I am not a patient person. It makes me crazy to wait in lines, especially with a slow clerk at the head of the line who's barely able to figure out which end of a ballpoint pen goes down. I want to charge up to the head of the line and shriek, "Give me the darn thing and I'll clear this line out in 2 minutes!"
I recently made cut-out cookies for my daughter's piano recital. I had visions in my head of lovely, decorated cookies, like those seen in catalogs, bakeries, and artful blogs. Of course, what happened was I made frosting and slapped it on. I got really creative and put two colors on one cookie, but that really tested the boundaries for me. I just don't have the patience to delicately hand-paint each cookie. They're going to get eaten, not framed!
That's why I love bar cookies. They're usually easy with little wait time till hungry scavengers can pop one into their mouths. And no time-consuming artistry is involved. Unless you so choose.
I was looking at a new recipe to try for December and thought it looked good but needed a little something. Chocolate? No, my daughter said. White chocolate. White chocolate should always be in a recipe with cranberries, she said. So I drizzled white chocolate over the top. It turned out kind of artsy. Not in a Renoir or Rembrandt kind of way; more in a Jackson Pollock kind of way. But hey, it's still art, which is a big accomplishment for me. Plus, they're wonderfully delicious. While I was cutting the bars into squares, two of them just leapt out of the pan and into my mouth. Mmmmm. Tart cranberries and sour cream, chewy crumbs, sweet chocolate. One just isn't enough!
Cranberry Pollack Bars
adapted from Taste of Home
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups quick-cooking oats
1-1/2 cups plus 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour, divided
2 cups Craisins or dried cranberries
1 cup (8 oz) sour cream
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 Tbsp grated lemon peel
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup vanilla milk chips (white chocolate chips)
(Note: I used Craisins, because that's what I had on hand. If you use the dried cranberries, the bars will be slightly less sweet.)
In a mixing bowl, cream butter and brown sugar. Combine oats and 1-1/2 cups flour; add to creamed mixture until blended. Set aside 1-1/2 cups for topping. Press remaining crumb mixture into an ungreased 13 x 9 x 2- inch pan. Bake at 350 deg. F. for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the cranberries, sour cream, sugar, egg, lemon peel, vanilla and remaining flour. Spread evenly over crust. Sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. Place on a wire rack to cool.
Microwave the chips on high in a glass dish for 30 seconds. Stir until all the chips are dissolved. Use a spoon to drizzle the melted chips over the bars in the pan. You can get creative here and get in touch with your inner Jackson Pollack.