“Cate, these are, without a doubt, my favorite thing that you have ever made.”
The call came early one morning, about 30 minutes after I gave a friend a few of these Cranberry Almond Bars. I knew she had a soft spot for cranberries, and kept meaning to make her a loaf of Cranberry Bread. When I spied these Cranberry Almond Bars, I thought these would do in the meantime. And perfect to use up some cranberries I had leftover from Thanksgiving’s Cranberry Conserve. I have given her a baked good or otherwise food item from my kitchen roughly two or three times a month for the past two years. This is the second recipe she has asked me for. Although she has liked everything, she’s always scolding me for making her wipe the chocolate off her mouth as she pulls in the gym’s parking lot. Something about defeating the purpose of exercise. She doesn’t want the temptation. But these? These Cranberry Almond Bars tempted her.
I whipped them up one night while Nick was clearing the dinner table. They are crazy simple to make and, given the praise they have garnered so far, I don’t think you can NOT make them. They were disappearing so quickly, I had to hide two pieces just so I could take a picture.
Having holiday company over? Guests coming for dinner? Need a treat for your neighbors? Bake up these babies and you (and your recipient) will not be disappointed. I can almost guarantee it.
Cranberry Almond Bars
Recipe courtesy of Bake at 350
3/4 cups unsalted butter
1/3 cup slivered almonds, divided (I skipped the almonds, but only because I thought I had them on hand, and didn’t)
1-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon coarse salt
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 whole eggs
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups cranberries, fresh
Melt the butter and set aside (or put in the fridge) to cool. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the almonds for the top of the batter and chop the remaining almonds. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8x 8 pan. Whisk together the flour and salt; set aside.
Beat the sugar and eggs for 3 minutes. Add the cooled melted butter and almond extract; beat until combined. Add the flour 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 an offset spatula (if you have one). Sprinkle with the reserved almonds.
Bake for about 50 minutes (mine needed an extra 10 minutes or so), or until a toothpick comes out with crumbs, not wet. (Cover with foil during the last 5 minutes of baking to prevent over-browning, if necessary.) Cool in the pan on a cooling rack. Makes 12 bars.