The other day I was searching through countless Christmas cookie recipes when I found these bars. I normally tend to overlook bars because by the time I’ve cut them up and traveled the ten hours to my parent’s house for Christmas, they’ve become a huge mess. So I was torn between wanting a variety of tastes and textures on my Christmas goodie platter or having everything uniform and travel ready. Of course, variety is the spice of life. Fingers crossed they make it to the farm intact I guess.
Another draw with making bars is that they are usually super easy. I started in on a recipe from Allrecipes where the cranberry filling was made with fresh cranberries. Why use canned cranberries when you can make your own? Then I realized that the same recipe called for a yellow cake mix! Hmmm. I did another search and found this recipe that had a quick crumb base; basically flour, sugar,salt, butter, and baking powder (but used a can of cranberry sauce!). So my bars are made from a collection of two recipes and all the components are home made. I suppose you could go the other way and use the cake mix combined with the canned cranberry sauce if you really wanted to.
1 12 oz package of cranberries
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
Cook cranberries, sugar, and water in a pot. Stirring frequently for about 15 minutes until they thicken up. Let cool.
3/4 cup white sugar
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter, room temp.
1 beaten egg
In a bowl, mix sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut in butter until the texture is crumbly then add the egg. Sprinkle just over half of the mixture into a 9×13 pan then pack down into a solid crust. Spread the cooled cranberry sauce over top of the crust then sprinkle the remaining crumb over top.
Bake in 350°F oven for 40 minutes until the top is golden. Cool, then slice into squares.