I would have said that exactly 9 days ago, but unfortunately my New Year was rung in asleep in my bed (where I had been since 7:30 P.M., thank you very much), with the beginnings of a nasty bout with tonsillitis. It was a rough 8 days, and yesterday, when I was finally able to get out of the house (because I had literally not stepped foot out of the house in 8 days), I was exhausted by 11 A.M., took a two hour nap, and was still in bed at 8:30 P.M.
This recovery thing might take a while.
While I was sick, I couldn’t even do anything. Like at all. I watched TV occasionally, but even that got to be strenuous and I would get turn it off, roll over, and go to sleep so I was unconscious for my misery.
Anyways – the point is, I didn’t have time to make you a big salad full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, with magic weight-loss properties to help you lose weight (along with the rest of the world). Instead…I made cranberry crumb bars.
I actually made these a few days before I got sick and was planning on posting them after all the “lets-be-healthy” hoopla died down, but I’m still too sick to cook (and I really don’t want a salad), so you’re getting dessert. Not even healthy dessert…deal with it.
On the plus side, these cranberry crumb bars are SO GOOD.
I exaggerate a lot (clearly, thanks for that trait Dad) and I’m always telling you how delicious this and that is, and how it’s possibly one of the best things I’ve ever made.
I should count how many times I say that this year…
But seriously, these are pretty up there. My non-chocolate-dessert hating dad (he says that, but he always loves the non-chocolate desserts too…), loved these, as did my sister’s boyfriend, and everyone else who tried them. They’re tart, and sweet, and crumbly.
And they’re so easy! I thought I was going to have to cook the filling or something to make it work, but no…whole cranberries, tossed in a little sugar and orange-y stuff (being zest and juice), thrown on the crust that doubles as the crust and the topping, and that’s that.
They’re pretty (especially if you drizzle white chocolate over them, which I totally forgot to do, but you totally should), easy, portable, and delicious. Mm…I wish I had some left. Enjoy!
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup almond meal (almond flour)
- 1 cup (2 sticks) cold, unsalted butter
- 1 egg
- Zest of 1/2 orange
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- Juice of 1/2 of an orange
- Zest of 1/2 orange
- 1 (12 oz.) bag fresh or frozen cranberries
- 2/3 cup white sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 9×13 inch pan.
- In a medium bowl, mix together 1 cup sugar, flour, almond flour, salt, zest, cinnamon and baking powder. Use a fork or pastry cutter to blend in the butter and egg. The dough will be crumbly. Alternatively, you can pulse the dry ingredients in a food processor with the butter until pebbly, and then mix in the egg until it all comes together. Pat half of the dough into the buttered pan.
- In another bowl, stir together the sugar, cornstarch, vanilla, orange juice and zest. Mix in the cranberries. Sprinkle the cranberry mixture evenly over the dough in the pan.
- Crumble remaining dough over the berries. Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until top is a light golden brown. Cool completely and chill in the refrigerator before cutting into squares. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Fresh cranberries are in season for a very limited time, but they freeze incredibly well. Stock up when they're fresh and throw them in the freezer to have all year round!
Recipe adapted from Good Life Eats