These look like frozen cranberries with ice that never melts. They make beautiful decorations, but are also quite tasty. The sweetness of the sugar gives way to the tartness of the cranberry that has been mellowed by an overnight soak in simple syrup.
After removing the cranberries, save the simple syrup (which will now have the faintest of cranberry flavor) for use in drinks or other applications.
2 cups cranberries
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
More sugar for coating: course sanding sugar for the first coating and regular granulated white sugar for the second coating
Place the cranberries in a container and set aside.
Make a simple syrup by bringing the water and sugar just to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Let the syrup cool for a couple minutes and then pour it over the cranberries. If the syrup is too hot the cranberries will burst, so be careful. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
The next day, drain the cranberries and toss them with larger grained sugar until they are well coated. I only use a scoop of sugar at a time, and small batches of cranberries, so the sugar doesn’t get too damp. Place the coated cranberries on a baking sheet to dry for a few hours.
Do a second toss with the regular granulated sugar, this typically takes care of any sticky spots on the cranberries. Let dry another hour.
Makes 2 cups of sparkling cranberries.
Barely adapted from 101 Cookbooks