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Cognac Cranberry Sauce

Girl Versus Dough Recipe by

Cognac Cranberry Sauce

Whole cranberry sauce made with sweet cognac, orange juice and autumn spices. It's good eatin'.

  • Prep Time 5 min
  • Total Time 20 min
  • Servings 8
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Cognac-Spiked Cranberry Sauce  

As prepared by Girl Versus Dough

Don’t panic.

I know Thanksgiving is coming up faster than the Road Runner hyped up on Red Bull. Maybe you’re hosting the holiday this year and the most you’ve decided on is what shoes you’re going to wear, but don’t worry. As far as things go in the Turkey Day menu department, we’ve got you covered. And it all starts with this Cognac Cranberry Sauce.

OK, so maybe cranberry sauce isn’t the star of the show on Thanksgiving, but this particular sauce? This one just might make your guests do a double-take (or double-TASTE, BAH DUM BUM. I won’t quit my day job). And if you’ve got a killer cranberry sauce as part of the spread, it won’t matter if the turkey’s dry or the pie is underbaked – ‘cause you’ve got a cranberry sauce cooked with cognac, and it’s DE-LUSH-ICIOUS. Which is delicious times a thousand million.

OK, well clearly I’ve dipped my spoon one too many times into the cranberry sauce, so I’ll just shut my gobbler now and tell you how to make this magical stuff. Wait, that makes no sense. MOVING ALONG…

Step 1: Get your ingredients handy. That’ll be a bag of fresh cranberries, some brown sugar, orange juice (I used blood orange juice in the photos, but you can use just plain ol’ orange juice to get the job done), traditional autumn spices like cinnamon and cloves and of course, cognac (you can also use brandy, if you so choose).

Ingredients for Cognac Cranberry Sauce

Step 2: Pour all the ingredients into a medium saucepan over high heat and stir to combine.

Pouring ingredients into a medium saucepan

Step 3: Once the mixture has started to boil, turn down the heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries burst and the sauce thickens.

Once the mixture starts to boil, turn down the heat to a simmer and cook

Step 4: LIKE THIS. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmy goodness.

Photo of sauce developing

Step 5: When the sauce is done, pour it into a serving dish and cool completely before serving. If you can wait that long, that is.

Cognac Cranberry Sauce, ready to eat

So there you go. At last, you can cross at least one thing off your Turkey Day to-do list!

Stephanie (aka Girl Versus Dough) joined Tablespoon to share her adventures in the kitchen. Check out Stephanie’s Tablespoon member profile and keep checking back for her own personal recipes on Tablespoon!
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Cognac Cranberry Sauce


bag (12 oz) fresh (or frozen and thawed) whole cranberries
cup light brown sugar (not packed)
cup orange juice
cup cognac or brandy
teaspoon ground cinnamon
ground allspice
ground cloves
ground nutmeg


  • 1 Place all ingredients in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring mixture to a boil, then stir and reduce to a simmer.
  • 2 Cook mixture uncovered, stirring occasionally, until cranberries burst and sauce thickens, about 15-20 minutes.
  • 3 Remove mixture from heat and pour into serving bowl. Cool completely before serving.
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