Aren’t these fun? This is pretty much edible Christmas right here, people. Red. Green. It even sparkles.
I took these little beauties to my book club Christmas party tonight, and my friends kept asking me what was on top. I’m thinking, what, like, the sugar? Do they think it’s salt or something? But it was after we had all eaten so I knew they must have been asking about the cranberries themselves. I guess it seemed obvious to me because I made them. It’s true that you don’t see fresh cranberries served that often. In fact, I don’t think I’d ever eaten a whole raw cranberry before today. We are obsessed with crushing them and blending them and baking them. But after tasting these sugared cranberries, I don’t know why. Eric and Charlotte and I were popping them like candy.
I didn’t bother giving Charlotte a fully assembled cracker, but maybe I should have; she has proved to be very enthusiastic about all the ingredients in this recipe, not just the sugared cranberries. I went to the store to pick up the Brie, and I handed it to Charlotte for safekeeping as we made out way to the checkout. She kept yelling “Cheese! Cheese!” But I didn’t realize just how excited she was until I reached for the Brie to hand it to the cashier and saw that Charlotte had sunk her teeth almost all the way through the end of the package. I guess she knows a good thing when she sees it.
Sparkling Cranberry Brie Bites
Source: Yummy Mummy
2 cups fresh cranberries*
1 cup good maple syrup (ahem…the 99 cent generic brand works too.)
1 cup granulated sugar
Rinse cranberries in a colander, discarding any that have become soft. In a medium bowl, heat syrup in the microwave just until warm. (I think mine took 30-45 seconds.) If it is too hot, wait a few minutes–you don’t want your cranberries to pop. Add cranberries to the syrup. Cool, cover, and let soak in the refrigerator overnight.
Drain cranberries in a colander; do not rinse. Place sugar in a large bowl or baking dish. Add cranberries in 2 batches and roll around until lightly coated in sugar. Place on a baking sheet until dry, about 1 hour.
16 crackers (I used water crackers)
8 ounces Brie cheese, sliced
cranberry chutney or cranberry relish**
fresh mint for garnish, optional
Assemble crackers with one slice of brie, a light layer of cranberry chutney, and 4 or 5 sugared cranberries. Garnish with fresh mint sprigs, but only if you are trying to impress or seriously love mint. The mint flavor didn’t really add anything, in my opinion.
Serve immediately. The wetness from the cranberry sauce will start to creep up on the sugared cranberries, making them not so sparkly. These are best assembled last minute.
*One 12-ounce package is 3 cups. I one-and-a-halved the recipe for the berries so we had some leftover to snack on.