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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Cinnamon-Candy Cider

One of my great childhood memories is making "cinnamon tea" at Grandma's house. My grandma kept a yellow sugar pot in her pantry - always within kids' reach - full of red hot candies. She smiled and looked the other way whenever a grandchild needed to sneak a few, and the pot always came out when we had dress-up tea parties. We filled a plastic teapot with water and a few spoonfuls of red hots, then stirred and waited for the candies to dissolve and the "tea" to turn pink. Then we would pour and drink; it was a little girl's dream.

Which is why I was thrilled to come across this slightly more grown-up version. It struck a deep chord in me, especially as I think of Grandma this time of year (she passed away 4 years ago last week.) Also, it's perfect for Valentine's because this is the best time of year to buy red hots. I think you can find them year-round if you look hard, but in February they're in every store. They turn your cider a deep rosy color and add just a hint of sweet-n-spicy heat to your morning cup.My kids don't generally like hot/warm drinks but my 4-year-old saw me drinking this and wanted a sip. She sipped and smiled, "Mmm, delicious! Can I have my own cup?" Nothing could have made me happier.

Cinnamon-Candy Cider
1 quart apple cider
1/4 cup red hot cinnamon candies

Heat apple cider and cinnamon candies in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly, until heated through and candies have melted completely, about 10 minutes. Serve warm.Recipe from Martha Stewart Kids

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