Bring Candied Cranberries for Thanksgiving

When you are not cooking or hosting Thanksgiving dinner, you often spend the day before texting the host and begging him to tell you, in particular, what you can bring . If you have a packet of cranberries, white sugar, and some water, you have everything you need for the perfect snack – whether or not your host knows about it.

Sugar-sweetened cranberries are an old underrated snack that should be far more popular than they are. The first thing you notice about them is how damn beautiful they are – like huge sparkling rubies or something. But as good as they look, they taste even better. Aggressively tart and slightly sweet, with a pleasant crunch on both the sugar coating and the cranberries themselves, they are the complete opposite of anything else you usually eat on Thanksgiving. And if it’s no longer a family tradition, you can bet no one else will blow your place up by showing up with their own jar.

Cranberries in sugar are very easy to prepare. Simply bring half a cup of sugar and half a cup of water to a boil in a medium saucepan, stirring to dissolve. Add one 12-ounce bag of fresh or thawed frozen cranberries, stir to coat with syrup, and transfer to wire rack inside baking sheet. Let dry at room temperature for an hour.

Place another cup and a half of sugar in the smaller rimmed dish and toss the berries in it, a handful at a time. I recommend aiming for a thick, lumpy coating to balance the overwhelming sourness of whole cranberries. Transfer the candied berries back to the wire rack and let dry for another hour. Eat immediately or store in an airtight jar overnight.

You can sprinkle a handful on a toothpick to decorate a cocktail, sprinkle them on a whipped cream pie, or simply eat them in handfuls. Personally, I think their real home – on a cheese platter before dinner – is like putting crunchy pickles and some sweet-tart jam on top of the cheese, but without the risk of flavors clashing. No matter how you serve these delectable treats, they are sure to be a hit for sleep this year.


Leave a Reply