Monday, December 7, 2009

Cranberry Almond Bars

Cranberries make me happy. Do they make you happy, too? I actually smiled at them in the grocery store last week. {And then realized what I had done and quickly looked around to make sure no one saw me.}

These cranberry bars are cake-y, tart and wonderful. Actually, you could easily pass this off as coffee cake, but on a holiday dessert table, they would be so pretty!

Cranberry Almond Bars

3/4 cup unsalted butter, plus more for pan
1 & 1/2 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp pure almond extract
1 & 1/2 c. unbleached, all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp coarse salt
2 c. fresh cranberries
1/3 c. slivered almonds

Melt the 3/4 c butter and set aside (or in the fridge) to cool.

Reserve 2 TBSP of the almonds for the top of the batter and chop the remaining. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350. Butter a 8x 8" pan.

Beat the sugar and eggs for 3 minutes.

{Side note...I love when the expiration date on a carton of eggs is a holiday or birthday.}

Add the cooled melted butter and almond extract; beat until combined.

Whisk together the flour & salt. Add to the sugar/butter mixture and mix on low until combined.

Stir in the cranberries and chopped almonds.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan...spread evenly with a offset spatula (if you have one). :) Sprinkle with the reserved almonds.

Bake about 50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with crumbs, not wet. (Cover with foil the last 5 minutes of baking to prevent over-browning, if necessary.)

Cool in the pan on a cooling rack. Makes 12 bars.

Two sweet bakers asked if I would link up a recipe for their Christmas Cookie Carnivals. So, thank you to Shelly of Chic Craft Chick (today's carnival) and Liz of Hoosier Homemade (December 13th carnival) for thinking of me and asking me to play along! :)

This recipe is now linked at the Tasty Kitchen. Click on over for a printable version or to rate the recipe.

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