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Homemade Gift Idea: Cranberry Chews

I’m at Bakerella‘s book signing in Austin! We’re about to embark on a fun Girl Hunter Weekend to celebrate outdoorsyness, togetherness and my upcoming Girl Hunter book release. Amazon just named it a “best book of the month,” which is pretty exciting.

But I want to talk about cranberries and another homemade holiday gift idea. I love homemade gifts, they’re so satisfying and thrifty and pioneering.

This one I call “cranberry chews.”

It’s super simple, you start with a bowl of cranberries and some sugar.

Toss the cranberries in a pot with water and turn on the flame.

Let them stew, giving them a stir every so often. They’ll start to burst and that’s A-Ok.

You’ll spread them out on a silpat or parchment….

There will be some jelly goo surrounding it but that’s okay. It will turn into the fruit roll-up type bites. But bite sizes.

Separate the cranberries as best you can with a fork so they have space to dry. You’ll dry these on low heat for a lot of hours.

They’re done when they’re just slightly tacky.

Peel them off a bit at a time and put them in festive gift bags.

I used simple plastic bags, but I bet you could find some better ones at a good craft store.

Sprinkle a little sugar in there too to help keep them from sticking together.

Then throw a bow on there to finish it off!

These are wonderfully delicious… they have a great tartness to them which make them rather addictive… like sour patch kids. And they make a great hostess gift.


“Homemade Gift Idea: Cranberry Chews”

Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time8 hours 30 minutes
Total Time8 hours 35 minutes
Servings: 2 cups


  • 2 cups fresh cranberries rinsed and picked over
  • 1 1/2 cups raw sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups water


  • Combine cranberries, sugar and water in a medium sauce pan over low heat, and stir to dissolve the sugar. Gently simmer until the liquid foams and thickens and the cranberries burst.
  • Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two sheet pans with parchment and lightly brush with oil. Alternatively, line the sheet pans with silpats.
  • Remove the cranberries with a slotted spoon and spread them evenly over the pans. Separate the individual berries as best you can with a fork. Place in the oven and let dry about 8-10 hours or until only slightly tacky.
  • Gently peel the cranberries off the parchment or silpats into bite-size pieces with your fingers. Roll the pieces in sugar to keep them from sticking together. Store at room temperature in an airtight container.


  • Betty Izquierdo
    Posted February 15, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    I add raisins and cut up dried apricots to this mixture and proceed as directed. Excellent presentation and the taste is yummy….

  • Barbara Todd
    Posted March 26, 2014 at 11:14 pm

    Can dried cranberries be used in place of fresh ones for this recipe?

    • Post Author
      Posted March 27, 2014 at 10:24 am

      You are actually making dried cranberries from fresh ones in this recipe, so you wouldn’t start with them.

      • LaLonne
        Posted April 13, 2014 at 5:23 am

        Do you know of a way to make them singly to be able to use in recipes *like* Craisins? That would be awesome as well. These look delicious, and I can’t wait for Thanksgiving season to come around to use fresh cranberries. (I’m guessing you can’t use frozen – they’d probably disintegrate in the hot water.) I just found your blog today, and am going from this post to poke around at the other recipes. 🙂 Thanks for posting this recipe – it’s refreshing to find a homemade gift that is so unusual and unexpected! 🙂

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