Sunday, November 16, 2008

Colorful Cranberries...Signs of the Holidays!

The holidays are quickly approaching and with them comes the hustle and bustle of shopping, wrapping, decorating and cooking. The most special occassions of the holidays are those spent with the ones we love. Fires in the fireplaces, lights on the trees, hot cider, old stories retold, and the sweater that Aunt Lindsey gave you last know, the one with the snow flakes!

No holiday feast would be complete without an appearance by it's mascot fruit. The cranberry. They are such a colorful addition, whether in the centerpiece, next to the turkey, or in a fabulous dessert.

A few years ago, my Mom introduced a new addition to our holiday feast. Cranberry Date Bars. It is to DIE for!! Quick, easy, and delicious! Perfect for those busy days of holiday prep. Here's the skinny:

Cranberry Date Bars

1 Bag (12oz) fresh cranberries
1 Pkg (8 oz) chopped dates
2 Tbs water
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1-1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter or margarine, melted

In a covered saucepan, over low heat, simmer cranberries, dates and water for 15 minutes, stirring occassionally until the cranberries have popped. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla, set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. Stir in butter until well blended.

Put half of the oat mixture into an ungreased 13x9x2 baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes. Spoon the cranberry mix evenly over this crust and sprinkle with the remaining oat mixture. Pat gently. Return to the oven and bake for25-30 minutes or until browned. Cool before serving to allow to set.


Thanks for visiting! I hope you enjoy the recipe...and all of your holiday bustling! See you next week!