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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Sour Cream Cranberry Bars

i don't even like cranberries. it has a sourness to it, and it reminds me of a poor version of cherries. i know it has properties that are good for you, specifically for females, ifyouwknowwhatimeanandithinkyouknowwhatimean. so imagine my disappointment when i showed up for my first cooking class at the local community college and saw that one of the items we were going to cook prominently featured cranberries as its main ingredient.

don't get me wrong, i've had it before... it's rich tartness in juice, diluted with apple juice. or when i made cranberry sauce for thanksgiving dinner because my roommate at the time requested it, actually, begged me for it because it reminded her of home in TX and i didn't have the heart to tell her that cranberries make me want to vomit. however, when i actually tried it with my turkey and homemade rolls, it was actually ... good.

so, i vowed to keep an open mind, since afterall, this was my first cooking class. i don't count home ec in 7th grade. back in February, one of the broads posted on the boards about joining a few cooking classes and i immediately jumped at the opportunity to not only hang out with some friends but also to learn something new. i really wanted to try the West African Cuisine class but the timing interferred with one of my sports. the Regional American Cooking class seemed like a good option and that's what i went with. after a very bumpy start (the first class was actually before my PR trip, but the instructor no-showed, cancelling at the last minute and the adminstration office forgot to let the class know...), the new instructor was lovely, lively and the menu she set out for the New England courses practical and very accessible:
  • Garlic Cheddar Biscuits
  • New England Fish Chowder
  • Sour Cream Cranberry Bars

    cranberry bars

i'm only going to post the recipe for the bars, if anyone wants the biscuit or chowder recipes, let me know

Sour Cream Cranberry Bars
1 cup softened butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups quick cooking oats
1 1/2 cups plus 2Tbl flour, divided
1 Tbl grated lemon peel
2 cups dried cranberries
1 cup sour cream
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg, lightly beatened
1 tsp vanilla

In large mixing bowl, cream butter and brown sugar. Combine oats and 1 1/2 cup flour: add to creamed mixture until blended. Set aside 1 1/2 cup for topping. Pressing remaining crumb mixture into ungreased 12X9 baking pan. Bake 350 for 10 to 12 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine cranberries, sour cream, sugar, egg, lemon peel, vanilla and remaining flour. Spread over crust. Sprinkle remaining crumb mixture. Bake 20-25 minutes, cool on rack. Freezes well. Refridgerate leftovers.

Verdict:
it is effing good. i've been nibbling on it all week and i'm considering making up another batch. the instructor says it's more a of a dessert but i see it as a great breakfast bar. probably because of the oats. i cannot believe i'm endorsing cranberries but i totally am. i imagine other dried fruits (or maybe even fresh) could be substituted: blueberries, apples, or raisins.

now i'm wondering what the next class will bring.

biscuits
fish chowder

004

7 comments:

  1. Lan! Those look divine, I love cranberries and sincerely want to make them. I also really like the sound of garlic chedder biscuits, I'll take the recipe if you don't mind sharing :).

    This is so awesome that you are taking this class. I truly admire your cooking and photography skills.

    Much love,
    Kirby

    ReplyDelete
  2. Fun! I would love to hear more about the cooking class because I have always thought it'd be fun to do something like that---do you all cook right there with individual ovens? Or does the instructor explain and you go home? The whole meal looks fantastic!

    ReplyDelete
  3. kirby, you're so sweet, thank you. i will type up the recipe and email it to you. :) def. make the cranberry bars, i can't tell you enough how much i loved them.

    shannalee, i guess it would make sense for me to mention about what the class is about, how it is taught etc. for my next cooking class post, i'll mention it. or i'll tell you saturday when we meet! :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I just made these because my mom saw them on tastespotting and said " those look good...!"
    I used raisins instead of cranberries and the only yogurt i had was mixed berry flavor.

    I wasn't sure what to expect, but they're delicious! I've never had anything like them, the yogurt really comes through, and it tastes great with raisins. Thanx for the recipe.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Mengda,
    what a great modification, using berry flavored yogurt. my cousin did the same and she loved it.

    i think any dried fruit would work (and i love the flexibility of that!) but fresh probably would make the bars too moist.

    thanks so much for letting me know your results.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Fun! I would love to hear more about the cooking class because I have always thought it'd be fun to do something like that---do you all cook right there with individual ovens? Or does the instructor explain and you go home? The whole meal looks fantastic!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Lan! Those look divine, I love cranberries and sincerely want to make them. I also really like the sound of garlic chedder biscuits, I'll take the recipe if you don't mind sharing :).

    This is so awesome that you are taking this class. I truly admire your cooking and photography skills.

    Much love,
    Kirby

    ReplyDelete