Get Creative With Canned Cranberry Jelly Using Cookie Cutters

Cranberry jelly stacked on plate
Cranberry jelly stacked on plate - Pamela_d_mcadams/Getty Images

When it comes to canned cranberries, most people stand divided. Many tend to find the side dish cloyingly sweet, while others can't get over its less-than-appealing appearance. However, the latter is precisely what makes cranberry jelly the perfect candidate for a makeover. With the help of your trusty selection of cookie cutters, you can turn sad slices of canned cranberry jelly into something visually stunning.

We eat with our eyes first, which means that every dish should look as delicious as it tastes. Though this can prove harder for ingredients like slimy rounds of canned cranberry jelly, the feat isn't totally impossible. Rather than just cut up the gelatinous log into slices, go a step further by using the cookie cutter of your choice — leaves, stars, hearts, or whatever else you please — to shape the jelly.

Simply lay thick slices of cranberry onto a sheet of parchment paper before pressing a cookie cutter into the jelly. Then, using a spatula, carefully transfer the shapes when you're ready to plate. Not only will this hack make the overall presentation look more inviting, but it also allows you to rethink how to serve the sugary, yet tart side.

Read more: 20 Unexpected Ingredients That Will Elevate Homemade Cake

Let Cranberry Cut-Outs Be A Source Of Culinary Inspiration

Various types of cookie cutters
Various types of cookie cutters - Carey Jaman/Shutterstock

Despite that cranberry jelly forms can easily be used as a garnish over top of roast turkey breast or slices of spiralized ham — why limit yourself? Add the shapes as a finishing touch on savory panna cotta, beef tartare, or Brie crostini. Tiny cranberry cut-outs can even add a pop of flavor and color when placed over open-faced sandwiches, pizzas, and creamy spreads. Plus, should you want to go a step further, you can elevate plain-looking cut-outs with a sprinkle of rosemary sugar or a few curls of orange zest.

As for other ways to showcase the festive cranberry cut-outs, use them in frozen treats for a textured surprise by strategically placing them into ice cream cakes or fruity popsicles. Likewise, they can also be stacked into layered dishes whether that be a squash ratatouille tower, mini layered cake, or a personalized trifle. That said, you can use the cookie cutters to shape the other ingredients for an added wow factor, as well.

The bottom line is this, if you can look beyond the gelatinous consistency of cranberry jelly, then cookie cutters will do the rest of the heavy lifting. Transforming the ingredient from an overlooked side dish to the ultimate pièce de résistance, cookie cutters are a must-have tool. So, play with various shapes and sizes, and get as inventive as you please because there are no wrong ways to experiment with cranberry cut-outs.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.