I’m SOOOO excited! Today’s post is about me in the kitchen! The KITCHEN y’all! And I made something, actually a couple of somethings and it all turned out so good I just had to share. Because this is the season of miracles after all, and me in the kitchen creating anything is a minor miracle.

Have you ever had sugared cranberries? Yes? Well, where have I been? I mean, I’ve seen pictures of them, all staged just so on scrumptious looking cakes or in pretty little goblets. But I always thought making them would require following a complicated recipe involving mystery ingredients and math. You know I don’t do math and I’m a total loss in the kitchen, all because I was born without the all important Betty Crocker gene. But even all us Betty Crockerless people can successfully make sugared cranberries. And do it like a boss!

My sad miniature single layer cake made from left over batter looks like a high end dessert just by adding magic sugared cranberries

So here’s the recipe and list of crap things you will need:

Cranberries obviously. You can buy fresh cranberries in a bag at the supermarket. Who knew? I used a 12 ounce bag.

Granulated sugar. You can use super fine sugar for a more sparkly, upscale look, but why? These babies look good with granulated and you probably have it on hand

Parchment paper or foil

2 Cookie sheets or other rimmed baking thingy. (See? I’m gettin the hang of the kitchen lingo.)

Colander for draining the cranberries

Covered container with lid (Tupperware or the like)

That’s it. Nothing fancy.

So here’s what to do with all that.

Rinse the cranberries and pick out the soft, cruddy ones. Let the berries drain in your colander in the sink while you are doing the next part.

Add equal parts sugar and water to a sauce pan. I used a cup of each.  Use more or less depending on the amount of cranberries you are using. Mine were in a 12 ounce bag. On medium heat, stir the sugar and water until the sugar is dissolved. Don’t let it boil. Heat until the sugar and water thicken a bit. Turn the heat off and add your cranberries. Stir to cover completely. I was told that if your sugar solution is too hot the cranberries may “pop.” But I let my simple syrup cool slightly and had no problem.

Pour the mixture in to a Tupperware container and seal with a lid. Put in refrigerator overnight. You don’t have to do this if you are in a hurry. But all the “expert” cranberry people say that it helps the cranberries absorb the sugar and increases their sweetness.

After soaking all night in the sugar syrup, drain the berries. You can see the sticky syrup has coated my berries well.

The next day (or after you’ve covered your berries in the sugar mixture and let soak for at least an hour), pour them in to your colander again and let them drain over the sink. Line your cookie sheet with parchment paper and pour a good amount of sugar on the sheet. I just eyeballed it and made a pile.  Using a slotted spoon add the cranberries to the sugar and roll them around,  use your hands or another spoon to make sure the cranberries are covered well with the sugar.

Place the sugar coated cranberries on another parchment lined cookie sheet in a single layer, making sure the berries don’t touch. Allow them to dry. IF you can wait that long to eat them. About an hour is all it takes. Mr B began snacking on these almost as soon as they hit the cookie sheet.

lay the cranberries on a parchment lined rimmed cookie sheet, making sure the berries don’t touch

These are amazing little sweet tart treats. They make a beautiful garnish for cakes or brownies. Need a quick snack for guests? Or something that looks like you’re a kitchen wizard at the next potluck party? These babies will be your ticket. Fair warning, they are a bit addicting.

Don’t plan on storing them for long. They get soft after a couple of days or so. I read that placing them in a covered container over a layer of rice will help keep them crunchy. I’m trying that right now. The ones I stored without rice were soft after 3 days, but still edible and tasty.  Just know that these treats need to be eaten soon after making.

Not a problem, I can assure you.  I made these for our 22nd wedding anniversary as a culinary surprise for Mr B. I came off looking like…..

Kitchen Wonder Woman. Those tights tho. egad.

Holiday magic right there

I made chocolate cupcakes. From a mix. But I still had to read the ingredients and use the measuring cup to, well, measure. And they were edible! I didn’t burn them, or cause a kitchen fire, and for that I’m happy. I had a bit of batter left after filling the cupcake cups  and used that to make what looked like a giant thin brownie, or a thick spongey cookie, but was really a sad, thin one layer cake…..if you got down to eye level and squinted. But some powdered sugar and a couple of sugared cranberries later and I looked like a genius!!! Maybe I’ll start a bakery, move over Magnolia Cupcakes….I’m lookin at you Joanna Gaines! (It’s good to have goals).

Such a pretty dessert

Mr B had the cranberry garnished cupcake the next day and said they were still delicious. And he ate 3 pieces of the sad layer cake. So there you have it. Give these a try. And if you’ve known about these forever, don’t mock me. Be kind to those of us who are Betty Crockerless.

Create your sanctuary one room at a time. Even the kitchen. Kitchens need love too.


Tell me what ya think!


Wife, Mother and Grandmother, lover of junking and vintage stuff, photography, music, books, and critters. I heart Hersheys, Barqs Rootbeer and Keds. Join me as I create my own suburban sanctuary and help you create one too.

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