I learned a very important lesson yesterday. Some of you may have already heard about the wisdom I stumbled upon, but it bears repeating. Cats are terrible gift givers.
You must be wondering, “whatever can she mean by that?” Well, my lovely kittens caught a mouse sampling their food, and promptly solved that problem. However, what to do with the mouse must have posed a conundrum for their wee kitty brains. Naturally, they assumed that I was in need of just such a gift, and deposited said mouse on the bed that I was peacefully slumbering in. All in all it wasn’t bad, as I have seen no other evidence of mice, and really it’s natural in a house that was vacant but heated the previous winter. As the mice seek out warmer winter shelter, they will be in for a nasty surprise, as the cats and I are armed and prepared to stave off any infestation.
And winter is definitely peeking it’s blustery head around the corner. As I type this, nestled warmly inside, wee little flakes are dancing through the air outside my windows. We’ve had snow showers for the past couple of days now. I know, I know, it’s going to be a long cold winter that will test the very fortitude of my being, but I do love winter at its onset. The cold, the snow, the freshness in the air, the green of the pines against the pure white of the snow, all of that combines together to make my insides sing with happiness. Oh, I’ll be the first to admit, that winter is hard and cold and bitter too, but right now, those thoughts are blanketed by the finest covering of snow.
Besides, what could be better on a cold winter day than cranking up the oven and putting your baking hat on? Sure it’s cold outside, but my kitchen is about as cozy as it gets. A cup of tea and some bars in the oven, it’s all I need on a winter’s day. And that’s where these cranberry white chocolate sour cream bars come in. Yeah that recipe title is a mouthful, but then so are the bars. Based on an old raisin sour cream bar recipe, the tartness of the cranberries is offset with the sweet creaminess of the custard center and the white chocolate chips studded throughout. The bars take a little effort, but they’re Grandma and Grandpa taste tested and approved, so very much worth that effort.
Cranberry white chocolate sour cream bars
Adapted from Northern Star Foods Co-Op recipe collection
2 cups dried cranberries
1 cup white sugar
2 ½ Tablespoons cornstarch
1 ½ cup sour cream
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
¾ cup white chocolate chips
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 ¾ cups rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup butter, softened
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9×13 inch pan.
In a small saucepan combine all filling ingredients, except for white chocolate chips. Cook over medium-low heat until thickened approximately 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
In a separate bowl, mix together bar ingredients until crumbly. Press half of bar mixture into prepared pan. Pour cooked filling mixture over crust. Sprinkle with white chocolate chips, and then crumble remaining bar mixture over filling. Bake for 20 minutes.
Let cool completely before cutting into bars.
Makes 30 bars. Prep time 25 minutes. Cook time 20 minutes.