Cranberry Maple Blondie Bars


Cranberry Maple Blondies: Gluten, dairy, and even grain-free.


I have a current reigning all-time-favorite brownie recipe, and that’s this piece of brilliance by Elana’s Pantry. I must have made them at least 5 or 6 times now, always with great results. The last time I made them, though, Trader Joe’s happened to be out of their roasted almond butter.* I decided to chance it and use the raw almond butter instead. Totally still successful – but the difference in color was noticable, even with the added cocoa.

So, it struck me that using the raw almond butter would make for great blondies, using the same method as the other brownies but changing up the flavors a bit. And lo, a fun new fall dessert was born. …

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Snow Covered Cranberries for Festive Holiday Garnishes

Snow Covered Cranberries 500

Snow Covered Cranberries

Cranberries are an odd fruit. I mean, seriously, what kind of food grows in a bog? They are tart and delicious when cooked down into a sauce, but you just can’t rinse them and munch on them like you can other berries, or usually eat them raw at all. At least that’s what I thought until I was talking with a friend recently.

“You actually eat raw cranberries?” ask I, stupefied.

“Have you ever eaten them with a powdered sugar coating?” she replied.

“Whaaaaaaaaaa ? ? ?,” my unintelligible response.

She just rinses them and rolls them in powdered sugar, she calmly explained, like it was the most normal thing in the world.

I was skeptical. I mean, they are so, well  . . . woody and so sour and so not good eaten whole and raw. Before now, I have only made one recipe with raw cranberries that I actually love: Cranberry Clementine Salsa. But – just whole raw cranberries? That is a different story.

I tossed my whole cranberries in orange juice concentrate, thinking the classic orange-cranberry flavor combo is a winner. Turns out, you have to get almost all the liquid off the cranberries, or the powdered sugar will be too thick and clumpy. So: toss them in the juice, then dump them out onto a paper towel to drain off the excess. Then, just roll in powdered sugar like you would marbles in a cigar box.

These are so pretty to add to a platter and surprisingly yummy. Tart and crunchy, to be sure, and the sweet-tart thing is a winner – a Christmas-y cranberry crunch. Be sure to make more than you need, because you will find yourself absentmindedly snacking on these when making them.

They look very Martha-ish in between cookies on a platter, and so I highly recommend rolling some for your next holiday event. What’s Christmas without cranberries?


Instant Martha Christmas Garnish:
Snow Covered Cranberries

 Happy Happy Cranberry Season, All!

— posted by Donna