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Looking for a creative way to spice up your mulled cider? These all-natural sweet and spicy Cider Beetles are sure to be a hit. You just take the brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg and design in the shape of a beetle, then drop in 1 1/2 quarts of apple juice and simmer. These also make adorable gifts. If you are feeling creative, you can also make cider reindeer or cider minnows. Let your imagination go wild!
- 12 oranges
- 5 cups Dixie Crystals Light Brown Sugar, firmly packed
- 24 (1 1/2-inch) stick cinnamon
- 24 small whole nutmegs
- 48 large whole allspices
192 whole cloves (8 legs on each beetle)
- Slice oranges in half crosswise; scoop out the pulp, and reserve for other uses.
- Place orange half shells, cut side up, on a wire rack on a baking sheet. Bake at 250°F for about 2 hours or until dry and hard. Let these cool completely before assembling the beetles.
- Pack brown sugar firmly into each orange shell, mounding it slightly. Arrange spices in brown sugar to resemble a beetle, pressing slightly into the sugar. Use cinnamon sticks for bodies, nutmegs for heads, allspices for eyes, and cloves for legs. If not using immediately, cover tightly with plastic wrap secured with a ribbon. Store in the refrigerator.
- To use, unwrap beetle and drop into 1 1/2 quarts apple cider or straight apple juice, simmer 30 minutes. Remove rind and spices to serve. Store the unused cider in the refrigerator.
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