Sparkling Cranberries

 

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I love me a festive snack that doesn’t involve the oven.

My apartment is approximately 75 degrees at all times. Even in the winter. Even when we leave all the windows open. So if I can concoct an appropriately seasonal hor d’œuvre without busting out a rolling pin, I’m all in.

sparkling cranberries

Not only do these bit-size jewels require, at most, five minutes of stovetop cookin’ — and, in a pinch, I bet you could use the microwave — they’re guaranteed to stand out among all the gingerbread men and candy-canes at your next fete.

Also good to know: while the cranberries are soaked AND covered in sugar, they’re still pretty tart. So it’s hard to, you know, eat the entire batch while wrapping presents and marathoning made-for-TV Christmas movies. Not that I’ve tried.

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Sparkling Cranberries
Slightly adapted from The Year in Food (who, in turn, adapted it from 101 Cookbooks)

2 cups can sugar plus more for coating the cranberries
2 cups cranberries, rinsed and picked over
2 tablespoons whole cardamum pods

In a saucepan, combine the sugar and cardamom pods with two cups water. Form a simple syrup by bringing the mixture to a simmer and allowing the sugar to dissolve completely. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes.

In a separate bowl, combine the cranberries and simple syrup. Refrigerate overnight.

The next day, pour a few tablespoons of sugar into a bowl.  Remove the pods from the cranberries l, and toss a small cranberries in the bowl until coated with sugar. Once thoroughly sugared, remove the cranberries from the bowl and place on a baking sheet to dry.  Repeat in small batches until all the cranberries have been sugared.

The cranberries will take 1-2 hours to dry in the open air and taste best when eaten the same day. I found that my cranberries got soggy overnight.

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