i just love the holiday season. i know, i know, i am a freak of nature according to many, but i just can’t help it. i love the food, the lights, the specialness of it all. as christmas approaches, i start to get a little freaked out that the holidays are winding down. honestly, i have to talk myself down off the ledge, take a deep breath, and enjoy all that is around me.
cranberries are a special holiday treat, mostly because of their seemingly short life-span (in terms of acceptability in using them after christmas anyway). and these cranberries are special. you can serve them as part of a cheese course, on top of a holiday dessert, or just pop ’em in your mouth. we tossed them in our glasses of bubbly, too! they take a little getting used to because they are essential raw and very tart but the sugar seems to tame this somewhat. they are at first sweet, then with a burst of tartness, then sweet again. live a little…try ’em out!
well, i am off to the in-laws for several days to enjoy family and friends for the holiday. i hope you enjoy yours!
sparkling cranberries (makes 2 cups)
adapted from 101 cookbooks
2 cups fresh cranberries
2 cups water
2 cups granulated sugar
plus additional granulated sugar and medium coarse grain sugar for coating
make a simple syrup by heating water and 2 cups sugar in a medium saucepan. bring to a simmer, until sugar is dissolved, then set aside to cool for a bit. pick over cranberries, discard any shriveled or soft berries, rinse in a colander and set aside in a glass bowl. when syrup is still warm, but no longer hot, add to berries. place a small plate on top of berries to be sure they are all submerged. cover with plastic wrap and chill 8 hours or overnight.
drain, reserving syrup for another use, if desired. roll berries a few tablespoons at a time in medium grain sugar. (i used an unbleached medium grain organic sugar sold at costco for this step). dry for a few hours on a cookie sheet. then roll them in the regular granulated sugar for a final dusting. allow to dry for an additional hour or so before handling. the combination of sugars does seem to do a fine job of coating them completely.
these keep chilled for up to a week.