Thursday, December 30, 2010

Cranberry Almond Bars

I found a pretty basic recipe involving cranberries and nuts, and doctored it up a bit to turn it into something spectacular. It wasn't that difficult, really - I think almond extract and a powdered sugar glaze will make almost any dessert fancier! If you've stocked up on cranberries, these blondie-like bars are a delicious way to use some of them. They look beautiful on a tray or plate, and they taste as good as they look. And they have fruit. So that counts for something!

Start by toasting the almonds. You can use whatever "kind" you have - slivered or whole - I used whole and chopped them up a bit. I toast them in a skillet over medium heat, shaking the pan once in a while so they don't burn.

The almonds will get really fragrant when they're getting toasty so watch, and smell, carefully!

Here's a neat trick I discovered: I don't know about you, but when you chop nuts you get all those small little particles. I didn't want those floating around, so I put the toasted almonds in a fine mesh sieve and shook away -

all the little particles dropped out and I was left with nice toasty almond pieces. (If the little particles don't bother you, by all means skip this step!)

On to the batter. In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs, sugar, almond extract and salt and beat well until combined. Add the melted butter

then gradually add the flour and baking powder and mix until incorporated. Fold in the cranberries

and the almonds.

Spread the batter into a greased cake pan

and bake for 30-25 minutes or until golden brown.

Cool completely on a wire rack. For the glaze, combine the powdered sugar, milk, and a few drops of almond extract,

and stir until smooth. Drizzle the glaze over the bars in the pan.

Find more great recipes at Foodie Friday, Food on Fridays.

Cranberry Almond Bars

2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. almond extract
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
1/2 cup chopped almonds

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2-1 tsp. milk
a few drops almond extract

In a mixing bowl, beat eggs, sugar, almond extract and salt. Add butter. Combine flour and baking powder; gradually add to the sugar mixture and mix well. Fold in cranberries and almonds. Transfer to a greased 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

For glaze, combine powdered sugar, almond extract and milk, whisk until combined. Spoon over cool bars before cutting. Makes 24 bars.

1 comment:

  1. I love cookie bars, and I am adding this recipe to my collection. I have some dried cranberrys that I can pour hot water over them prior to using. I adapt, and that should work. Thank you for this post!


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