Tasked with using up leftover cranberries and with the goal of creating a beautiful baked brie dish, this Christmas I decided to try sugaring cranberries. The experiment was a huge success! Not only did they pair great with the cheese as an appetizer for Christmas Eve dinner, but everyone enjoyed the leftovers as a snack. The sugar adds just enough sweetness to the tartness of raw cranberries that they become a perfect finger food and a great vitamin-C packed alternative to heavy holiday deserts and snacks.
1 bag fresh cranberries
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup water
4 TBS granulated sugar
(optional) orange or lemon zest for garnish.
1 cups white sanding sugar or coarse sugar
(can substitute granulated sugar, but the finer the sugar used, the less they will glitter)
1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the water and sugar, stirring to combine. Add maple syrup and cook over medium heat until sauce is simmering. Do not bring to a hard boil.
2. Place fresh berries in a bowl or container with lid
2. Remove sauce from heat and let sauce sit one minute (so berries will not be popped by the high heat)
3. Pour syrup over berries, stir to coat evenly, and place in the refrigerator for 12-24 hours.
4. Dump berries into a colander and let sit for at least 20 minutes, (letting the excess moisture drain away is important to get the glittered effect!)
5. After draining, toss cranberries with the sanding sugar. I use a 9×16 Tupperware- which allows plenty of room for the berries to spread out and all surfaces get coated.
6. Serve as a desert topping or stand-alone snack. Refrigerate unused portion.