Don’t let the name of these cider spice infusing creatures scare you. Easy and fun to make, kids love shaping the cinnamon sticks, nutmegs, allspices, and cloves into the shape of a beetle. They make a great gift to give out during the holiday season or to giveaway at a cookie exchange.
Slice oranges in half crosswise; scoop out 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 sugar. Use cinnamon sticks for bodies, nutmegs for heads, allspices for eyes and cloves for feet. Cover tightly with plastic wrap secured with a ribbon. Store in refrigerator.
To use, unwrap beetle and drop into 1 1/2 quarts apple cider or straight apple juice, simmer 30 minutes. Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup brandy, if desired, heat well. Remove rind and spices to serve. Store unused cider in refrigerator.
Dixie Crystals Insight
Don’t let the name of these cider spice infusing creatures scare you. Easy and fun to make, kids love shaping the cinnamon sticks, nutmegs, allspices, and cloves into the shape of a beetle.
As a gift attach the beetle with the use instructions to a plate of cookies or a loaf of bread. Or send one home with guests from your cookie exchange party.
Instead of beetles, try a cider reindeer. The head is a nutmeg. The ears are allspice. Place the cloves for antlers. Bury the cinnamon stick deep in the orange so it is not visible. To make Rudolph, add a Red Hot candy as the nose.