Sunday, November 20, 2011

Cranberry Lemon Bars

This is not so much of a Thanksgiving post as a post-Thanksgiving post.  Personally, I like cranberries and so I like them in more than just in a sauce or relish on the Thanksgiving table.  So if you find yourself with additional cranberries (or if you're like me, you're buying fresh cranberries now and freezing them since they're in season and easy to find!), this is a great dessert to use these tart berries.  And these bars are tart -- you can always increase the sugar in the filling if you like things on the sweeter side but for us, these were great.  My husband liked them just the way they were and I liked them with a sprinkling of powdered sugar to slightly tone down the tartness.  They were easy to throw together, easy to halve (I actually quartered the recipe and used a glass bread pan!) and, of course, easy to eat.

I'm also looking forward to making my great aunt's cranberry orange quick bread.  And while I haven't tried these recipes yet, these cranberry margaritas or this cranberry salsa both look like excellent ways to use cranberries this season!

Cranberry Lemon Bars
Taken from: Everybody Likes Sandwiches
Makes 20-24 bars (could easily be halved and put in a 8x8 baking dish instead)

  • 3 c flour
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1 c white sugar
  • 1/4 t kosher salt
  • zest of 1 large lemon
  • 8 ounces cold butter, cubed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 2 T – 1/4 c of cold water
  • 2 1/2 c cranberries (fresh or frozen; no need to thaw if frozen)
  • 1/2 c + 2 T white sugar
  • juice from 1 large lemon
  • 2 T corn starch
  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Combine the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and lemon zest. Add the butter and use your hands or a food processor to crumble the dough into small pieces. Move crumbles to a mixer and add in the egg and vanilla. Stir to combine, adding in water 1 tablespoon at a time – I only used 2 spoonfuls, but use up to 1/4 cup to help your dough come together. 
  2. Press half of the dough into a buttered 9×13″ pan and set aside the remaining dough for the topping.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix the filling ingredients until combined. Top with the cranberry filling and crumble the remaining dough over top . Bake for 35 minutes or until the top and sides are golden. 
  4. Remove from oven and cool completely before cutting into bars.


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