The Year In Food » Fine Seasonal Eating

Masthead header


Sparkling Cranberries

I have a thing for this time of year – starting this week and sweeping all the way through to the end of December. All of its sparkly, wondrous, glittering, cozy magic. If I had my druthers, I would lay for hours beneath a Christmas tree, inhaling its piney aroma, listening to old Christmas records, and sipping champagne (or tea, or mulled cider.) Having these little moments to myself takes the edge off the craziness of this time of year, and I guard them fiercely. My goal this December, as every year, is to not let the frustrating parts of the month get the better of the best parts of the month. It takes a little dedication to do that. Keeping afloat and keeping calm doesn’t just happen by itself. So I grab on to little things that remind me throughout the day. Receiving Nicole’s wonderful newsletter this morning is exactly the kind of thing I’m holding on to. I hope you do too.


And these sparkling cranberries are everything that is good and wonderful about this time of year. They’re gorgeous as a decorative element and even better because they’re edible. You get a wash of sweetness followed by an intense, puckery, tart burst. It’s a stellar combination. Set them out on the table or skewer them on a fancy toothpick to float over your favorite cocktail.

Sparkling Cranberries 2

adapted from 101 Cookbooks

2 cups cane or granulated sugar, plus more for finishing the cranberries
3 cups cranberries
1 teaspoon cardamom

In a saucepan, combine the sugar and cardamom with two cups water. Bring to a low simmer until just dissolved to make a simple syrup. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the cranberries and simple syrup. Refrigerate overnight. (Or, prepare in the morning and toss at night.)

The next day, pour a small quantity of sugar into a bowl. Toss a small handful of cranberries into a bowl, and gently shake the bowl to evenly distribute the cranberries.

Carefully lift the cranberries out at their tips, and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet to dry. They will need a few hours to completely dry. And they’re delicate! So treat them gently.

  • caitlin - I love having these around in December, but have never added the cardamom. Quick question, does it go in the simple syrup or with the outer sugar layer? (I may have just missed it – if so, apologies!)ReplyCancel

  • Lizzy (Good Things) - Sounds delicious, and sooooooo festive!ReplyCancel

  • Brian @ A Thought For Food - These look so good!

    I’m the same way… For a number of reasons, I get stressed out this time of year.

    But it’s not going to happen to us… we’re going to beat it.ReplyCancel

  • NicoleD - I’ve always wanted to make these! Yours are so pretty!ReplyCancel

  • Kathryn - This post has given me that first little frisson of excitement about the upcoming holiday season. I love anything sparkly and glittery and these are absolutely no exception to that rule.ReplyCancel

  • Serenity @ SoulWithStyle - Absolutely beautiful! Very inspirational.ReplyCancel

  • Tine - That’s art on a plate!ReplyCancel

  • thelittleloaf - I absolutely love the idea of a recipe that almost serves as a decoration in itself! These are just so sparkly and pretty.ReplyCancel

  • Louisa - I can’t describe what these do to my eyeballs! Stunning.ReplyCancel

  • Ashley - These are gorgeous! I’ve never had sparkling cranberries before but have half a bag left in the fridge and may need to give them a try. I kind of wish I could string them up and hang them around our house. So cute! ;)ReplyCancel

  • la domestique - This is a fantastic idea- so festive! It’s my favorite time of year too.ReplyCancel

  • kickpleat - I’ve always been so curious about these sugared cranberries after I spotted the recipe on a food blog nearly 10 years ago. How do they keep? Do you store them in the fridge? How long do they last? Your photos look gorgeous and they indeed do sparkle! Happy holidays, lady!ReplyCancel

  • Lynda - I have imagined something like this, and now here you’ve realized it beautifully. I will be making this for sure this season. Happy Thanksgiving, Kimberley!ReplyCancel

  • Christian Rene Friborg - This looks perfect on the table on Christmas day!ReplyCancel

  • Magda - What an amazing idea, they look so pretty, like little sparkly jewels. I will be making these for Christmas. Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • Cynthia - This looks soo yummy! I’m glad to have found your blog through etsy. I am going to create these small tasty wonders. Thank you! ~CynthiaReplyCancel

  • Kasey - These are so beautiful, Kimberley! They perfectly capture what I love about this season. I know what you mean about trying to not let the stress of the season get to you, and just revel in the magic all around. I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and hope to see you soon!ReplyCancel

  • Lori @ RecipeGirl - I have always wanted to make these. They’re gorgeous!ReplyCancel

  • Kristie V. - Beautiful photo! This recipe also arrived with my CSA box last week. Something’s telling me I’m supposed to be making this ;-)ReplyCancel

  • Stacy - Oh, I feel the same way about this season!! I’m so glad you do, too, all things considered. (: I was so curious about these cranberries when I first saw them on Heidi’s blog but have never made them — perhaps this is the year! Wishing you all things sparkly, wondrous and cozy as we launch ourselves into the holidays.ReplyCancel

  • Crystal Clark - mmm, looks yummy, and simple! I think they would be really pretty strung on a tree as well. :)ReplyCancel

  • VANI - GREAT RECIPEReplyCancel


  • mimi - beautiful!!! I wish these could be strung and hung on my christmas tree!!!!!ReplyCancel

  • Jackie - GORGEOUS! They look snow-covered, but I suppose that’s the point:)ReplyCancel

  • sara - so gorgeous. thanks for the reminder. it’s a daily exercise to soak up the good things of this season, and not get carried away in the hustle of it. I’ll keep your words in my pocket. xoReplyCancel

  • Joy - mmm this looks divine!ReplyCancel

  • Glamorous Glutton - These are so pretty, I have to try them. GGReplyCancel

  • Ashley - I LOVE this season too. Part of the reason for that is because the world is studded with beauties like these cranberries. So pretty.ReplyCancel

  • for the season we are in | Delightful Crumb - […] talk of sparkly tights and the sweet scent of pine needles, and I cannot wait to make a bowl of dazzling cranberries and some sort of gingerbread (I have my eye on this […]ReplyCancel

  • Kankana - I have been thinking to try this for a while now! You convinced me :)ReplyCancel

  • Christine - I made these yesterday, Kimberley. Tiny tart-sweet flavor explosions! They are delicious and completely addicting!ReplyCancel

  • Sparkling Cranberries « BATCH 22 - […] Cranberries Slightly adapted from The Year in Food (who, in turn, adapted it from 101 […]ReplyCancel

  • that which is beloved | Delightful Crumb - […] chocolate bark coated in crunchy seeds, hummus paired with snappy crackers, spiced nuts and sparkling cranberries. Many of our guests were old acquaintances who also recently turned up in this geographic area and […]ReplyCancel

  • Today is for Lovers | Glitter and Grit - […] patterns and projects?  Any suggestions? :: we don’t eat much (any) sugar in our house but these look so beautiful.  Like they should be ornaments! :: I’m just about ready for a continuous […]ReplyCancel

  • shopping online clothes malaysia - Thank you very much! It is my favorite cup :)ReplyCancel

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *