Thursday, December 30, 2010

cranberry bars

So, I made these weeks ago. I'm just posting them now because I had to wait for my film to be developed. Oh, my anachronistic photo techniques really catch up with me sometimes. Now I'm looking at these cranberry bar pictures, wishing I was actually eating one now. They were so good--the perfect thing for my holiday cranberry fix.

I followed this recipe from Good Life Eats, a really lovely blog. For the crust I tweaked the gluten-free flour blend suggested by Die Hard Foodie. It was perfect. Totally worth pulling out every single one of my jars of flours.

I know the holidays are over, but you should really make these. Cranberry is a humble berry that needs its love too, beyond the holidays.

(Wheat-phages: if you want to make these with regular flour, just follow this recipe.)

1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup almond flour
1 cup rice flour
1/2 cup potato starch
2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup butter (cold)
1 egg

1/8 cup orange juice
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbs cornstarch
4 cups cranberries (fresh or frozen & thawed)

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 9x13 baking dish.
In a small bowl, mix together the dry ingredients for the crust. With a fork or your hands, cut in the butter & egg, until the mixture is crumbly & cohesive. Pat one half of the dough into the bottom of your dish.
In another bowl, mix together the first 4 ingredients for the filling. Add the cranberries and toss until they are well-coated. Pour the cranberries in an even layer over the top of the crust.
Crumble the remaining dough over the top of the cranberries. Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until the top is browned.
Allow to cool in the refrigerator completely before eating (I know this is hard, but I'm serious! If you try to eat them warm, you'll be eating crumbly crust and scalding hot jam.)

Monday, December 6, 2010

chewy gingersnaps

As soon as December rolls around, I start to hear this little voice in the back of my head. It wakes me up in the night, growing ever louder and more persistent...

"Amanda...bake...the gingersnaps!"

Okay, so maybe it doesn't happen like that. But as soon as I see Christmas lights up, I start craving these cookies. It's like Pavlov's dogs. Hear "Jingle Bell Rock," drool, bake cookie.

These are everything I could ever hope for in a cookie. Thin, crispy on the outside, melty on the inside, and full of flavor. I'm not a huge fan of ginger (so sue me,) and these cookies don't actually have ginger in them (sue me twice.) I guess if we're going to get technical here, they're more like molasses cookies. But hey, we're all cool with that, right?

Makes about 2 dozen

1 stick butter
1 cup sugar, plus a little for coating
1 egg
1/8 cup molasses
2 cups flour*
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Cream butter & sugar.
3. Add egg & molasses, and mix well.
4. Sift in the dry ingredients.
5. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes, or as long as you can stand it.
6. Roll the dough into balls the size of walnuts, coat in sugar, and bake for 8-9 minutes.
7. Remove from the pan asap. They will get firmer and crispier as they cool, so don't overbake!

* I substituted a gluten-free flour blend (honestly couldn't tell you what's in it), but all-purpose flour works great as well.