Winter Blues (and Bright Red Candied Cranberries)

candied cranberries

I always feel this way after the holidays are over.  Usually I can hold out until February, but the let down is inevitable.  The snow is no longer sparkling and white, instead the yard is just dull patches of brown and gray.  The cold that made my cheeks an adorable pink just last month has now taken its toll, causing my lips to chap, my skin to flake, and my hair to dull.  The months stretch on, dark and cold, with few distractions (I’m sorry but the Superbowl does NOT count as a distraction).  Here in New England we kid ourselves into thinking that come March, we’ll get a reprieve.  But in reality it’s not chilly March, or windy April or rainy May that will lift my spirits.  For bright little flowers and the smell of cut grass and the first early strawberries, I will have to wait until June.

fresh cranberriesSo with more than four months of the winter blues ahead of me, I have decided to go back.  Back to holiday cheer and the spirit of giving.  Back to pies and presents and cookies and crafts.  Just back. sugar and cranberry

Which led me to these amazing little candied cranberries. So often it’s the simplest things that are so addictive.  I honestly can’t believe that I had any berries left to get a picture of!  I can’t stop popping them in my mouth. Crispy sugared outsides give way to a gentle burst as the berry spurts open, revealing its tart and tangy interior. They are ridiculously simple to make, and so beautiful.  They would be lovely in a little tin as a gift, or put a bowl of these lovelies on the coffee table the next time you have friends over – they will be gone in seconds!

multigran waffles with candied cranberriesThese cranberries are delicious and fun, but most importantly, they are festive.  Which is exactly what I needed this weekend.  In addition to obsessively munching on them as I pass through the kitchen, I have also discovered how wonderful they are on homemade waffles.  They fit perfectly into the little divots in my waffles, and, along with a handful of walnuts, added the essential crunch and bite to breakfast.

The cranberries keep their texture for a few days, but don’t try to keep them for more than a week or they will get very soggy.candied cranberries recipe

Candied Cranberries

1 cup water

2 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided

1 cup fresh cranberries

Bring the water and one cup of sugar to a boil in a small saucepan.  Stir until the sugar dissolves and then remove from the heat.  Let cool 10 minutes and then add the cranberries and cool completely.  Transfer the cranberries and sugar-water to an airtight container and let sit at room temperature at least 6 hours or overnight. Spread the remaining sugar on a plate.  By the small handful, shake excess liquid from the cranberries and then roll them in the sugar.  Place the rolled berries on a baking sheet to dry.  Repeat with all the berries and then allow to dry for at least an hour.

Published in: on January 24, 2010 at 12:03 pm  Comments (11)  
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11 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. They look so lovely! I think there are many of us with those same winter blues 😦

  2. I think everyone hates January, post-holiday season, resolutions, gloomy weather! But the vibrant crimson color of the cranberries will certainly brighten anyone’s January! They look gorgeous and glittery! What a good idea to put them on waffles. 🙂

  3. I think this is the only way I could eat cranberries! I’m ready for summer by the way!

  4. They remind me of Rudolph’s nose. 🙂

  5. You are a lovely soul! 🙂 Yes, we simply MUST celebrate during this most gray and dreary of seasons. I love these cheery little cranberries! 🙂

  6. So glad to know that I am not alone in my winter doldrums! And these little cranberries did actually help (although that was propbably just the sugar rush). I do have to tell you all… I made another batch, and this time, dipped a few of the finished candied cranberries in chocolate. Heaven!

  7. Candied cranberries are so much fun- Love that sweet and tart pop of flavor!

  8. I don’t why I relegate cranberries to cranberry sauce only, twice a year (Thanksgiving and Christmas). This looks like a fun and beautiful treat!

  9. What a great post! Winter does start getting SO OLD in January, and sadly, we have at least a month and a half left of it! Those cranberries would lift my spirits, though!

  10. these look soo good! And I’m having the same withdraws so I am definitely going to try these! yum.

  11. […] Christmas.  I made them to cheer myself out of the post-holiday blues, and they were lovely.   Check out that original post here. The original recipe was so simple, just cranberries, sugar, and water.  Simple, easy, and even a […]

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