Merry Christmas! The sky is bright blue, the sun is bright and warm, and the air is crisp. Families are gathering all around to celebrate the season with food, gifts, prayers and love. Pure Joy. That is the only word that can describe this day. For an occasion so special, adding extra sparkle is definitely appropriate. After seeing sparkling cranberries all over the place this season, I gave in and made them myself. It worked out really well because my mother-in-law was making cheesecake for Christmas Eve and the cranberries made a festive topping.
I also used the sugary cranberries as a garnish to a simple cocktail that is perfect for this season of celebrations. Apple cider dressed up with a little champagne and some of these pretty cranberries made a simple, elegant decoration.
There are many more ways to use these beautiful rubies for the holidays. Even piled in a bowl they are delicious and decadent on their own. I love the crunchy, sugary surface. It perfectly balances the tart insides that would be a bit too much alone. I added something a little different to these cranberries thanks to my husband-Brad found organic lemon sugar when we were shopping at Whole Foods, which added a little twist along with regular granulated sugar. My recipe is based on the one I found at 101 Cookbooks. It was simple, easy to follow, and turned out perfectly!
I would definitely recommend giving these a try for New Year’s or anytime you’re looking for something that glitters like fresh fallen snow (without the cold).
Slightly adapted from 101 Cookbooks
Makes 2 cups of cranberries
2 cups cranberries, picked over
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup medium sized granulated organic lemon sugar (or regular flavored sugar)
2 1/2 cups regular granulated sugar
Put 2 cups of cranberries in a medium glass or metal bowl.
Make a simple syrup by bringing the water and sugar just to a simmer in a medium saucepan. (Some recipes call for corn syrup, but I find the simple syrup just as effective and better tasting.) After the syrup has cooled for about 5 minutes, pour it over the bowl of cranberries, cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator. Let the cranberries sit over night or for at least 8 hours.
After the cranberries have done their refrigerator time, drain the cranberries and place on a cookie sheet with 1-2 inch sides. Beginning with the medium grained sugar, coat the cranberries one scoop at a time. Use the cookie sheet to shake the cranberries and coat them with the sugar. After you have used all the medium grained sugar, begin coating with the regular granulated sugar. Continue gently shaking the cranberries on the cookie sheet until they are fully coated. Set aside about 1/4 cup sugar for a final coating. Allow the cranberries to dry for about an hour so the simple syrup becomes hard. Use the final 1/4 cup of sugar after the cranberries have dried to cover any areas that are still sticky.
Now you’re ready to use the cranberries however you like! Enjoy!