Sunday, January 17, 2010

Cranberry Oat Bars

My friend Elisabeth made these for us one evening, along with her cheesy manicotti. The manicotti merits a post of its own, so maybe that will be the next recipe. Elisabeth told me that her family's tradition was to have cranberry oat bars and hot chocolate as they decorated their Christmas tree. A lovely tradition, and we've started it ourselves! But it's too good for just once a year, so I made it just recently.
Step One:
Find a cute helper with a can-do attitude:

Step Two:
You have a choice here. The official recipe call for 2 cups of cranberries cooked with 3/4 water and 1/4 cup sugar until the berries pop.
Or, if you like it very tart, you can do it my way: 3 cups of cranberries and a generous cup of sugar with about 1/3 cup water.
Either way, let the cooked berries cool.

Step Three:
Mix 1 1/4 flour, 1 1/4 cup oats, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, and 1/4 tsp salt in a medium bowl.

Step Four:
In a large bowl, mix 3/4 cup softened butter, 1 cup sugar (1/4 cup at a time) 2 large eggs, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add the oat mixture and mix well.

Step Five:
Reserve 1 cup of dough; spread the rest in a greased 9" or 8" pan. Cover with cranberries. Drop reserved dough in spoonfuls. If you've used a square pan, drop the dough in a checkerboard pattern. It will turn out very pretty. If you're using your blue deep-dish Emile Henry pie dish because it's beautiful and you love it, you'll find out that checkerboards don't work in the round. In that case, drop the dough as best you can:

Step Six:
Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

That's it. They're delicious, and they go very well with mugs of hot chocolate. After you're done making them, if you have an easily-pleased child, stuff the empty flour bag with notebook paper and tape it shut. Tell her it's a toy bag of flour for her play kitchen:

1 comment:

  1. Suzy--
    You are the cutest cook I've ever seen!
    Love christy