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Monday, September 12, 2016

Cider Beetles

Cider Beetles
Get ready for the holidays!! I know a company that sells these for $7
each but I like to include them in holiday baskets. I like to make
these for the kids to have cider during the fall and winter holidays 
as a tradition in our very new household. They are very cute and
great as a gift. Tie with a festive ribbon and attached to a bottle
of apple juice along with the directions. These can be made
inexpensively if you purchase your spices in bulk by weight.
6 oranges
2 1/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar
12 (1 1/2 inch) cinnamon sticks
12 small whole nutmegs
24 large whole allspice
96 whole cloves
1. Adult Portion: Slices oranges in half and scoop out pulp
without breaking the orange rind. Reserve pulp for another use or
discard. Place orange halves cut side up (like a bowl) on a wire
rack on a baking sheet. Bake at 250F for 2 hours until dry and hard.
Let Cool.
2. Kid Portion: Pack brown sugar firmly into each orange half,
mounding slightly. Arrange spices in the brown sugar to resemble
beetles: use a cinnamon stick as the body, a nutmeg as the head, 2
allspice for the eyes (on each side of the head), and 6-8 cloves for
the legs/feet. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and store in the
refrigerator (I keep mine sealed in plastic and in the cupboard).
3. Directions for use: Unwrap the beetle and drop into 1 1/2
quarts apple juice or cider. Simmer 30 minutes. Strain whole spices
and orange rind from cider to serve. May add 1/2 cup of Brandy, and
heat well. Store leftover cider in the refrigerator.

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