Happy New Year everyone. I hope your holidays were filled with lots of love, merriment, delicious food, good music, and some Diva-licious moments of course. I thought I would start 2013 off with a family favorite, my Grandma Brunelle’s Cranberry Squares. These square are the perfect combination of sweet and tart and that little bit of orange zest really jazzes them up. My Grandmother has been making these forever, and when she finally handed over the recipe and taught me how to make them I couldn’t believe how easy they were. I will admit something though, over the years I have deviated from the originally recipe and added just a dash of diva here and there.
In keeping with the theme of my blog I was trying real hard to figure out the musical setting to compliment these deliciously sweet, zesty squares. Nothing came to mind at first, but then it hit me, why don’t I use my Grandmother’s favorite singer. So I called her up and the singers name she gave me could not have been more perfect… Rosemary Clooney. Rosemary Clooney (1928-2002) was an American singer and actress who was big in the 1950s, and yes she was related to the one and only George Clooney . Her career and fame really took off with her 1950s hit ” Come On- a My House”, written by William Sarovan.
Another defining moment in her career was when she co-stared with Bing Crosby in the 1954 holiday movie classic ” White Christmas”. Don’t let her sweet, innocent looks full you, this dash of diva had many different layers to her. Some were sweet, some tangy, and even a little zesty at times,(like cranberry squares), but her talent and jazzy, luxurious voice were always undeniably beautiful.
Cranberry Square Recipe
1 cup melted butter (2 sticks)
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 ½ cups flour
1 ½ cups white sugar (my grandma uses ¼ c less sugar when she makes them, it’s up to you.)
1 tbs orange zest
2 cups cranberries
1 cup walnuts
Preheat the oven to 350°.
In a small sauce pan melt down the butter and let cool. In the mean time measure out the rest of the wet ingredients, the sugar, eggs, vanilla, and orange zest, and mix together into a large bowl. Then slowly add the butter to the sugar and egg mixture. Make sure you keep stirring the batter while you add the melted butter so that your eggs don’t scramble. Then add 1 1/4 cups of the flour and stir into the batter until it is well incorporated.
In a separate bowl toss 2 cups of cranberries with the remaining 1/4 c of flour, this is so the cranberries won’t sink to the bottom of the squares. Then add the cranberries and flour to the rest of the batter. Lastly fold in 1 cup of chopped walnuts.
This is a very thick, sticky batter so what I like to do in line my 9×11 brownie pan with parchment paper. That way when the squares are done I just lift the paper out of the pan and there is no hard clean up to do afterward.
Spread the batter out into your pan as evenly as you can. Sprinkle the top with a bit more nuts and then add just a dash of sugar right over the top. Bake for 30-35 minuets until lightly golden brown and a tooth pick comes out nice and clean when poked in the center.
Most importantly enjoy, and don’t be affraid to indulge and have a 2 or more. Go ahead be a Diva.