December 19, 2011
The Holidays are a sparkling time of year. Everything seems a bit more joyous and the world feels frosted with good cheer. I tend to add glitzy-glam to anything and everything possible during December, from my dinner party decor to my cocktail party hors d'oeuvres. This simple recipe for snow-white sugared cranberries will impress your guests without taking up too much of your time, and the results are as delicious as they are beautiful. Serve them alone on a platter in a shimmering heap for a sweet-tart treat or as a garnish on a pomegranate martini. Cheers to a glamorous holiday season!
Serves 6-8 Time to table: 30 minutes plus 8 hours to soak cranberries
2 cups whole, raw, cranberries, rinsed and dried
2 cups cool water
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups sugar + more or coating (regular granulated white and or medium grain white sanding sugar)
**This recipe must be started the night before you serve the cranberries.**
Place the cranberries in a medium glass bowl and set aside.
Combine granulated sugar, water and vanilla in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring mixture with wooden spoon or whisk until sugar dissolves, about 3-5 minutes. Bring to a simmer; remove from heat. (Do not boil sugar liquid or the cranberries may pop when added.)
Let syrup cool for a few minutes then pour it over cranberries in bowl. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight. After cranberries have taken their 8 hour sugar bath and soaked up all sweetness that makes them shine, drain the cranberries.
Working in small batches so the sugar doesn't get too wet, place 1/4 cranberries in smaller bowl and pour sugar over top then toss until well coated. Use about 1/2 cup of sugar at a time. Place the coated cranberries on a wax paper lined baking sheet to dry for a few hours. Repeat process until all cranberries are sparkling.
Do a second toss with sugar after they dry for about 20 minutes. This helps cover any sugarless spots on the cranberries. Let dry an additional hour before serving. The sugar should form a crispy shell on the outside of the cranberry.
Store in an airtight container in a cool place for up to a week.