Winter is the season for all things sparkly and bright — and these beautiful sugared cranberries are perfect for garnishing, snacking, decorating and gifting. They are so simple to make, yet so elegant and versatile. All you need are a few simple ingredients!
They would make a picture-perfect finish when artfully-arranged on a bowl of cranberry sauce or red or green gelatin salad. And for dessert, these would look gorgeous layered in a parfait glass with pudding and cake bites, or sprinkled on top of your favorite custard, crème brulee, mousse au chocolat or pot de crème.
These sugar-covered cranberries make a pretty red garnish on your favorite dessert or baked goods — like cheesecake, coffee cake, holiday fruitcake and fruit tarts or pies. But they can also do so much more! For some examples:
Add them to a cracker topped with a smear of cream cheese and a dollop of cranberry sauce for an elegant appetizer
They are also the perfect accompaniment to cocktails. Drop them in, or line them up — like on a skewer, umbrella, tiny sword or toothpick — and they become a great burst of color and flavor when added to a chilled bubbly beverage, a hot mug of cider or mulled wine, floating atop a pitcher of sangria, or on a punch with some orange slices.
Cranberries in simple syrup
Be sure to save your strained simple syrup! It is the perfect addition to all of your holiday drinks. For more seasonal flavors, infuse your syrup with a few cinnamon sticks and cloves.
These are also fab just as a standalone snack. Most of us think of cranberries as tart, but the simple syrup and sugar coating creates a bold sweet and sour taste that literally bursts in your mouth with each bite. Packaged up in a cute glass jar or a holiday mug, these would make a great holiday gift.
Feel free to experiment a little with your berries. While most of us have granulated sugar on hand, you can also try out different types of sugar depending upon the effect you want. Cane sugar or sanding sugar have a larger grains that will create a more sparkly coating, while superfine caster sugar creates berries that look like they have a light layer of winter frost coating them.
And you don’t have to limit yourself to just eating these berries! They look so striking that you can use them to decorate your table. They would look great surrounding a holiday centerpiece, encircling a candle on a plate or in a jar, or add them to a flower arrangement for a gorgeous frosty winter conversation piece.
No matter how you choose to use your sparkly sugared cranberries, they are a great way to give your celebration a splash of vibrant color and to savor the bounty of the season.
To store your cranberries, place them in a container with an airtight lid and a layer of rice in the bottom to absorb moisture. This will keep your cranberries firm and fresh for about two days. (They are addictive to eat, so they probably won’t last that long!)