These rich truffles with a fudge-like density and a pop of tart cranberry are so easy that those who have never attempted a homemade candy before will wonder why they waited so long. Like any recipe, the quality of the ingredients that go into it are the key to its success.
This recipe calls for dried cranberries, and the very best dried cranberries are the ones you make at home starting with fresh cranberries. Drying cranberries takes a little oven time but is simple to do. We recommend drying your cranberries at least a day in advance of making your truffles.
Preheat Oven to 200 F
Bring water and sea salt to a boil. Turn off heat. Add cranberries and give them a quick stir into the water. Let them sit until they start to pop (this is especially fun for kids!) then immediately strain them.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Scatter the cranberries over the parchment. Place in preheated oven for 4-6 hours. You may need more or less time depending upon your oven and humidity. Keep watch on them to ensure that they do not over-dry or burn even in the low heat. You can turn off the oven and leave them inside overnight for additional drying time.
This will yield slightly more dried cranberries than you will need for your truffles, but they make a beautiful, snackable garnish or addition to granola or other recipes! For this reason, we like to double the recipe so we have plenty left over.
Chop dried cranberries into small pieces. If the chunks are too large, it prevents the truffles from sticking together. Set aside.
Separately sift 1/3 c (for mixing) and 1/2 c Powdered Sugar (for coating) to ensure that it is a fine powder free of lumps. Set aside.
In a medium double boiler saucepan over low to medium heat, melt butter and heavy cream. Then stir in vanilla extract and salt.
To this melted mixture add chopped or chipped white chocolate, stirring as needed until the chocolate is melted. Keep the heat low. Do not over heat the chocolate mixture. If you are using a thermometer, the temperature should be about 100F. If you are not using a thermometer, the mixture should be comfortable enough to touch with a finger.
Remove from heat and gently stir in 1/3 c powdered sugar and chopped cranberries.
Once the mixture is cool enough to handle, but well before the mixture cools and solidifies, roll into 1" balls then dip into powered sugar set aside for coating. Completely coat each ball and place on a room temperature plate. Set aside or refrigerate to cool.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.