November 11, 2010

Gear Up for the Holidays!

Vanilla-Orange Candied Cranberries.


Thanksgiving is just around the corner and Christmas is only six weeks away, can you believe it?

Kona~World's Best Dog...not negotiable!

I took my dog for a walk this morning and reveled in the clean crisp air, gingerly scented with decomposing leaves and pin needles. I don't know what it is about that earthy aroma that makes me so happy. Like a whispering woodland fairy, it always reminds me to start planning for the holidays; no time to waste.


I always like to make sugared cranberries in preparation for the holidays. They are extremely simple, and impressive at any Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Years table! Sugared cranberries are like nature-made Sour Patch Kids, sweet and tart. Plus they are so pretty; just think of all the wonderful ways to use them:

Place them in a candy dish to be gobbled up by the handful!

Use as a fancy garnish for holiday pies, cakes...even savory dishes.

Fill martini or champagne glasses with them to decorate your holiday table.

Place them in little tins or gift bags for small edible gifts!

One more bonus~ the leftover vanilla-orange simple syrup absorbs the essence of cranberry, so save it for irresistible holiday cocktails!


My next post will discuss more about planning for your Thanksgiving meal, but in the meantime, make sure to check out you local event calender so you don't miss any of the festivities this time of year. November and December provide such great family fun! Here are some of my favorite Asheville events:

The National Gingerbread House Competition held at the Grove Park Inn. November 15th - January 2nd

LA Zoom Turkey Tour, Thanksgiving week only!

Biltmore Village Annual Dickens Fest, December 3-5th. (Go Friday night!)

Warren Haynes Christmas Jam, midnight on December 11th. Steve Miller Band will be there this year! *smile*

The Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker, December 21st only!

The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving. ~H.U. Westermayer


Vanilla-Orange Sugared Cranberries

3 ¾ cups sugar, divided
1 ¾ cups water
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. orange extract or grand mariner
1- 12 oz. bag of fresh cranberries (about 3 cups)

Combine 2 ½ cups of sugar, water, vanilla, and orange extract in a sauce pan. Heat over medium until the sugar has completely dissolved—but not boiling.


Pour in the cranberries and stir. The hot syrup will loosen the skin, saturate the berries and adhere to the berries over time.


Cover the cranberries with a small plate to keep them mostly submerged. Then cover the pan and place it in the refrigerator over night.


Place the remaining 1 ¼ cup of sugar in a rimmed dish. Strain the cranberries and place them in the sugar. Shake until they are completely coated.


Carefully transfer them to a baking sheet to dry—about an hour.

Once the sugar coating is hard, place them in an air-tight container and keep in a cool spot for up to a week!



*Don’t forget to refrigerate your Cranberry Infused Vanilla-Orange Syrup for cocktail time!

Vanilla-Orange Sugared Cranberries on Foodista

80 comments:

  1. I think I'm in love! What a fantastic idea.

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  2. That's a super duper idea! I didn't know I could do cranberries this way. Thanks!
    Angie

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  3. Hi Kona! You look almost as sweet as your Frauchen. :-))

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  4. Love this idea! All of the uses are so well thought out and perfect for the holidays. I have a great planning sheet I found for thanksgiving too if you need it!

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  5. Gorgeous! I can‘t wait to try them. I love cranberries.

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  6. I had sugared fruit like this on my wedding cake. It is so pretty. I have always wanted to come see the gingerbread houses at Grove Park. Is it just mobbed or are there better times to come? My husband, Paul, makes an amazing gingerbread house every year with candy glazed windows and he lights it from inside.

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  7. These sugared cranberries are downright beautiful and festive. What a lovely edible decoration for the table. Saved to recipe file for sure...thx for the inspiration and sharing :)

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  8. I love, love, love this. Seriously, I'm planning a holiday party already just to have these sitting on the counter in dishes to share. I love it!

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  9. Wow, these are so easy and they looks so festive and beautiful! I definitely want to make these this year! Thanks so much for sharing. Oh, and yeah, I cannot believe that Christmas is only 6 weeks away, crazy!

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  10. I love this idea! Cranberries are on sale at our Teeter this week, and since I'm having friends over on Sunday, I think I'll try this!

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  11. this is so pretty:) thank you for sharing this.

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  12. These are wonderful. I can see a ton of uses for these lovelies.

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  13. So pretty! Such a great idea as an edible centerpiece, too.

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  14. Nice, Sommer! I love that you compared these to Sour Patch Kids too-I bet these are much more delicious, and I know they are more wholesome:)

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  15. These sound delicious! Love the idea of grand marnier :-)

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  16. So easy and so pretty? I love that you are presenting us with something so doable and at the same time so chic! Love the grand marnier :)

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  17. How fantastic! These look delicious.. I love the flavors.. I'm going to use this in a slightly different dish.. I'll let you know how it turns out :)

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  18. I am absolutely not thinking Christmas. These are just what it takes to get me in the mood.

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  19. Clever combination of flavors! Thank you for sharing - it looks beautiful.

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  20. This is a great recipe- I have a bag of cranberries and am going to make this RIGHT NOW!! Thanks.

    Lisa.

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  21. whoa they look awesome ! wanna graab a few--:P

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  22. Wow Sommer! These are almost too beautiful to eat! Great idea!

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  23. These are stunning! And sound positively delicious!

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  24. Holy Cranberry! I am going to have to give these a whirl. They look beautiful and sound delicious. We have a lot of cooks in our family and we all are bringing *something special* to Thanksgiving this year. This might have to be my new treat! :)

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  25. They are so beautiful. What a fantastic idea. Thanks for sharing!

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  26. Hi there! I love the recipes, clear instructions & delicious photography! May I know what camera you use for your shots? Thanks. Will keep coming back for more.

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  27. Wow! What a great idea. I am going to make these for Thanksgiving - for sure. Won't everyone be impressed! Do the cranberries soften much?

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  28. woow.. really it looks so good, great idea!

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  29. Well this is incredibly timely. I was just looking up how to make sugared cranberries for some desserts I have in mind this Christmas. Thanks! They look beautiful.

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  30. Those are so pretty and festive. Thank you for a timely recipe!

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  31. These are such great treats. I wish we had cranberries in Greece.

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  32. I live in Asheville as well and have always enjoyed seeing the gingerbread house competition! Every year my boyfriend and I enjoy some hot chocolate in the lounging area after looking at all the houses. The Nutcracker is such a treat, too! Your cranberries look delicious! What a festive idea!

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  33. 1. You are the cutest creative ever. Yes, cuter than Kona.
    2. These are perfect!

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  34. Candies cranberries are my favorite thing ever! I made a whole bunch last year nd they were gobbled up in minutes. I used plain old simple syrup but lov ethe extra flavors in your version. Thanks for the reminder to make them again.

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  35. I love these! I love your pictures too :)

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  36. What a terrific recipe. And I just love your photos. This is a great idea and looks so beautiful and festive.

    Thanks for sharing,
    Joanne

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  37. Your sugared cranberries are so cute that I'd throw a party just to make them to show off to my guests :d
    thanks for sharing it

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  38. Oh, beautiful, Sommer! These photos are gorgeous (as are you!)! I love the idea of making amazing edible decorations. You are helping me feel festive already - wish I were there to enjoy all the activities. ( :

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  39. these look fabulous! I will definitely be making these at Christmas time!

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  40. They look so pretty and festive. Great for the holiday table!

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  41. What a wonderful idea! These sugared cranberries look gorgeous. I imagine that they would look beautiful on a holiday table. You are adorable, by the way. Thank you for sharing. I hope your weekend is full of love and fun.

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  42. Hi, Sommer! I feel like we haven't chatted in a while, although I am not sure why! Let's remedy that! These cranberries look WONderful, and I love your dog, although I am rather partial to my own. ;)

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  43. wow love these and the snap of you and your dog is adorable

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  44. These are lovely for the holidays. The cranberries look like they are spinkled in snow! P.S. Your dog is very cute!

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  45. What lovely photos and what a lovely idea! I am so excited the holidays are around the corner. Thanks for sharing your recipe and congrats on the top 9 too!!!

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  46. Those are so festive and pretty! They also look like their easy to make. I am going to give this one a try!

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  47. I too make sugared cranberries for a holiday garnish. Yours looks so festive!

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  48. Sommer

    those cranberries look amazing and are so simple to make!! I can't wait to try them!! Thanks so much for passing along this wonderful creation!
    Cheers
    Dennis

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  49. They look beautiful and I bet they taste even better... and the cranberry infused syrup would make a delicious addition to some iced tea!

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  50. Haha! I see someone else is going for Christmas and holiday posts! In our house, we laugh when someone breaks the 'pre-Thanksgiving ban on all things Christmas'. BUT... yesterday, I baked a beautiful little spice cake and decked it out like Christmas... look on The Spice Garden! To great minds, Sommer! Cranberries and sugar decked cakes ... deck the halls!

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  51. These are gorgeous! I'd hesitate to eat them at someone's house... they look like they're meant to be admired.

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  52. These are so beautiful. No cranberries her ebut excited to try this with other fruit

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  53. This photos is gorgeous! I want it to be my Christmas card. Can you photoshop in my kids? Delicious! Have a wonderful weekend!!

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  54. You just helped me decide what to make for my (helpful) gate agents and flight attendant friends, while flying during the holiday season. I'm thinking in baby jelly jars, wrapped in striking burgandy toile with a little velvet ribbon! Love!!!!!

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  55. What a wonderful flavour! These would be so beautiful on top of a cake as a decoration. It would be so pretty!
    *kisses* HH

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  56. These are so pretty and festive. I wonder how much like sour candy they taste like.

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  57. Such pretty cranberries! The vanilla and orange flavor sounds excellent for sure!

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  58. Wow...when I first saw the title, I have to admit that I wasn't interested, thinking that it would be raw cranberries. But the bath in the hot simple syrup would make them perfect. You're a genius.

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  59. These ares stunningly simple. Now I just have to find fresh cranberries.

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  60. These are definitely pretty...wonderful flavors :)
    I just finished a cranberry dessert last night, these would have been lovely on the side :)

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  61. How festive and simple, perfect for the holiday table. Cranberries are always a holiday favorite in our house, wonderful idea to adorn the table....beautiful doggie

    sweetlife

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  62. How gorgeous and festive! You're brilliant - I can also see them as a striking garnish for a holiday martini!

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  63. Simple and absolutely perfect! Only you, Sommer :) Btw - love the shot of Kona and you!

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  64. I've never seen these before--and I LOVE sweet/sour combos, so I am definitely going to try! Thanks!

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  65. My goodness! I must make these for Thanksgiving next week. Can't wait to try them and share with my guests. Great post! :)

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  66. I found this when you submitted it to dishfolio. It looks really tasty. i am going to have to try them this holiday season.

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  67. These are wonderful! I just made them last night. Thanks for the recipe! Do you have any ideas on what to make with the simple syrup? Thanks!

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  68. I printed this one out and I'm making it tonight. Thanks for sharing your recipe. Do you have a particular cocktail in mind for using the flavored simple syrup?

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  69. Those cranberries look absolutely awesome. I am going to have to make them. Thanks for sharing:)

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  70. My daughter made these for her company's Thanksgiving potluck. She had a few leftover and shared with us..........they were fabulous! I'm looking forward to making them myself for Christmas :)

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  71. Just fund your blog through your sister's site, The Spiced Life. LOVE my new find!!! I have a love affair with cranberries, and I think they should become a year-round food! I am having a Gluhwein party next weekend and am trying to put together my menu-- mostly desserts, but a few savory things to round everything out. Your cranberries will be there!! I can't wait to try them!! So glad I found your blog! I'm in Knoxville and LOVE Asheville, so I appreciated the list of events you posted. We went to Biltmore 2 yrs ago when we first moved here and loved it!

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  72. Your cranberries are beautiful. I made some similar ones...mine got all clumpy! I'll have to try with orange and vanilla!

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  73. this is the cutest idea! I am going out to the store right now and buying some cranberries so I can do this as well. I am your newest follower.

    xo

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  74. I've never had sugared cranberries...they sound delicious with the vanilla orange syrup! Perfect for the holidays!

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