Vanilla Sugared Cranberries
Bright red and sparkling, these little beauties belong on every holiday table. Super simple to make and even simpler to pop in your mouth for a little sweet/tart snack. They make a stunning garnish to many holiday dishes and cocktails….almost too pretty to eat!
I love sparkles….shiny, pretty, glittery things that make me smile. I’m like a bird, I’m drawn to tinsel, glitter, baubles and sugared cranberries. I’ve always had a thing for sugared fruit but always bought the styrofoam stuff at Pier 1 or Pottery Barn. I think it’s beautiful…and magical. I always wanted to take a bite out of any type of sugared fruit when I was little. Even though I knew, it was just a decoration. It seemed like such a great concept. Roll fruit around in a big bowl of sugar and then eat it….WHY NOT?
So, I finally did it. I started small but small is good. Really good. Like a box of natural Sweet-Tarts just waiting to be opened. These little gems are amazing and surprisingly addictive. I’ve always seen these in magazines as a garnish to much more complex recipes and then thought I wouldn’t have the energy to forge ahead to make a glitzy garnish. But these Vanilla Sugared Cranberries are so easy and you can make them a day in advance.
You start by making an easy vanilla simple syrup with sugar, water and…..vanilla. Then toss the cranberries in the syrup and let them steep for a bit.
Transfer the cranberries to a wire rack to dry.
Toss the cranberries in the sugar.
Transfer to a baking sheet to dry completely.
They look spectacular in or around a cocktail….on top of a cake or cupcake, next to the turkey in a little glass bowl, on top of your spectacularly easy cranberry jelly or this gorgeous (and easy) cocktail. These NEED to be on your holiday table this year. I’m dead serious.
If you’re not making dinner this year and visiting someone else’s home for the holiday, take a little jar of these as a little gift. You know the person in the kitchen is a little stressed out, these will help calm the nerves….especially if you hand over a bottle of champagne or wine with them. They will love you forever…..and then burn the turkey because they chugged that bottle of champagne when nobody was looking. But that’s ok….we’re all there for the side dishes. Am I right?
Vanilla Sugared Cranberries
- 1 cup granulated sugar plus extra for coating
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups fresh cranberries
- In a large saucepan, bring the water, sugar and vanilla to a simmer stirring until dissolved. Turn off the heat and add the cranberries tossing with a wooden spoon to coat. Allow the cranberries to sit in the simple syrup for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack.
- Allow the cranberries to dry for 20-30 minutes. Pour some sugar in a shallow dish and roll the cranberries in the sugar to coat completely. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment and allow to dry completely, approximately 1 hour.
- Store in an airtight container for up to 48 hours.