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My hope is to inspire you to be fearless in the kitchen, to try new things, to take the time to make things the homemade way and most importantly, to have fun doing it!

Cranberry Hazelnut Tartlets Cooking View

Last year at about this time, I learned 1) just how easy it was to make sugared cranberries, 2) that they are essentially edible holiday decorations, and 3) they are addictively sweet-tart and I love them. While cranberries are widely available, I find myself coming up with more and more reasons to use sugared cranberries. I think I’ve made three batches of them in the past week.  Most recently I used them to garnish these cranberry hazelnut tartlets for my holiday party this weekend. Essentially these are a simple hazelnut cookie cup shaped in a mini-muffin pan filled with a dollop of cranberry curd and topped with a few of the sparkly pretties.  As much as I love the classic holiday treats, I’m always glad to find something new to switch things up a bit. If you’re looking for something a bit off the beaten path to bring to a holiday soiree or cookie exchange this year, these might just be the perfect option.

Cranberry Hazelnut Tartlets
Yield: about 18-24 tartlets


For the curd:

  • 4 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
  • ½ cup water
  • 2/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 5 tbsp. unsalted butter at room temperature, cut into 5 pieces
  • 1¾ cups sugar
  • Pinch of coarse salt
  • 3 large egg yolks plus 1 large whole egg

For the hazelnut cookies:

  • 1½ cups whole hazelnuts
  • 8 tbsp. (½ cup) unsalted butter at room temperature, cut into pieces
  • Pinch of coarse salt
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

To garnish:

Cooking View


  • Combine the cranberries, water, and orange juice in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cover and let cook, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries burst, about 30-35 minutes. Press through a fine sieve, scraping the bottom of the sieve to get as much pulp as possible (you should have about 1¾ cups).  Discard the solids.

  • In a medium saucepan, combine the pulp with the butter, sugar, and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until the butter is melted and the sugar is dissolved, about 7 minutes. In a bowl or large liquid measuring cup, whisk together the egg yolks and whole egg. Then whisk in cranberry mixture, 2-3 tablespoons at a time, stirring constantly to prevent the eggs from curdling. Return the egg-cranberry mixture to pan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thickened and coats the back of a wooden spoon, about 6-8 minutes. Remove from the heat and strain the mixture through a sieve into a bowl. Press plastic wrap directly on surface of curd to cover, and refrigerate until cold, about 30-60 minutes. (This will be more curd than you need to fill the cookies, but it is great stuff to have around for many things.  Spreading on a biscuit or muffin, stirring into yogurt, topping ice cream, pancakes, waffles, etc. So many possibilities!)

  • Meanwhile, to make the cookies, preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Place the hazelnuts in the bowl of a food processor.  Pulse until finely ground to the texture of coarse sand. Add in the butter, salt, brown sugar and flour to the food processor.  Pulse until the mixture forms a cohesive dough.*  Form the dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap.  Chill at least 1 hour before proceeding.

  • Take a small portion of dough (about 1 tablespoons) and press into the well of a mini muffin pan, creating a well with your thumb. Repeat with the remaining dough.  2 teaspoons dough into a ball and press into tart cup, creating a well for the filling with your thumb. Repeat with remaining dough mixture. Bake the cookie shells 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and just set.  If the center has puffed up some during baking, press down gently.  Let cool completely in the pans before carefully removing to a serving platter.

  • Fill each cookie shell with a small spoonful of the cranberry curd and garnish with a few sugared cranberries. Serve within 4-6 hours.**

  • *The dough can be mixed in a regular mixer, but the hazelnuts need to be pretty finely ground for this recipe so a food processor or other grinding mechanism is necessary. 

    **These are best within a few hours of assembly, but all the components can be made in advance. 


  • Ana Martin


  • Melissa Franke

    OMG. I am making these this weekend! They look incredible!

  • These are adorable! I love sugared cranberries, this is such a great way to use them!

  • Cranberry CURD. What. My life just got changed.

  • These are so pretty and I am sure they taste amazing! I love using sugared cranberries because they are so simple but add a fun element to a dish.

  • annieseats

    Right?! I’m not normally a big fan of curds, but this one is by far my fave. I could (and did!) eat it with a spoon.

  • I may have eaten a whole bowl of sugared cranberries on Thanksgiving. They are just TOO GOOD. And I’m betting I could eat a whole platter of these tartlets…. I mean, don’t bet me. Because I will do it.

  • annieseats

    Haha. I love you, Joanne :)

  • AmyMak

    Annie, my life changed when you introduced me to your sugared cranberries last year :) Thank you! I love them. Now I’m very excited to make them with the cute little tartlets. Merry Christmas!

  • Emily Carlson

    Can’t wait to try sugared cranberries and cranberry curd. Cranberries are so amazing it is a shame we only see them in November and December or as juice

  • Laura Dembowski

    I need to try sugared cranberries and this curd. Such a beautiful dessert!

  • Lauren Ochoa

    In the middle of making these I happened to have the bowl of cranberries in syrup in the fridge. On a whim I added some to my pancake batter and wow! What a great addition cranberry pancakes would make to a Christmas morning brunch!

  • Hi, I’m thinking of making the curd as part of Christmas gifts in little bitty mason jars. How long does the curd stay fresh, meaning if I made it a few days before Christmas, would it last? You say it’s a good thing to have around…. how long do you have it around in your fridge? I guess that is a true testament to how good it is and how often one sneaks in there with a spoon. :) Thanks for the recipe. YUM!

  • Jennifer Pekny

    Oh, gosh, I’m sorry, my computer was logged is as my hubby…. Jennifer Pekny, not Marc asked about the Cranberry Curd…

  • annieseats

    Yes, it should be fine made a few days before Christmas. I don’t know exactly how long it lasts though. Enjoy!