cranberry crumb bars and gift wrapping

sunday morning i had a schedule. i know, this is kind of an oxymoron. hear me out: i woke up next to a boy and a dog, stumbled down the hall into my living room, and found two friends and a brother strewn across a large blow up mattress and a couch. the place was a mess! schedule: coffee, eat part of an entire bagel box, shower, clean, coffee, bake something i would want to eat all of, wrap gifts. behold my sunday!

*i leave out fantasy football because as i sit here i am squeezing my bitter berry – thanks for literally nothing doug martin, victor cruz, and steven ridley*

cranberry crumb bar

it actually wasn’t as arduous as it sounds, my sunday, that is. as soon as my visitors had enough of the sunshine and fell back asleep i began my baking. an hour into it they began stirring and i heard one of them exclaim how great it smelled in the house from under her blanket.

these bars are like the best part of any crumble packed into a tiny bar. it’s like 1/8 of the filling + 4x the crumble topping = treated.

wrapping tape

while they were out i also did some gift wrapping. i got a great discount to a store called the freckled fawn and went totally crazy a few weeks ago. take a peek.

gift wrapping

a habit i picked up from my mom: wrap, but if you don’t have cute little cards, just write the giftee’s name lightly on the back. makes for a little more mystery anyways.

cranberry crumb bars

donzo. the greatest hostess/christmas gift a neighbor could ask for.

cranberry crumb bars adapted from lottie & doof

crumb

16 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and chopped

3 cups whole wheat flour

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1/8 teaspoon ground allspice

1 egg

1. preheat the oven to 375°f.

2. line the bottom of a 9×13 baking pan with parchment paper and oil the paper and sides of the pan. i pour a little oil on a paper towel and lightly cover the pan.

3. in a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and spices.

4. with your hands, add the butter and egg to the flour mixture and work until it resembles a coarse meal.

5. set aside.

filling

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest

1 1/2 tablespoons orange juice

2 1/2 cups dried cranberries

1/2 cup sugar (if your cranberries have sugar in them – check the ingredients – just do 1/4 cup additional sugar)

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1. in a frying pan, boil 6 cups of water. once the water has come to a boil, remove from the heat, and add the cranberries.

2. let the cranberries steep for at least 20 minutes or until rehydrated and strain.

3. in a blender, pulse all the ingredients until they are chopped.

the bars

1. pat half of the crumb base into the bottom of your 9×13 pan.

2. evenly spread the filling mixture over the base.

3. sprinkle the remaining crumbs on top.

4. bake 30-35 minutes or until crumb is slightly browned on top.

5. let cool completely before cutting into squares. i used a pizza cutter worked like a charm.

as i sit here and celebrate my holiday season my heart is entirely with the parents, teachers, and children of newtown, connecticut. i feel so helpless and filled with so many issues i want to address, so much loss, pain, so many questions but no words to ask them. what has happened is so dark, unspeakable. what are our next steps? where do we go? i feel anxious for answers, as i’m sure most of us do. i am so sorry for your loss and my every thought is with you.

i’ve found a few articles i think are pretty thought provoking. not a stance i’m taking just food for thought, really. articles that have resonated with me in the past couple days..

i am adam lanza’s mother

barack obama responds to newton football coach

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