Tuesday, March 08, 2011

... And late for the carnival, too.

The cookie carnival, that is.

This monthly event takes place over at Tami's Kitchen Table , and it is my intention to take part in the carnival each time it comes around. However, this time -- even though I decided right away which of the two recipes to try, and even bought the necessary ingredients -- I just didn't get around to trying the recipe in time. It was well into March by the time I tried it.

I liked everything about this recipe except the name, so I changed it. And I also (partly inadvertently) changed a couple of things in the recipe too, so I am going to share the recipe with my changes. These will remind you of the classic lemon bars (or squares), but instead of being lemon, they are cranberry! The citrus-cranberry flavor is just excellent.

Cranberry Citrus Bars

2 1/4 cups flour
2/3 cup confectioners' sugar
1 Tblsp. finely shredded lime peel
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup butter

4 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups sugar
6 ounces cranberry juice concentrate, thawed
1/4 cup flour
1 Tblsp. lime juice
1 tsp. pure orange extract

Garnish: Additional confectioner's sugar
Additional finely shredded lime peel (optional)

Prepare a 13x9-inch pan by lining it with foil (letting the ends of foil extend over sides of pan) and spraying the foil with cooking spray.

Heat oven to 350ยบ. In a large bowl, mix the 2 1/4 cups flour, the 2/3 cup confectioners sugar, the lime peel, and the salt. Place the butter in a microwave-safe bowl or measuring cup; heat at High for 30 to 45 seconds or until very well softened. Stir this into the dry ingredients until crumbs form. Be sure the butter is thoroughly mixed in. Press the mixture evenly into the prepared pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.

Meanwhile, beat together all of the Filling ingredients in a large bowl until very well blended. Pour the filling evenly over the hot crust. Bake another 20-30 minutes or until filling is set. Cool in pan on wire rack.

When cool, use foil "handles" to remove the entire baked dessert from the pan. Place it on a cutting board and cut into small squares -- these are rich. Sprinkle with additional confectioners' sugar (and lime peel, if desired) before serving.

My review: These are delicious, though sort of an odd color -- think the juice of a red grapefruit, maybe. But the flavor is wonderful and an interesting change from lemon bars. I couldn't tell for sure how well they went over at the potluck I took them to -- all I can say for sure is that about half of them were gone, and that no one asked me for the recipe. (So who knows, maybe they were taken by kids attracted by the pink color, and then thrown away after one bite.) I also noticed that the confectioners' sugar on top sank into the filling rather quickly and I had to add more before taking them to the potluck. I actually intended to add more before dessert time, but forgot to take the additional sugar and sieve with me.

If you are interested in taking part in Cookie Carnivals, here's how it works: you sign up with Tami at the link below. When she has chosen the cookie recipes for the coming month, she emails you with links to the recipes. Participants usually choose one of the recipes (but it's okay to do both), make the cookies, and write up a blog post about it. Then they email the link to that post, along with a picture of their cookies, to Tami, and she posts them all in the Cookie Carnival. It's a lot of fun, so if you'd like to get in on the Cookie Carnival, check it out:
Join the Cookie Carnival!

And hopefully next month I won't be late!

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