My children have big hearts and a LOT of teachers in their lives. The list of staff and teachers at my son’s school is over 17! As much as I would love to purchase a big and beautiful gift for each of them, finances just don’t allow. We do so very much appreciate them though, so every year I make a sweet and simple gift to let them know how grateful we are. (Remember I don’t cook as a rule so finding something that I felt would be a success was a huge win for me)
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I found Sugared Cranberries… the best thing is that while they are tasty, it’s not a gift that would be repeated. It’s such a simple thing to make, that I always make extra for party hostesses and random gifts you always seem to need at the holidays.
- Cranberries (I started with 2 large bags, totaling about 3 pounds)
- Granulated Sugar
- clear plastic food grade jars (I used 8oz)
- curling ribbon
- swing top bottles
Makes about 20 8oz jars, however, the recipe is quite simple to adapt for quantity.
Rinse the cranberries well and put them in a liquid measuring container to see how much liquid you’ll need (equal to or just a bit more than the amount of cranberries in the liquid measuring cup-I needed 6 cups).
Measure out equal parts of water and granulated sugar and place them in a large pot on medium high heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar mixture, but don’t let it boil.
When all the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is clear, turn it off and let it cool (if it’s too hot, it will burst your cranberries). You’ve just made a simple syrup!
Place the cranberries in a container that is close to the same size as the volume you have and pour the syrup over the top. You’ll notice your cranberries will float. You need to weigh them down to keep them in the syrup. (I use a sealable cereal container and put foil over the top to weigh them down then add the lid to hold them in.)
Then place them in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours. (Full Disclosure: this is generally where ADD sets in and I have been known to leave them in for up to three days with no ill effects…it just infuses more cranberry yumminess)
Bring the whole mix out of the fridge and place a paper towel on a large plate, then a smaller empty plate next to it.
Use a slotted spoon to remove the cranberries from the syrup and place them on the paper towel. Blot lightly to drain and remove most (not all) of the excess liquid.
Transfer them to the smaller plate and sprinkle with granulated sugar. (I let them sit for a few seconds to make sure the sugar is sticking)
Transfer to containers.
I have a simple label I print for the jar tops and in years past have wrapped ribbed or washi tape around the lid edge to decorate. This year I went with simple.
The leftover liquid makes a lovely starter for any recipe involving simple syrup. You can add a few sprigs of mint, some of your cranberries and rum for a cranberry mojito. I pour it into a bottle, add a label and ribbon and it’s another lovely gift for a hostess or extra special teacher. You could even get smaller bottles and give some to everyone! I have teachers ask for them year after year now. They are a bigger hit than I ever imagined they would be.
What do you think? Would you give these a shot?
Wishing you and yours a very joyous holiday season!
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