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Monday, December 26, 2011

Orange and Vanilla Cranberries

Cranberries are not usually "my thing" but I actually wound up liking these. The sugar helps cut the tartness of the berry and the orange flavoring just adds an exciting taste twist to it. Since cranberries are so tart, I was sure glad these were rolled in sugar, because the sight of me puckering is not pretty! Well maybe when the hubby leans in for a kiss, but definitely not with a cranberry in my mouth. HaHa. Be prepared as you bite into some of the cranberries, your mouth will burst with cranberry juice that squishes out of the berry. Some of the berries behave well and do not do this! These make a great dish to have sitting out instead of the usual candies or cookies at some gatherings. If I had remembered to take a picture when they were all set up in their pretty dish with a green leaf to make them festive, the picture might have been more appealing....but instead you got stuck with the "they are done, so I just have time to throw them on a plate and take a quick one" kind of picture!

3 3/4 cups sugar, divided 
1 1/4 cups water 
1/2 cup orange juice  
2 tsp. vanilla 
2 tsp. orange extract 
1 (12 oz) bag of fresh cranberries 

Combine 2 ½ cups of sugar, water, orange juice, vanilla extract and orange extract in a sauce pan. Heat over medium until the sugar has completely dissolved, but don't allow it to come to a boil. 
Put in the cranberries and stir. Place the cranberries and the liquid into a large bowl. Use a small plate or a smaller size bowl that will fit inside the larger one and place it on top of the berries to keep them as pushed down under the water as you can. Put a cover on it and leave it in the refrigerator over night or for at least 7 hours. Place the remaining 1 ¼ cup of sugar in a dish that will fit all the cranberries and allow you to shake it all up. Drain the cranberries and shake them in the sugar until they are completely coated. Place them on a cookie sheet to dry for a couple of hours.

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