, a photo by melynda.huskey on Flickr.
This is my new addiction, thanks to the Assistant Dean, who brought them to the office. They are irresistible, like juicy, slightly explosive sweet-tarts–but there’s no need to try resisting them, because they are nothing but good for you. And they are shockingly easy to make, although they do require some planning ahead. A quintessentially winter-time treat–the combination of sugar shell and bright fruit is beautiful inside and out.
So buy a bag of fresh cranberries and a box of superfine sugar (sometimes called Baker’s Secret or Baker’s Special sugar). When you get home, wash and pick over the cranberries while you dissolve a cup of plain old regular granulated sugar in a cup of water over low heat. Don’t boil it–just warm it till the sugar is all dissolved. Put the cranberries in a container with a lid (I used a mason jar) and pour the syrup over them. Let them sit for at least 12 hours, stirring once in a while if it occurs to you. Line a baking sheet with sides with parchment paper (or freezer paper or wax paper or whatever) and pour out a goodly amount of your superfine sugar. Drain the cranberries and drop them in the sugar. Gently toss them around with a fork till they are all covered with sugar. Leave them for another couple of hours, whereupon the sugar will have hardened into a thin crunchy carapace around the berries. Crunch them resolutely between your teeth, and enjoy an incredibly vitamin- and anti-oxidant-filled taste sensation