Cranberry Chocolate Bars are easy to make and they are delicious with a gorgeous presentation. They are perfect for any time of year but especially for the holidays. Fresh cranberries are abundant now and are a wonderful addition to any holiday dish from cranberry relish to salads to breads. Their red color is very festive and their tangy flavor creates a nice balance at any table with all the sweet pastries and pies this time of the year. I love cranberries and always have a supply of them in my freezer to use during those months that cranberries are not in season. Lucky for me they freeze beautifully and can be used in most recipes without a problem. I made Cranberry Chocolate Bars for the first time many years ago from a book by Catherine Atkinson and I have been making it since, several times a year, and everyone in my family loves it. The combination of sweet chocolate with tart cranberries and tangy sour cream topping gives these delicious bars a fantastic balanced flavor that is not too sweet and is perfect for any time of day. I especially love it with my morning coffee. These Cranberry Chocolate Bars are very moist and have a texture that is somewhat a cross between brownies and cake.
Get all of your ingredients together and bring the butter to room temperature by leaving it out for half hour or so.
Stir butter, sugar and cocoa powder over low heat until smooth and shiny, remove from the heat.
Add the flour and eggs and stir
Until it is smooth. It is going to be thick.
Fold in the fresh or frozen cranberries and stir gently until all coated with the chocolate batter. Add the batter to the prepared pan
And spread it evenly in the pan.
Now make the topping: Mix the butter and sugar until fluffy, then add everything except the chopped chocolate and beat until well blended and somewhat smooth. Pour it in the pan and spread it evenly.
Sprinkle the chopped chocolate all over the topping.
Bake the Cranberry Chocolate Bars until gorgeous, like this. Let it cool a bit, then cut into equal squares. It is really good warm or at room temperature. I even like these bars right out of the fridge but you might want to bring it to room temperature.
- 4 ounces sweet butter
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 4 TBSP unsweetened coco powder
- 1 ¼ cups all- purpose flour
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1 ¼ cups fresh or frozen cranberries (thawed)
- FOR THE TOPPING:
- 6 TBSP granulated sugar
- 3 ounces sweet butter, room temperature
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 2 TBSP all- purpose flour
- ⅔ cup sour cream
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 2 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped for the top
- Cut the butter into several cubes and add to a 2-Qt saucepan along with cocoa powder and brown sugar. Stir over low heat with a wooden spoon until smooth.
- Remove the pot from the heat and add the beaten eggs and flour. Stir until uniformly smooth. The batter will be thick.
- Fold in the cranberries and stir gently until all the cranberries are coated with chocolate batter. Use a rubber spatula to spread the batter in the bottom of the prepared pan evenly.
- Make the topping: Add the softened sweet butter and 6 TBSP granulated sugar to a medium bowl. Beat with a wooden spoon until fluffy and smooth.
- Add the beaten egg, flour, sour cream and vanilla extract to the bowl. Beat until well blended, some lumps are okay. Pour the topping over the batter and spread evenly.
- Sprinkle the coarsely chopped chocolate evenly over the topping.
- Bake in the preheated 350 F oven for about 40 minutes, or until risen and firm to light touch.
- Remove the pan from the oven and cool on a rack for at least 30 minute before cutting it into 8-10 squares. Serve warm or at room temperature. Cool completely before storing in an airtight container at room temperature. May also store in the refrigerator for couple of days, but bring to room temperature before serving.