Besides just the overall merriment that comes with this holiday season, one of my absolute favorite memories around this time of year is baking. Usually I have my staples of certain desserts I like/have to make, but try to add a few new items that hopefully make it to my growing list of favorites. This recipe has become one of those.
Loved it enough I’ve made it three times. In two weeks. They’re like Cherry Kuchen Bars (which are a-mazing!) but with fresh cranberries. Sweet with a buttery crust. You can’t go wrong.
The only tricky part is the dough. It’s quite sticky. You have to be patient with it, working it into the corners of the pan. Put on some soothing music so you don’t get agitated that the dough is sticking more to your hands than to itself and you’ll be just fine. It’s worth it in the end. Trust me.
These bars are best eaten when they have cooled almost to room temperature, but they’ll keep for up to three days in an air-tight container. They’re perfect for a potluck feast or just to munch on while you’re making dinner. (Wait…ah-hem. Sorry, bad habit. Don’t tell my kids!) They’re addicting however you choose to eat (and share) them. Enjoy! xoxo
(Print Recipe Cranberry Bars)
2 sticks (1 cups) unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 c sugar
½ t salt
2 t almond extract
2 c cake flour
1 ½ c fresh or frozen cranberries, halved
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8×8 pan with cooking spray or line with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a large bowl, with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together, about 3 minutes. Mix the almond extract and salt until combined. Add the cake flour, 1 cup at a time. Blend on low speed until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Use about 2/3 of the dough to form the crust. Make sure to press dough to the edges of the pan. The dough is really sticky, so you’ll have to gently work with it.
Sprinkle the cranberries on top, making it as even as possible. With the remaining dough, drop on top of the cranberries to form the top layer. It’s okay to not cover completely.
Bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes, or until edges are slightly brown.
Cool on a cooling rack completely before cutting into bars. Store any leftovers in an air-tight container for up to 3 days.
Recipe Source: adapted slightly from The View From Great Island