RECIPE: Cranberry Bars
Now there are several reasons why I picked this recipe. First off, I still have frozen cranberries in my freezer from last Thanksgiving when there was a buy one, get one free at my local grocery store so I naturally want to use them before they go bad and get freezer burn. Secondly, it’s Christmas and they’re red and sweet so it seemed as good a time as any to make them and thirdly, I found the recipe simply called ‘Cranberry Bars’ in my November issue of the Vegetarian Times and said ‘Looks good!’
It’s a fairly easy and straight forward recipe but, of course, I did change a few small things. The first thing is that I didn’t feel the need to strain the cranberry mixture through a sieve. It felt like an unnecessary step that would just create a big mess only to strain out some healthy cranberry stuff from the final recipe. It didn’t seem logical (Yes, I have a little bit of Spock in me) nor did it seem that it would improve the recipe. Frankly, I thought it would make the recipe less desirable. I mean why would you strain out something like cranberry bits from Cranberry Bars? I am baffled and I digress. I do that sometimes…
The second little thing that I changed was that I added a little more sweetened condensed milk than the recipe called for. I added probably 10 ounces rather than the 7 ounces that was specified. I did this because 1) I had extra condensed milk left over that I don’t know what I am going to do with and 2) the mixture is REALLY sour when you taste it. I question the need for the lemon juice in this recipe considering the fact that cranberries have their own natural sour bite to them. So my suggest would to be either to leave the lemon juice out or just add more condensed milk to the mixture until it gets to your desired taste. (I would suggest tasting the mixture BEFORE you put the egg yolks in it just so you don’t have to worry about any weird raw egg related sicknesses or anything).
Another thing that attracted me to this recipe was the use of graham flour in the recipe. I mean, who doesn’t like a nice, sweet graham cracker crust? After all graham crackers were invented by a vegetarian, what’s not to like? J
Okay, so how did they come out? Well, they tasted really good however my messing with the recipe created a thick, soupy cranberry bar. My thoughts on this are that I really don’t think you need the lemon juice in this recipe at all. Cranberries are really sour on their own so adding the lemon juice creates a huge need to sweeten it up a bit which is what I attempted to do with adding the extra sweetened condensed milk. My suggestion, and the one I’ll probably try next time I make these, is to eliminate the lemon juice all together and then you probably won’t have to sweeten it up any more than the recipe calls for.
So there they are…messy, soupy Cranberry Bars. Please try them yourself and play with the recipe and then let me know how yours turned out and what you did to make the recipe your own. See you next week!