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Cranberry bars

November 19th, 2012

I have a habit that sometimes saves my life. I collect food magazines. Not sure if it is a good or a bad one yet because pretty soon I will have to move back to Brazil and it is going to be a challenge either to leave or take them with me.

For now they are here, by my side, giving me some advice for what I have to do next. I’ve been accumulating them since we moved to the United States, about four years ago. They started as a source for me to learn English and became a strong source of visual stimulation and recipe inspiration.

Looking back and flipping the pages of these “old” magazines, it is kind of curious to notice how the world we see has changed while the one we taste is quite the same.  Not the magazines fault, I guess. We are always looking for new ways to decorate the traditional vanilla cake or to present the same good old friend turkey. And don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love trying new things and usually I am the first one to order that weird – but delicious – olive oil ice cream on the menu. But on a daily basis, tradition is the word.

I think that’s what made me choose, without much thought, this recipe for cranberry bar from Gourmet Nov, 2007 edition. As a Brazilian, I didn’t grow up celebrating Thanksgiving. Turkey is, in my unconscious, a Christmas thing. Cranberries are different; they are, in my mind, the elegant taste of fall.

These bars are quite simple compared to our cranberry cake from last year. No nuts, no almond paste, just cranberries pronounced by the addition of lemon zests (not part of the original recipe). Perfect if you are looking for an easier yet vastly tasty dessert for your Thanksgiving table.

 

Cranberry bars

1½ sticks unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

2 cups all purpose flour

½ tsp salt

1 cup plus 2 tbsp granulated sugar, divided

Zests of one lime, divided

3 cups fresh or frozen cranberries (3/4lb)

1/3 cup water

Confectioner’s sugar for dusting

1. Preheat oven to 350F with rack in middle.

2. Line a 9-inch square or 9 by 8 rectangular baking pan with 2 crisscrossed sheets of parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides.

3. Blend butter, flour, salt, half of lime zests and ½ cup of sugar in a food processor until mixture begins to clump together. Press into bottom of pan. Bake until pale golden and sides begin to pull away from pan, 25 to 30 minutes.

4.While crust is baking, cook cranberries, remaining 2/3 cup granulated sugar, remaining lime zests and water in a 2-quart heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until berries burst, 6 to 8 minutes.

5.Pour cranberries over crust and bake until edge is golden, about 25 minutes, Sift confectioner’s sugar over top and cool completely in pan over rack. Lift out of pan using parchment paper overhang and cut into 12 squares, then sift more confectioners’ sugar over top.  Enjoy!

 

10 Responses to “Cranberry bars”

  1. Kasey

    I save many of my food magazines, too, and every year, I pull out the holiday issues and revisit the recipes which, I find to be pleasantly familiar. I love the rich red color of these cranberry bars. Happy Thanksgiving, Amanda!

  2. Ana Cooks

    it’s always the same thing everytime i visit your blog…i always get hungry! :)
    great recipes, beautiful shots!

  3. Sanda

    I do the same,soon I won’t have a space for books and magazines. These bars looks so good, unfortunately I can’t find cranberries in Portugal

  4. amanda areias

    Kasey and Sanda, collecting those things is totally addicting, right! Happy Thanksgiving my friends!

    Oh, Sanda, I’ve been thinking about some substitutes for cranberry and I am sure any fruit you can make a marmalade with would work here. I am dying to try it with peaches and blackberries.

  5. A tasty love story

    I saw this lovely recipe on foodgawker and was reminded of a fabulous traditional danish cake that I love very much, and needed to investigate your recipe right away. And now I just wanted to tell you that you have a lovely blog and I adore your photos!!…and this cake will be my next little kitchen project :)
    All the best from Josephine

  6. ashley

    What temperature should the oven be?

  7. amanda areias

    350F Ashley, sorry I missed the first sentence when copying the recipe from Gourmet. Thanks for asking, already updated :)

  8. Melissa@EyesBigger

    What beautiful bars. I love cranberries all year, especially dried. I put them in muffins and biscotti and even cookies. Love the tart and sweet together. And as always, your photography is gorgeous!

  9. amanda areias

    That’s it Melissa, tart and sweet! Thanks!

  10. Allison (Spontaneous Tomato)

    Wow, these look amazing. My mouth was puckering in anticipation of the sour cranberries just from looking at the photos…

    I just discovered your blog (among one of the ‘likes’ on the Tokyo Terrace facebook page), and I’m so happy I came over to check it out! I’ll definitely be following. :)

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