Filed under: Candy / Cookies
December 13, 2021

Cranberry Christmas Cookie Box + Cranberry Caramel Sauce

Caramel sauce made with pure cranberry juice for a tart candy-like taste. This takes just 10 minutes and can be used on ice cream, in cakes & cupcakes and swirled on top of brownies.

5 from 2 votes
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Caramel sauce made with pure cranberry juice for a tart candy-like taste. This takes just 10 minutes and can be used on ice cream, in cakes & cupcakes and swirled on top of brownies.

Plus! A cookie box for christmas – cranberry inspired! There’s cookies, and more cookies, marshmallows scones, a cranberry caramel and a cranberry curd! Every single one of these is perfect for gifting around the holidays.

Cranberry Christmas Cookie Box Details 

Orange Sugared Cranberries 

To make these, set 6oz fresh cranberries in a deep bowl. Cook together ½ cup water, ½ cup sugar and zest of 1 orange until the sugar melts. Pour the sugar over the cranberries and let them ‘stew’ in there for about 10-15 minutes, stirring every 5 to ensure complete coverage. Transfer the berries to a cooling rack set over a cookie sheet (the sheet is to catch drips) and let them dry out for about 2 hours. Then roll the berries in granulated sugar until completely covered. These can be made ahead of time, store on an open plate. 

Cranberry Candied Pecan Chocolate Chunk Cookies 

You’ll find the recipe to make these here. They are phenomenal, chewy and so chunky with bursts of dried cranberry and spicy ginger notes from the candied pecans. Also, chunks of dark chocolate! 

Cranberry Marshmallows 

Use this apple cider marshmallow recipe but swap 100% cranberry juice for the fresh cider called for. You can skip the caramelized white chocolate or you can use white chocolate which pairs quite well with cranberry. 


To make these you’ll need 3 egg whites and ¾ cups granulated sugar. Whisk over a pot of simmering water until you can pinch the mixture and feel no sugar granules. Then whip the mix in a stand mixer until stiff peaks, adding 1 teaspoon vanilla and a pinch of salt toward the end of whipping. Preheat the oven to 225 F and line two greased cookie sheets with parchment paper. Pipe the meringue onto the sheet and bake for about an hour, then turn off the oven and leave the meringues in there overnight. 

Blueberry Cranberry Curd 

You can make this via this blueberry cranberry meringue pie recipe but stop once it thickens in the pot and pour into a mason jar. Can be made ahead and refrigerated for two weeks. 

Cranberry Glazed Chocolate Molasses Cookies 

I usee this chocolate molasses cookie recipe but skipped the sugar rolling (do roll the dough balls between your palms to smooth them over though). When the cookies are cooled make the glaze: 1 cup organic powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons 100% cranberry juice whisked together. Spoon the glaze on the cookies and let set. 

Cranberry Pecan Scones

I used this orange almond scone recipe but swapped the almond flour for ground pecans (ground into a flour) and added 1/2 cup of each dark chocolate chunks and dried cranberries.

cranberry caramel sauce

What is Cranberry Caramel? 

Basically this is a caramel sauce with pure cranberry juice added to it; and it’s wonderful. You taste the toasty deep caramel notes but there’s a sharp brightness to it from the cranberry.

We’ll make a dry caramel; cooking sugar without water but adding a squeeze of lemon to prevent crystallization until it’s liquid caramel. Then we’ll add the pure cranberry juice and stir until it’s smooth. Butter and vanilla go in at the end. This is a very thin caramel, exactly what we want so it can seep nicely into the cake. 

FAQ on Cranberry Caramel Sauce 

What kind of cranberry juice should I get? 

The bottle should say 100% cranberry juice and it should have no other ingredients other than cranberries. 

What will the consistency be like? 

You have two options: a thick caramel that borders on chewy like a caramel candy or a looser sauce, perfect for spooning onto ice cream. 

How long will this last in the fridge? 

About 2-3 weeks, in a sealed mason jar. 

Tips for making the perfect cranberry caramel

  1. Use a squeeze of fresh lemon juice: the acid from the lemon helps to prevent crystallization of the sugar as it cooks. I squeeze lemon over the sugar and stir it to cover most of the sugar, then begin cooking. 
  2. Warm the liquid before adding it to the sugar: if you pour a cold liquid into the hot sugar it will seize and you’ll have a lump of hard caramel and liquid at the edges. 
  3. Don’t change the heat settings while cooking: another way the caramel can seize, although the caramel will bubble up when you add the heavy cream/juice and you’ll be tempted to turn the heat down, avoid it. Use a long wooden spoon to stir. 


Ingredients for Cranberry Caramel Sauce

  • Cranberry juice: 100% cranberry juice, no sugar or water added. This is important!
  • Granulated sugar: fine white granulated sugar. 
  • Heavy cream: full fat heavy cream. 
  • Butter: cold is fine, slice it into smaller pieces so it will melt more easily. 
  • Vanilla: pure vanilla extract. Seeds of a vanilla bean will work, as will vanilla bean paste. Don’t skip the vanilla, you really notice it here. 


Cranberry Caramel Sauce

Sweet and tart caramel sauce flavored with tart cranberry.
cranberry caramel sauce
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
5 from 2 votes


  • 1 cup sugar 220g
  • cup pure 100% cranberry juice 75g
  • 5 tablespoons butter 75g
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream optional (use this if you want a looser sauce)


  • Pour the cranberry juice into a heatproof glass or bowl. Warm to touch in the microwave.
  • In a pot, add the sugar and a squeeze of lemon. Stir to mix in the lemon. Turn the heat on and begin cooking the sugar. It will melt and turn brown as it does, stir with a wooden spoon to keep it caramelizing evenly and press out any sugar lumps. Most of the lumps will dissolve on their own as the sugar melts and caramelizes. Once it’s all melted let it fully caramelize for a minute. Slowly pour the cranberry juice in, stirring as you do. Go slowly or the caramel will seize. Once it’s all in add the butter and stir until the butter is melted and the sauce is smooth. Stir in the vanilla and heavy cream if using. Let cool. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.


makes about 1 cup sauce

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Recipe Reviews

  1. This sounds like a unique treat to make for the holidays.

    Are you using unsweetened or sweetened cranberry juice?

    Happy holiday baking!

  2. 5 stars
    I shouldn’t doubt you! I made this and thought I’d surely ruined it when I added in the cranberry juice. It seemed to runny. I waited; it thickened into a perfect drizzling or dipping caramel. The taste was a subtle tartness. With a smooth caramel I put it in little jars for my Christmas treat boxes for drizzling on cheesecake or for dipping gingerbread cookies. Thanks for your creativity!