Recipe Spotlight

Add a Little Sparkle to Your Holiday Table with Sugared Cranberries

A bowlful of these glittery gems will steal the show at your holiday gathering.

Published Oct. 27, 2022.

I always set out a dish of sugared cranberries during the holidays. The sweet-tart poppers complement everything from morning coffee cake to afternoon snacks to evening nightcaps. Their glittery shine makes any spread feel festive, and they also make a beautiful garnish sprinkled over a dessert (such as our Cranberry-Ginger Apple Tart) or skewered and perched on a cocktail glass.

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10 ingredients. 45 minutes. Quick, easy, and fresh weeknight recipes.

To make the cranberries extra-special, I’ll sometimes add aromaticssuch as a couple orange zest strips, some fresh ginger coins, and/or a cinnamon stickto the syrup as it’s heating. And I always save the syrup after draining the berries. It doesn’t taste much like cranberry, but it’s got the prettiest pink hue and can be used in any cocktail (or mocktail) recipe that calls for simple syrup.

Sugared Cranberries

Serves 6 to 8 (Makes 1½ cups)

Total Time: 15 minutes, plus 1½ hours cooling and drying

The sugared cranberries can be stored at room temperature (uncovered to preserve their crunchy coating) for up to 24 hours. If you need to cover them, add a little extra sugar first to absorb moisture.

  • ¾ cup (5¼ ounces) sugar, plus ½ cup for rolling
  • ¾ cup water
  • 6 ounces (1½ cups) frozen cranberries

1. Bring ¾ cup sugar and water to bare simmer in medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Off heat, stir in cranberries. Let cranberries and syrup cool completely, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. (Cranberries in syrup can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.)

2. Place remaining ½ cup sugar in shallow dish. Drain cranberries (reserve syrup for another use). Pat cranberries dry with paper towels. Working in batches, roll cranberries in sugar and transfer to paper towel–lined large plate or rimmed baking sheet. Let stand at room temperature to dry, about 1 hour, before serving.

Cranberry-Ginger Apple Tart

A stunning holiday dessert as easy as—no, easier than—pie.
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