Cranberry Cookie Bars

December 17, 2010

Cranberry Cookie Bars

I love baking and cooking with cranberries this time of year.  And these Cranberry Cookie Bars are perfect for holiday desserts, cookie exchanges, food gifts, or for setting out with milk for Santa.  I found the recipe earlier this month in one of the blogs I follow,  Monica adapted the recipe from another blogger, Michelle at

You can find the recipe by clicking on Monica’s link, but I’ve copied it here for your convenience:

Cranberry Cookie Bars

  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 Tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups berries (cranberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries- fresh or frozen, don’t thaw them)
  • 2 teaspoons coarse sanding sugar, optional

Preheat oven to 350ºF and spray a 9×13-inch pan with nonstick spray.

In a large bowl, cream together canola oil, butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla and beat well.

Add the flours and baking soda and stir just until the batter comes together.

Spread 2/3 of the batter in the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle with berries, then drop the remaining dough in spoonfuls over the fruit – it will spread as it bakes, and you don’t need to cover it all.

Sprinkle the top of the cookie batter evenly with coarse sugar.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, until golden and springy to the touch.

These bars are very tart.  I think that the next time I make them, I’ll first heat the cranberries with some sugar to make a whole-berry cranberry sauce.   Then I’ll top the crust with the cranberry sauce instead of fresh whole cranberries. 

Cookie batter ready for the oven

Delicious bar cookie

Vintage Food

December 7, 2010

“I wanted my daughter to know her past, to eat what I had eaten in my
childhood. . .”
     — Laura Esquivel, Between Two Fires

My 1972 edition of the Betty Crocker Cookbook

Pineapple Upside Down Cake with Cranberries

I think of Pineapple Upside Down Cake as “vintage” food, something I ate in my childhood.  My mom seemed drawn to recipes with canned pineapple in them.  Dole and Del Monte have been canning pineapple since the early 1900s, so this must have been one exotic fruit that my mother ate as a child.  Perhaps it was considered a rare treat back then. 

When I was growing up, my mom had many different recipes for jello-based salads that included crushed pineapple, Philadelphia cream cheese, and Cool Whip. My mom would pour the drained pineapple juice into juice glasses for us kids — it was evenly shared, so we each got just a swallow or two. I never make these salads in my household, but I do occasionally like to make Pineapple Upside Down Cake.

I use an old standby recipe from my 1972 edition of the Betty Crocker Cookbook.  However, for this most recent baking, I substituted fresh cranberries for the cherries.  It was a festive holiday dessert.  And delicious, too!

Preparing the patterned bottom of my Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Cooling on the kitchen counter