Cranberry Doodle Bars

img_3006October has been a very wet month, many days with dark skies and rain slashing the windows. Even though we still need to work outside on the farm for a part of each and every day, these days also give us the enjoyment of cocooning in our home. Getting caught up on all the inside jobs that get left by the wayside as we enjoyed the long summer. Being inside more often, gives me more time to bake and experiment.

Cranberries are one of my favourite add-ins, they are so tart and fresh, and work well in sweets and savories.   Here I’ve mixed them into a version of Snicker-doodle cookie base, creating a perfect bar to have as you finish the last chapter of the book you’ve been reading, while the fire crackles in the wood-stove. Continue reading

Lemon Coconut Bars

IMG_8255Although Sheila’s Lemon Bars hold a very special place in the hearts of our family and friends, sometimes I want to create something just a bit more complex.   By adding coconut to the shortbread crust, it gives a lovely new quality to the original. Topped with an extra thick layer of the lemony custard, they become more of a dessert instead of a snack. Continue reading

Butternut Squares

IMG_9052This recipe dates back at least 50 years for me. I’m pretty sure it was one of the first things I ever baked from start to finish without help. An easy bar to make, with ingredients that are usually on hand, this is perfect for when you’re short of time. Regardless of how long ago the recipe became part of my mother’s repertoire, it still stands well today as part of a cookie & bar file. Continue reading

Cranberry Bars

IMG_6816When cranberries are fresh in the fall, I buy several pounds of them, to store in the freezer.  I use them for all sorts of baking, adding to savoury stuffings, sliced thinly to garnish, or to add as a tart bite to salads.  They’re a great addition to home-made dog food, too (in case you were wondering).

This year I thought I’d be smart and buy 10 pounds of them.  That’s a whole lot of cranberries.  Now as winter dies down (I’m being optimistic), I’ve been making curd with them. As I was figuring that out, I thought about trying them as a topping for a cookie bar, like lemon bars.  After a few tries, I’ve got this one figured out.  They need a little more cooking, and a little more stabilizing from flour than lemon bars.  The red filling is a nice change, and the tartness of the berries with the orange citrus is very yummy.

So here’s hoping that you have 4 cups of cranberries languishing in your freezer, so you can try these out. Continue reading