A cranberry bar and some hot green tea

November 12, 2009

Please enjoy this guest post from my special baking correspondent, also known as my husband. And it's true, he hoards berries like a squirrel.

When fall rolls around I always grab a couple of bags of cranberries the first time I see them in the grocery store. They are only on the shelves for a few weeks and I get this strange urge to horde them. (I don't know whether that's from growing up in New England or a hereditary trait.) And while some form of cranberry sauce or relish is always at the table when my family sits down to Thanksgiving dinner, for some reason we never make it before then. So we find ourselves awash in berries and looking for things to use them in. The recipe on the back of the Ocean Spray bag for a cranberry bread has been a consistent go-to, but this week I gave this recipe from Dishing Up Vermont (a great cook book with recipes from restaurants and inns around the Green Mountain State) a go. I found it lighter than the usual quick bread recipes and a piece goes great with a cup of tea.

Delicious cranberry bars
Makes 9-16 squares

1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
3/4 stick butter, melted
3/4 cup apple sauce
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 pinch ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups cranberries
1/2 cup of sliced almonds

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9x9 baking dish. Combine the sugar and eggs in an electric mixer. In a separate bowl combine the dry ingredients, starting with the cinnamon through the flour. Mix the butter, applesauce, and vanilla extract into the sugar-egg mixture until combined. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet and then fold in the cranberries and almonds.

Pour the batter into the dish and bake for 50-55 minutes until a tester comes out clean. Cool on a rack before serving.