Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Sassy Sweets: Chocolate Cranberry Bars

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*Don't forget about my giveaway going on now!  I also have a BRAND NEW Facebook page.  Join The Growing Foodie on Facebook and earn another entry into the contest*

 If any of you follow me on pinterest, it's likely you've already seen these cranberry bars!  They looked so good I couldn't stop at just admiring them from afar.  Nope, I knew I had to make them!  Luckily, this dessert fit perfectly with Mom's pre-planned spread.  And, just the description of them made M super happy because it gave her a much-needed chocolate fix.

The best part of these bars is their versatility!  Have a few extra cups of cranberries, you can whip these up in a snap to bring as a hostess gift, or serve them at your own table.  Do you have cranberry sauce left over?  As long as you don't season them extremely savory, this would be a great way to re-purpose that cranberry sauce.  I swear you would never even know you were eating cranberry sauce they are SO good.

We watched Iron Chef America - Thanksgiving Leftovers a few nights ago on late night TV, a Food Network favorite of ours!  I was so inspired by the way they repurposed their leftovers (mashed potato, stuffing, and turkey blended together and stuffed into tortellinis).  Yeah, they are iron chefs for a reason after all.  But repurpose your Thanksgiving leftovers with today or Friday's dishes.  You can feel like your very own iron chef, too!

Chocolate Cranberry Bars (adapted from Lemons and Anchovies)
Serves:  18
Crust:
1 1/3 cup flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1 cup butter, salted
Filling:
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup water
24 ounces cranberries (fresh or frozen)
1/4 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons butter

Crust:  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter a 9x13 pan, line it with aluminum foil.  Set aside.  Meanwhile, beat together powdered sugar, flour, and cocoa powder.  Add butter, oats, chopped almonds, and mix on low until a soft dough forms (about a minute).  Transfer the dough to the prepared pan and spread it out evenly to the corners.  Bake for about 10 - 15 minutes until set.  

Filling:  Combine sugar and water in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil (about 3-5 minutes) then add the cranberries.  Cook on medium to medium-high heat until the cranberries pop (5-8 minutes).  Add the butter and juice.  Lower the heat to medium-low and cook for another 3-4 minutes, until the mixture is thick.  

Prepare:  Scoop the cranberries onto the crust and distribute evenly onto the pan.  Raise the oven temperature to 400 degrees F.  Bake for 12-18 minutes.  Remove from the oven and cool fully.  Cut into 18 squares.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired, prior to serving. 


Until the next time my oven is on...

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Welcome! I'm Dani (aka the Growing Foodie), just a girl balancing her career and passion for all things edible in NYC. I hope you'll join me in my adventures in life, through food. (Click for More)
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