I love making these cranberries during this time of year. The method for creating these transforms their overall texture into something delicate and soft while preserving their tart and tangy quality. A balanced palette of warm spices is infused into the cranberries to achieve a unique feel and aroma, which is perfect for enjoying during the holidays. Although these are simple and easy to make, they require several hours of soaking and drying to produce—but the end result is definitely worth the wait. Adapted from Cooking Light.
3 cups sugar
3 cups water
2 cinnamon sticks
6 whole cloves
4 cardamom pods, bruised
2 pieces of whole star anise
3 cups fresh cranberries, rinsed
1 cup superfine sugar, or regular sugar pulsed in a small food processor
Combine the sugar, water and spices in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir until the sugar is totally dissolved. Allow the mixture to come to a full boil, then pour into a separate bowl and immediately add in the fresh cranberries. Cover and place into the refrigerator to soak for about 8 hours.
Drain the cranberries. Line a cookie sheet with paper towels and place the cranberries on them to soak up any excess liquid. Place the remaining cup of sugar in a large bowl and add in the cranberries. Toss gently until well coated. Reline the cookie sheet with fresh paper towels and place the cranberries back on them to dry for about two hours. They may remain drying on the cookie sheet for up to two days.