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Chef Sean Brennan Presents: Snowed Cranberries

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As an avowed chocoholic, it’s strange to me that this is one of my favorite holiday treats. I started making these when I was living on Cape Cod and was looking for something local that would be an edible decoration at a large dinner event. These are fresh, bright, not too sweet, and a cinch to throw together at the last minute. I keep these in a bowl on the coffee table (and in the kitchen) when entertaining, and they’re inevitably gone very quickly. These work as a snack, dessert, decor, and garnish (they look amazing on top of a cake!)

Snowed Cranberries

Prep Time: 30 min

Makes: 4 servings




  1. Rinse and thoroughly pick through fresh cranberries, discarding any that aren’t firm and floating.
  2. Add granulated sugar & water to a saucepan, and heat over medium heat until all the sugar is dissolved, and the syrup mixture just comes to a boil.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat, and let it cool for one minute.
  4. Add the drained cranberries to the hot syrup, and mix them in gently.
  5. Allow to sit in the hot syrup for five minutes, then drain in a colander or sieve.
  6. Gently toss the cranberries while pouring superfine sugar over the cranberries, coating them evenly.
  7. Spread cranberries onto a sheet pan, and allow to cool. Serve in a bowl, or hide them in the kitchen for snacking while you’re cooking and doing prep work. 

Best eaten the day of, but can be kept at room temp for up to two days. If making in advance, keep the cranberries in the syrup, place them in the fridge, and toss in superfine sugar the day you plan to serve them.

*Note: If you can’t find superfine sugar, pulse granulated sugar in a food processor for at least 1 minute until the texture barely feels grainy as you rub it between your fingers. Don’t use powdered sugar for this recipe as it won’t have the same effect. 

Pro Tips

  • If you’re sizing up this recipe, you generally won’t need more than 1 cup each of water & granulated sugar to make syrup- it makes enough to coat 10+ cups of cranberries

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