You ‘cran’ easily whip up these delicious holiday bites

Cranberry orange bites are incredibly easy to make, and not only are they a pretty appetizer or item for your holiday dessert table, but they’re delicious, too.

For all the complicated dishes that come along with the holidays, I tend to be especially attracted to all the fun snacks, candies and sweets that people make throughout November and December.

Our family get-togethers always feature a wide array of goodies on the snack table. It would be easy to skip the actual meal altogether and fill up on all the delicious bites on the side. I love digging into a homemade cheeseball or peanut clusters, filling my plate with tons of completely uncomplimentary flavor profiles. It’s the best.

We recently hosted a get-together at the office, so I decided to try a recipe for some cranberry orange bites to share on our snack table. They turned out great, and they were really pretty, too, with the color of the cranberry peeking out around buttery crescent dough.

This recipe comes from the blog “Play, Party, Plan” by Britni Vigil. You can find the original post at The only thing I changed is the amount of sugar, and I decided not to glaze these, too.

Cranberry Orange Bites


1 can crescent roll dough

2/3 cup cranberries, fresh or thawed

zest of one large orange

1 teaspoon dried orange peel

2 ounces cream cheese

2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup powdered sugar


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Prepare a mini muffin tin by spraying each well with cooking spray.

In a food processor, process the cranberries until they’re fully chopped up.

Add in the orange zest, orange peel, cream cheese and two tablespoons powdered sugar and process until the mixture is smooth.

Taste it and mix in more powdered sugar, a few tablespoons at a time, until the mixture reaches your desired sweetness. (It will be just a bit tart, but it shouldn’t make your lips pucker.)

Roll out the sheet of crescent rolls and, with a pizza cutter, cut it into 36 to 38 squares.

Using your hands, flatten out each square just a bit before placing it into the prepared muffin tin.

Scoop about one teaspoon of the cranberry mixture into each piece of dough, and then pinch the opposite corners together to make a little bundle.

Bake for 11 to 13 minutes or until the crescent rolls are lightly browned.

Store the bites in an airtight container.

My filling was incredibly tart when I first tried it, which led to me adding quite a bit more sugar to get it to a place where I didn’t think people would screw up their faces when eating it.

These were a very simple treat that went over well with our guests, and it made me excited for all the holiday snack tables to come over the next couple of months.

As those big meals come, I won’t mind skipping a larger scoop of mashed potatoes or foregoing the gravy. I’d much rather spend my holiday calories in a little different way.

Spice Up Your Life is a weekly recipe column by Lindsey Young, who describes herself as an enthusiastic amateur cook and can be reached through her website at


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