At the first hint of chill in the air, my thoughts turn to Christmas. My mind and heart begin to fill with visions of sugar plums indeed. My weekly menu turns decidedly toward comfort food and I begin rummaging in my brain for homemade Christmas gift ideas for my loved ones. I begin hauling out first the autumn decorations and later the Christmas, decking my halls and every other available surface. I take delight in the season, the magic, wonder and glory of it all. This blog was born from that delight. Here you will find dinner ideas, crafts, decor, stories, memories, and music. Some ideas will be entirely mine, but I will also include anything cute I come across that I think you might like to see, credit given to the creator or source. Please leave me your ideas in the comments and any other feedback you'd like to give.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Cranberry Squares

I happen to love cranberries. I love the look of them, I love the taste of them, I even love the smell of them. (Have you tried the cranberries and frost Febreze? I love it!) As a result of this love affair, I have lots of delicious recipes featuring these beautiful, tart, berries.
Today's recipe is one I've had for a while. I think I may have gotten it from Better Homes and Gardens, but I'm not positive. And it's actually 2 recipes, because you need a batch of one recipe to put in the other.
So first up is

Brandied Cranberry Sauce Yield: 3 cups
4 C fresh or frozen cranberries
2 C sugar
1/3 C orange juice
Place 4 cups of fresh or frozen cranberries in a 9x13 baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with 2 cups of sugar. Cover and bake at 300 degrees for 1 hour. Remove from oven. Stir carefully, then stir in orange juice. Pour into jars or serving dishes. Store in fridge.

You can serve this as a Thanksgiving or Christmas side or garnish, or use it to make

Cranberry Squares
1 1/2 C each of Oats, flour, brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
Mix the above ingredients together, then blend in
1 C butter
until mixture is crumbly.

Press 2/3 of mixture into the bottom of a 9 inch square pan. Top with 1 C. of Brandied Cranberry Sauce. Sprinkle remaining oat mixture over cranberries.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Cool completely.

Now, I've tweaked that basic recipe a bit for my own tastes, and you can do the same. For example, I always add some cinnamon to the oat mixture, probably a teaspoon. You can add coconut (I am guessing coconut lovers would like that. I can't stand the stuff, so I'm not a good judge of this!), walnuts or other nuts, and the one I always add, chocolate chips. These are great to whip up for a holiday party. If you make a batch of Brandied Cranberry Sauce to have on hand all season, these whip up pretty quickly.
I don't have a picture right now, but maybe I can add one later in the season. I know I'll be making these!

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