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Cranberry-Walnut Balls


Cranberry Walnut Balls photo
(c) 2011 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Cranberry-Walnut Balls have a sweet-tart flavor from fresh cranberries and rich toasted walnuts. You can use either fresh or frozen bagged cranberries for this recipe; canned cranberries tend to be overly sweet and might not set properly.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes


  • 12 ounces (1 bag) cranberries
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup ground toasted walnuts (4 oz)
  • powdered sugar or additional ground nuts for coating


1. Combine the water and sugar in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir to completely dissolve sugar, and then stop stirring.

2. Insert candy thermometer and boil the mixture until it reaches 240 degrees, or soft-ball stage.

3. Reduce the heat and add the cranberries all at once, stirring to incorporate. The sugar will thicken around the cranberries and be difficult to stir, but after a minute or two they will start giving off juice and become much more liquid.

4. Boil the cranberries for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until most of the cranberries have “popped” and the candy has a jammy texture.

5. Stir in the chopped walnuts and continue boiling, stirring occasionally, until mixture is a thick paste. This will take about another 10 minutes.

6. Pour the paste out into a 9x 13 pan and allow to cool at room temperature or in the refrigerator.

7. Coat your hands in powdered sugar and roll the candy into walnut-sized balls. To serve them, roll them in powdered sugar or additional chopped nuts. They can even be dipped in chocolate if you'd like.

8. Store Cranberry-Walnut Balls in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.

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