Duff Goldman's Creative Way To Bake With Canned Cranberry Sauce - Exclusive

Canned, jellied cranberry sauce is one of the more divisive staples on the Thanksgiving table. Some people view the wobbly log of sweetened cranberry juice with disdain and don't let it get anywhere near their turkey, but for others, the holiday isn't complete without this jiggly condiment. Food Network star Duff Goldman is in the latter camp. As he told Tasting Table in an exclusive interview, he even prefers it to the fresh cranberry sauce he makes from scratch. "I make it good, but the stuff in the can, it's just cranberries and sugar, there's nothing weird in there, and I like it. I like the texture of it. I like how smooth it is."

Goldman doesn't just eat canned cranberry on Thanksgiving — he also makes unique autumn desserts with it. At his bakery, Charm City Cakes, canned cranberry is a key ingredient in their delicious cranberry walnut cake. But Goldman's tip for a canned cranberry dessert you can make at home is even more ingenious. "I've used it for thumbprint cookies," he said. "You take it and you got to mash it up and get it soft again, and then you can pipe it into the cookie." Thumbprint cookies are often filled with some kind of jelly or jam, so using canned cranberry sauce is an inspired twist on the classic formula.

In search of a cranberry Newton

Duff Goldman's love of cranberry sauce is unsurprising given that he grew up in New England, a region that produces a lot of the fruit. During our interview, he brainstormed a way to combine canned cranberry with another New England favorite: Fig Newtons, which are named after a Massachusetts city.

Goldman mused, "I wonder if you could make a Newton with it, like a cranberry Newton." Although he hasn't yet tried it himself, he had an idea about what you'd have to do to make the idea work: "The thing about Fig Newtons is that the filling in Fig Newtons has crushed-up crispy cookies in it, and that is what thickens it up and keeps it from running out." He told us that you'd probably have to do something similar to turn canned cranberry into a Newton because the sauce would melt in the oven otherwise. 

You can watch Duff Goldman do a live cooking demo and taste his space-themed desserts at the Kennedy Space Center's Taste of Space: Celebrity Chef Edition event in Merritt Island, Florida on November 3.