1 cup pure maple syrup
2 cups fresh cranberries
1 cup sugar, superfine for extra sparkle
Optional flavor add-ins:
2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest, add to the sugar
2 tablespoons orange liqueur, added to the syrup before cooking (for adults only)
Pour syrup into a medium saucepan and cook over medium-low heat for 2 minutes, just until bubbles start to form around the edges. If using orange liqueur for extra flavor, add it at the same time as the syrup.
Remove pan from heat and stir in cranberries. Cover pan and refrigerate for at least 8 hours, or overnight. Place a colander over a medium bowl and drain cranberries for 20 minutes; save the syrup for another use.
Meanwhile, place sugar in a shallow baking dish and shake until it is one, even layer. If using orange zest for extra flavor, toss with the sugar until evenly distributed.
In small batches (about 5 to 6 cranberries), gently toss berries in sugar until evenly coated. Use tongs or a fork to remove from sugar and place berries in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Let stand at room temperature until completely dry, at least one hour.
Store the sugar-coated cranberries at room temperature on an open or loosely covered baking sheet or dish, in single layers separated by parchment. Frosted berries will keep for at least 24 hours. For best results, do not refrigerate.
Serve cranberry snowballs alone or as garnish for desserts, ice cream, cheese platters and cocktails.