eyed Baker

2. Cranberry and Cheese Danish Cupcakes

Part danish, part cupcake… these mini morsels combine cream cheese and ricotta with tart cranberry jam for a mash up of cheese and fruit flavors that’s almost too good to be true.

http://www.cupcakeproject.com/2011/11/cranberry-and-cheese-danish-cupcakes-3.html Photo by: Cupcake Project

3. Baguette Crisps with Goat Cheese and Savory Cranberry Jam

For an appetizer that hits all the holiday high notes, serve your guests these beautiful and delicious baguette crisps featuring tangy goat cheese and tart cranberry jam.

http://farmtotablela.com/savory-cranberry-jam/ Photo by: Farm to Table

4. Cranberry Meringue Pie

There’s no doubt you’ve heard of lemon meringue pie and key lime pie, but for something really outside the ordinary, consider this; cranberry meringue pie! If you think about it, it makes perfect sense as lemons, limes and cranberries are all full of mouth-puckering power!

http://www.thebakerchick.com/2012/11/cranberry-meringue-pie/ Photo by: The Baker Chick

5. Cranberry Orange Breakfast Buns

With a filling of butter, brown sugar, cranberries and orange zest, these warm and sticky breakfast buns will make you forget all about those cinnamon things you used to eat.

https://smittenkitchen.com/2013/11/cranberry-orange-breakfast-buns/ Photo by: Smitten Kitchen

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6. Cranberry Pistachio Baked Brie

I love topping creamy brie cheese with all sorts of fruit flavors but with bright red cranberries and nutty green pistachios, this one is especially perfect for the holidays!

http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/cranberry-pistachio-baked-brie/ Photo by: Gimme Some Oven

7. Jelly Donuts with Cranberry Jam

With ruby red cranberry filling and a powdered sugar dusting that reminds us of gently falling snow, these jelly donuts perfectly embody the spirit of the season.

http://www.theeverythingsoapblog.com/2013/10/jelly-doughnuts-with-cranberry-jam.html Photo by: The Everything + Soap Blog

8. Cran-Apple Crepes

These sweet and tart crepes with a cranberry apple compote would make the perfect breakfast for a cheerful and festive Christmas morning.

http://www.foodpleasureandhealth.com/2012/12/whole-wheat-crepes-with-cranberry-apple-compote.html Photo by: Food Pleasure and Health

9. Savory Cranberry Twists

With just four ingredients (frozen puff pastry, cranberry jelly, jalapeno jelly and an egg) you can whip up these impressive savory cranberry twists for your holiday guests to nosh on.

http://handmademood.com/savory-cranberry-twists/ Photo by: Handmade Mood

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10. Cranberry Upside Down Cake

Cranberries are the bright red star of this surprisingly easy dessert that’s bursting with tart, juicy cranberry flavor.

http://www.nourishingmeals.com/2012/11/cranberry-orange-upside-down-cake-grain.html Photo by: Nourishing Meals

11. Cranberry Scones

Sometimes scones can be a little dry and lacking in the flavor department, but when you add in plump whole cranberries, orange zest and a sweet sugar drizzle, there’s no way these cranberry scones will disappoint.

http://sweetpeaskitchen.com/2013/11/fresh-cranberry-scones/ Photo by: Sweet Pea’s Kitchen

12. Cranberry and Brie Pull-Apart Bread

Cranberry and brie is always a great idea and it gets even better when you add those flavors into this rich and savory pull apart bread that’s sure to impress at your holiday gathering.

http://vegetarianventures.com/caramelized-cranberry-brie-pull-apart-bread/ Photo by: Vegetarian Ventures

Angela Nightingale

If you want to know the best cupcake shop in any major city in America, just ask Angela. This girl knows her sweets, and she isn't shy about letting you know that your german chocolate cake needs more chocolate. If you want to find Angela on any given day, she's probably looking up reviews to decide where to grab lunch, or in her downtime, binge-watching the latest 'it-series' on Netflix.

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