These little jewels are tasty on their own, but also a great garnish for drinks and a wonderful addition to scones. To make them even prettier, roll them in superfine not regular sugar. (We’re still working on a 25-pound bag of regular sugar someone picked up on clearance over the summer so we skipped that step.) This recipe is adapted from one from Whole Foods.
- 3 cups sugar
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 whole star anise
- 1/2 nutmeg pod
- 6-10 whole cloves
- 3 cups water
- 3 cups fresh cranberries, rinsed
- 1 cup regular or superfine sugar
Mix three cups of sugar, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, anise and cloves with water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Simmer for a minute, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and pour into a bowl. Stir in cranberries. Cover and refrigerate overnight and up to two days. Drain cranberries reserving liquid for holiday drinks. (Strain out the spices.) Place superfine or regular sugar in a bowl and gently toss in cranberries, coating evenly. Place berries on a baking sheet to dry, about two hours. Store in an airtight container for one to two days.
Christmas Cranberry and Vodka Tonics
- 1 1/2 oz cranberry simple syrup (leftover from sugared cranberries)
- 1 1/2 oz vodka
- 1 1/2 oz cranberry juice
- squeeze of lime juice (optional)
- tonic water
- sugared cranberries for garnish
Throw a few ice cubes in a Collins glass. Pour in simple syrup, vodka and juice. Stir. Top with tonic water and a squeeze of lime. Garnish with a few sugared cranberries.