This time of year we start purchasing apple cider for drinking on those cool mornings- we especially like it spiced. The aroma of spiced cider wafting through the air brings everyone running. I have tried various mulling spice blends all of which were pretty good but one day while reading some of my favorite blogs, I came across Katie’s, of Chaos in the Kitchen, way of making spiced cider. She makes these adorable Cider Beetles.
She simply dries hulled orange peel shells, fills them with brown sugar, and designs a beetle on them using nutmeg, cinnamon sticks, allspice, and whole cloves. You see I did mine a little differently and made little “Mulling Minnows!” Instead of a whole nutmeg I did grate some fresh nutmeg into the orange peel shell and then filled it with the brown sugar. Like Katie I designed mine with whole cloves, cinnamon sticks, and allspice berries. I wrapped these with clear cellophane and tied them at the “tail” with red raffia. One Mulling Minnow added to 1 1/2 quarts of cider and heated through makes a terrifically spiced cider with a wonderful orange flavor. The longer you leave the orange shell in the cider the more bitter it will become, so be sure to only heat it with the cider for about 10-15 minutes. I do like bitter orange but some may not. Go on over to Katie’s to see exactly how she made her Cider Beetles.
With this post, I have joined my friend Shirley of Gluten Free Easily in the Holiday Food Fest event under the category Gifts of Good Taste which is featured on Phoebe’s site- Cents to Get Debt Free. See what other homemade treats others have come up with.
Thanks Katie, these will make perfect hostess gifts throughout the HOLY-day season!
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