Cranberry dessert recipes are my favorite dessert recipes. Well, I like chocolate too. But serve me a cranberry dessert and I’m happy. And in autumn, folks tend to cook more with cranberries and give cranberry desserts and breads as fall harvest gifts. This is a good thing!
I wasn’t always this fanatical about cranberry desserts, cranberry breads, cranberry rice dishes, cranberry sauce, cranberry chutney, cranberry everything. I think my zeal has something to do with moving to Wisconsin.
Wisconsin is the leader in cranberry production and I can easily get awesome cranberries. Don’t be fooled into thinking a cranberry is a cranberry. Different climates grow different tasting cranberries and different processing companies dry and sweeten them with different methods and recipes. I like my cranberries tart, flavorful, and not sickly sweet.
I’m conscious of the health benefits of cranberries, and so as a parent, I’m always looking for ways to feed them to my children. My family would naturally tire of cranberries if my cranberry recipe repertoire was limited. But it isn’t. Keep reading for my newest find: Champion Cranberry Bars, and links to my other favorite great cranberry dessert recipes.
This cranberry dessert recipe comes from the cookbook: Recipes for Sweetened Dried Cranberries written by Linda Urban Hamm. Linda’s family has been processing Wisconsin cranberries for decades, and I don’t think there’s a cranberry recipe she hasn’t tried, tweaked and perfected. This cookbook is a staple in my cooking library.
Here’s her recipe for Champion Cranberry Bars:
- 1 cup butter – softened
- 3/4 cup brown sugar – packed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup white chips (I use dark)
- 1 cup pecans – chopped
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 1/4 cups flour
- 1 1/2 cups sweetened dried cranberries
“Combine in a large bowl, softened butter and sugars using electric mixer. Blend well. Add eggs and vanilla, beat until smooth. Gradually add flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Stir in chips, dried cranberries and pecans. Spread evenly in greased 15 x 10 x 1-inch pan. For thicker bar, use 13 x 9-inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Do not over bake. Cool in pan, cut into bars. Store in airtight containers. Bars freeze well.”
I’m very sorry to say that I don’t have a picture of these delicious cranberry bars. They were true champions. But as soon as they were out of the oven, I whisked them to a party and every last one of them was eaten. FAST. What a pity. I’ll have to make them again to get the photo. But if you can imagine cranberry heaven, I think you’ve got a clear idea.
And just in time for holiday baking and cooking: Cranberry Apple Orange Relish
Everything is prettier, healthier and tastier with cranberries – especially if they’re from Wisconsin!