Candied cranberries are one of those dishes that just scream Christmas.

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It almost seems criminal not to make these at this time of year. Really you are missing out if you don’t.

On a completely unrelated note, a bird flew into my house yesterday morning. A FREAKING BIRD. Out of nowhere. I have no idea why it even decided to fly in at 5:30 in the morning. I would think our pup would be a good reason NOT to enter. But no, this bird decided to come on in and start flapping about.

Thankfully it was a cute little bird and not a crow or magpie or pigeon. THAT would have sent me running and screaming like a maniac.

Despite all my efforts to somehow get this bird outside, it had no desire to leave the house. Either our house makes the perfect birdhouse or our home was just too comfy and cozy to leave. I even (gently) nudged the little guy with the end of a broom to coax it out. Instead, it decided to find a home in our Christmas tree (if only it was a pear tree and the bird was a partridge….).

Which I can’t blame him for, I would live in our Christmas tree if I could.

He finally decided to fly the coop (literally, hahaha, yes I laugh at myself all the time, for the record) and some sort of sanity was restored, though our poor little pup was desperately seeking the little birdie the rest of the morning. To play with it or to eat it, I am not sure….

If I had these cranberries available, or had my wits about me enough to think of it, I totally would have sent the little guy off with a cranberry or two. Assuming they can eat them…. Anyone know the answer the that one? Not that it is relevant.

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ANYWAY, these cranberries are like a sweet burst of sunshine and Christmas and all things joyful in one flavor-packed little bite. They are yummy enough to make you not freak out when a bird randomly enters your house and decides to stay. They are that good.

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Vanilla Orange Candied Cranberries

Vanilla Orange Candied Cranberries

Yield: 3 cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Classic, sweet, and tangy.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 tsp. orange extract or grand mariner
  • 1 12 oz. bag of fresh cranberries

Instructions

  • Combine 2 3/4 cups of sugar, water, vanilla, and orange extract in a large saucepan and heat over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved.
  • Stir in cranberries and weigh down with a plate to keep them submerged in the sugar mixture. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  • Pour remaining sugar in medium bowl. Strain the cranberries and then add to the bowl with the sugar. Toss until they are completely coated.
  • Transfer to a baking sheet and spread in a single layer to try for at least 1 hour. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.