Isn't December the best? I love everything about Christmas--starting the decorating frenzy the day after Thanksgiving, making lists, wrapping gifts, addressing Christmas cards,
baking up a storm, wishing for snow (not as much as we had last winter, hopefully!),
decking the halls (and the dogs!), and taking the time to just enjoy everything that is so special and wonderful about this time of year.
I've mostly been baking all of our favorite treats...like almond cookies and chocolate raspberry truffles and pistachio/cranberry cookies.
And so far, I've made two batches of these Cranberry Pistachio Cake Bars! They're a favorite around here because they aren't overly sweet. The tartness of the cranberries is offset by a sprinkling of sugar on top, while the red and green from the cranberries and pistachios give them a festive look.
- "All I Want For Christmas Is You"...Mariah Carey
- "Everybody's Waitin' For The Man With The Bag...Brian Setzer Orchestra
- "Winter Wonderland"...Michael Bublé
- "Holly Jolly Christmas"...Burl Ives
- "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)...Darlene Love
Cranberry Pistachio Cake Bars
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups fresh cranberries
- 1/2 cup shelled pistachios
- sanding sugar for sprinkling (about 2 tablespoons)
Gather your ingredients. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter a 9 x 13 baking pan.
In the bowl of your mixer, beat the eggs and sugar until light in color and almost doubled in volume.
I set my timer for 10 minutes, running my mixer at the highest speed...the success of this recipe depends upon the volume of the eggs since there is no leavening agent.
See how the batter sort of holds its squiggly shape when it drizzles? That's the consistency you are looking for...not watery, not thick, somewhere in the middle.
Mix in the vanilla and the softened butter, 2-3 minutes on a medium speed.
Mix in the flour and salt (omit the salt if you will be using salted pistachios) on a low speed, just until combined.
Add the cranberries and pistachios. Mix just until combined.
Put the batter into your prepared pan. You can see how thick it will be!
Spread the batter evenly in the pan.
Sprinkle with the sanding sugar.
You can see from this picture how thick the sugar should be...you want the batter to have a decent coating, but not so thick that all you see is white.
Bake in your preheated 350-degree oven for 37 to 42 minutes (for the record it took mine 39 minutes), until lightly browned. Test with a toothpick for doneness.
Allow the cake to cool completely.
Cut it into 2-inch squares to serve.