Seeing Red

IMG_1959It’s a beautiful fall day, and I’m seeing red leaves and red birds, and in this case, the red cranberries in this recipe called “Cranberry Marzipan Bars.” I’d been meaning to try this for quite awhile, and today finally saw fresh cranberries for sale at the local grocery store. Marzipan is made of almonds crushed to a paste and mixed with sugar–it’s a luxury item and quite expensive. So you may be glad to know that there is no actual marzipan in these bars–it only tastes like it! It’s also incredibly easy–you make it in a saucepan–and delicious and buttery. It cuts beautifully and needs no frosting, except for a sprinkle of powdered sugar. I will be mentally bookmarking this recipe for the holidays–it’s a gem. It would be nice served with pistachio ice cream for Christmas.

(Have you ever heard of a recipe that is too good? Well, this is it. I have packed up the bars and sent them off with Jim to the art studio where he is a member. Artists are always hungry, and I  know that I would be in serious danger if left alone with them!)

Cranberry Marzipan Bars

1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup chopped fresh cranberries
Confectioners sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Then add the sugar, beaten eggs, vanilla extract, almond extract, flour and baking powder.  Stir in the chopped cranberries. Pour into a greased 9 x 13″ pan. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until golden brown on top. Let cool and sift confectioners sugar on top. Cut into squares to serve.

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Golden brown and fresh from the oven.

Baking notes: Preparing the fresh cranberries is the most time-consuming part of this recipe. I washed about a cup of whole cranberries in a colander and shook the colander well to shake off excess water. Then I took a fresh kitchen towel and used it to scoop up the cranberries to dry them. Then chop coarsely. The result will be about a cup of chopped cranberries.

I lined the pan with parchment paper. When you do this, first lightly grease the pan. Then line with the paper, smoothing it down. Then lightly grease the paper. This sounds involved, but it only takes a few moments, and it guarantees that the bars will cut beautifully, and not stick to the pan.

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A vivid red cardinal visited the feeder this morning.IMG_1949 IMG_1952 IMG_1953 IMG_1954 IMG_1955

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The lovely female cardinal.

On the way home from the grocery store this morning I picked up some leaves to press. When they are dry, in about two weeks, I can frame them.

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Continuing in the red vein . .

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Peace to you. Fran

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4 thoughts on “Seeing Red

  1. Yes, it is possible for food to be too good – most food is too good for me these days. By the way, can you read that book?

  2. Er, no. I think it’s in Finnish, and is the history of a Finnish town called Korsholms. It may be valuable to someone, but for me it’s perfect for pressing leaves!

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