Santa or Not, Cookies are HOT: Put Some Shimmer in your Sugar Cookie with a Dash of Cranberry Red

Ocean Spray Shares Recipes, Tips to Help Create Memorable Cookie Swap Parties

LAKEVILLE MIDDLEBORO, Mass., Dec. 15, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- If you're a cookie lover, it's the most wonderful time of the year. What's even nuttier than a fruitcake? A house full of cookie fanatics! Cookie swap parties are gaining in popularity and a great way to test and share recipes with friends and family. From shimmery sugar cookies to festive bars and bark – with the cranberry as your cohort, you'll go from cookie rookie to pinwheel pro in no time.

Ocean Spray's cookie swap recipes and party tips will help you plan the perfect swap. Chocolate may be crave worthy, but when it comes to vibrant color and versatile flavor, cranberries provide the perfect pairing for seasonal flavors like ginger, cinnamon, white chocolate and almonds. Red is also the signature color for the holiday season. This year forget the artificial food coloring and candy sprinkles, and go for that perfect pop of color and sweet, tangy taste only the cranberry can provide.  

A cookie swap is a creative, manageable way to share favorite recipes, stories and holiday cheer. Guests can sample the season's best and bring home enough cookies to last until New Year's. With the variety of fun and flavors that come with a cookie swap, there is guaranteed to be something for everyone – whether guests are Linzer ladies, biscotti boys or chocolate chip loyalists.

Ocean Spray's Gingerbread Biscotti and Cranberry Ginger Drop Cookies combine classic holiday flavors, like nutmeg and brown sugar, with the ever-popular ginger, making them top-choice treats. The zing of the coconut and cranberry found in the White Chocolate Clusters also continues to be a fan favorite. Satisfy sweet and salty cravings with Chocolate-Dipped Cranberry Cookies paired with milk chocolate and crushed almonds, or serve-up a savory option with Ocean Spray's Spice Cookies.

And by all means, since it's the season of sharing, don't be a Grinch. Share your cookie inspiration with friends, and ask guests to print and distribute their cookie recipes during the swap.

Put the finishing touches on any cookie swap or holiday party by following these additional guidelines:

  1. Bake plenty to pass. Nothing's worse than not having enough treats, so use the cookie swap ratio of 1 guest: 3 cookies to ensure that each attendee can sample every kind of cookie.
  2. Follow the rules. Include an RSVP in invitations, and ask guests to indicate the choice of cookie they plan to bring, thus cutting down on duplicates the day of. Send reminders at least three days in advance, and inform everyone of the final guest count, so they can use the cookie ratio. Also, make the cookie swap more authentic by requesting only homemade cookies.
  3. Set for success. Bring out the festive platters, napkins and tablecloths to dress up the serving table and coordinate with your cookie selection. Don't forget to take pictures. Start the tradition right with an annual photo of all the guests' beautiful, tasty creations.
  4. Don't forget the party favors. Have colorful boxes available for guests to take their cookies home. As they file out, full of plenty of cookies and lots of holiday cheer, hand everyone a goodie bag with a baking utensil or ornament and the stack of new cookie recipes to enjoy until the next swap.

In keeping with the spirit of sharing, Ocean Spray kicked off its Season of Sharing campaign online via Facebook. Now through Dec. 31 the grower-owned cooperative is sharing its fondest family recipes, seasonal crafts, photos and holiday tips online and inviting consumers to join the fun. Don't be a scrooge. The more posts, the more Ocean Spray, will share so open up those recipe boxes and photo albums and get ready for one big season of sharing.

Hostesses and partygoers can share ideas through Ocean Spray's Facebook page www.facebook.com/oceanspray and Twitter handle at www.twitter.com/oceansprayinc.

For more recipe ideas and holiday planning advice, visit Ocean Spray's holiday entertaining site at

http://www.oceanspray.com/entertaining.

Gingerbread Biscotti

INGREDIENTS:

1 stick butter, softened

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

3 eggs

1/4 cup molasses

3 cups flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1-1/2 tablespoons ground ginger

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon cloves

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 cup Ocean Spray® Craisins® Dried Cranberries

White Chocolate Glaze:

1 cup white chocolate chips

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

DIRECTIONS:

Biscotti:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a cookie sheet or line with parchment paper. Combine butter and sugars in a mixing bowl, mixing on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs and molasses, mixing well.

Combine dry ingredients and Craisins® in a separate mixing bowl. Add to butter mixture, mixing until thoroughly combined. Place half the dough on a cookie sheet and shape into a log 4 inches wide. Repeat with remaining dough.

Bake for about 25 minutes or until dough looks cooked through; remove from oven and let cool. Cut logs into 1-inch thick slices. Place cut side down on cookie sheet and bake an additional 5-7 minutes on each side. Cool completely. Glaze if desired.

Glaze:

Combine both ingredients in a pie plate. Microwave on HIGH for 2 minutes or until melted, stopping every 30 seconds to stir. Dip the bottom of each biscotti into the glaze. Place on platter or cookie sheet to harden.

Makes 28 biscotti.

About Ocean Spray

Ocean Spray is an agricultural cooperative owned by more than 700 cranberry growers in Massachusetts, Wisconsin, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and other parts of Canada as well as more than 50 Florida grapefruit growers. Ocean Spray was formed 80 years ago by three cranberry growers from Massachusetts and New Jersey. Florida grapefruit growers joined the Cooperative in 1976. Ocean Spray is North America's leading producer of canned and bottled juices and juice drinks, and has been the best-selling brand name in the canned and bottled juice category since 1981. Ocean Spray posted fiscal 2010 sales of $2.05 billion.

SOURCE Ocean Spray



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http://www.oceanspray.com/entertaining

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