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Something different and lovely for Holiday dessert

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When I saw this recipe in the cookbooks that I picked up from the Ten Thousand Villages bazaar, I was stunned. It is so simple and gorgeous! Cranberries deserve this elevation to the status of delicacies. And while I was shopping last week I noticed that there are a couple of products that I did not notice before in stores that help us deliver healthier desserts.

The first is organic raspberry gelatin mix, under the label Delish. I found it at Sprouts in Tucson, and there are other flavors as well. But it corresponds exactly with this recipe. The second is Tru Whip, a healthier version of whipped topping that is even available sugar free, as well as free of high-fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated fats.

You can find Tru Whip at the frozen case in Sprouts, near Mintz's Blintzes, which are now carried there after Trader Joe's in Tucson dropped the ball on these dairy-free "cheese" blintzes that are so good with cherry preserves or apple butter.

I hope you have some parfait glasses to display this rosy-pink concoction to its best advantage. It can also be light enough to augment with Christmas cookies if you use Dream Whip or another dairy-free topping in place of whipped cream.

I made Christmas cookies this past week: Thumbprints, Pecan Fingers and Spritz Butter Cookies. I have two more coming up: Sugar Cutouts and Gingerbread Cutouts. I found some lovely decorating products in town, such as at Walmart and most supermarkets. Meanwhile, get your raspberry gelatin mix and try this treat.

CRANBERRY MOUSSE

Ingredients:

1 cup cranberry-juice cocktail
1 3-ounce package raspberry-flavored gelatin
1 cup of cranberry sauce, without berries
1 cup whipping cream, whipped

Heat the cranberry-juice cocktail to boiling in a medium saucepan. Stir in the gelatin until it has dissolved. Stir in the cranberry sauce.

Cool the gelatin mixture to room temperature and whip the cream. Fold the whipped cream into the gelatin mixture and transfer it to a serving dish. Chill it for several hours and serve very cold.

Anyone who customarily makes Jello desserts recognizes this method; it is very easy and the whole thing can be made the day before and the parfait glasses covered individually with plastic cling wrap and set aside in the refrigerator until serving time. The chilling overnight will enhance the flavor, in fact.

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