Saturday, November 22, 2008

Cranberry Caramel Bars

Not far from where I grew up is Cranberry Glades. When we were in school, we often went on field trips here to study this natural wonder. This is what I learned from all those field trips. At some point doing the past, glaciers from the north made their way to little ol' West Virginia. When the glaciers began to recede, the elevation of this certain place and the little "bowl" created by several mountains, left some glacier intact for several more years. When it melted, it left behind seeds native to a more northern climate. Since this little "bowl" is still protected by the mountains, there is now a bog with plants not normally suited to West Virginia, like cranberries.

The National Forest Service has built a half-mile boardwalk over the area so that you can walk through the bog without disturbing the plants. It's a beautiful walk at any time of the year.

The cranberries are not harvested commercially. So even though you may not see West Virginia-grown cranberries in your grocery store, you can still enjoy this recipe with fresh cranberries found in grocery stores at this time of the year.

Cranberry Caramel Bars
1 c. fresh cranberries
2 Tb. sugar
2 c. all-purpose flour, plus 1/3 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 c. uncooked, regular oats
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. light brown sugar
1 c. butter, melted
1 (10 oz.) pkg. chopped dates
3/4 c. chopped pecans
1 (12 oz.) jar caramel sauce

Stir together cranberries and 2 Tb. sugar in a small bowl. Combine the 2 cups of flour, baking soda, oats, 1/2 c. sugar, and brown sugar. Stir in melted butter until crumbly. Reserve 1 cup of this mixture for later. Press remaining crumb mixture into the bottom of a lightly greased 9 x 13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Then, sprinkle dates, pecans, and cranberries on top. Stir together caramel sauce and 1/3 c. all-purpose flour together. Spoon over cranberries. Sprinkle the remaining reserved crumb mixture on top. Bake 20 minutes more or until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack. Makes 2 dozen.


Caroline said...

I never would have thought to put cranberry and caramel together, but it actually sounds very good. I bet the tartness of the berries and the sweet caramel are a good mixture! YUM!


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