I always get a little bit sad when the holidays are over. Not because it’s time to put up all of the lights and decorations, but because I don’t get to bake all of those delicious holiday treats any more! I mean, technically I can bake Christmas treats all year long I suppose, but my mind is already switching gears to Valentine’s Day, so baking Christmas cookies and cakes will have to wait for another trip around the sun.
I tend to use a lot of cranberries in my Thanksgiving and Christmas cooking. I am crazy about their crisp berry taste with just a hint of tartness. When you add a little sugar to them, they’re out of this world! I was delighted to find that I still had some leftover in my freezer that needed to be used up, so I decided to sugar them and use them in another recipe. They’re so gorgeous when they’re sugared, and they make a beautiful embellishment to all sorts of holiday desserts. People typically make sugared cranberries around Christmas time, but I really wanted to make them now. I’m thinking I can find a way to incorporate them into a Valentine’s Day dessert, perhaps. (Stay tuned to see!) 😉
Making sugared cranberries is crazy easy, but it is a little bit time consuming because there are two different time that you have to let them sit and “dry.” The first step to making them is to heat a medium sauce pan with 1/2 cup water and 3/4 cup sugar and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add in the cranberries and stir them long enough to coat them in the syrup that you’ve created. Remove from heat quickly – they should not be on the heat long enough to hear them pop.
Using a slotted spoon, carefully transfer the cranberries onto a cooling rack with foil or parchment paper underneath to catch the drippings. Allow them to sit for roughly an hour to dry.
In a small bowl, pour about 1/4 cup of white granulated sugar and toss the cranberries in – just a few at a time. The cranberries will be dry, but will have a sticky film around them from the syrup. I recommend doing just a few at a time so that the cranberries don’t all stick together too bad. You’re looking for a nice, even sugar coating over all of the cranberries. Once they’ve been sugared, move back to a drying rack and allow to sit for another hour or 2. Store them in a loosely covered container and keep for a few days. Here’s a copy of the recipe if you’d like to print it out!
- ¾ cup white granulated sugar + additional for dusting
- ½ cup water
- 8 oz bag fresh cranberries
- In a medium sauce pan, heat water and sugar and stir until all sugar has dissolved
- Add in cranberries and stir for just a few seconds until completely coated
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer cranberries onto a wire rack on top of a baking sheet and allow to dry for an hour or so
- Once cranberries are dried, pour a small amount of sugar into a bowl and toss around to coat
- Place cranberries back onto drying rack and allow to dry for one more hour
- Store cranberries in a loosely sealed container so the sugar will stay intact and not dissolve
Sugared cranberries are such a simple little treat to make, so if you have some leftover cranberries hanging out in your freezer from your holiday baking, break out the sugar and make something new and delicious with them! Do you have a special recipe that you love to make that includes cranberries? If so, I’d love to hear about it!