Pop Goes The Tree

We’ve had quite the holiday-ful weekend. Baking, Christmas lights, baking, hanging out with friends, baking, baking, baking.

On Friday we took Jack out to the Gaylord Texan to look at all of the holiday decoration. Check out the tree:

Jack’s reaction?

So much fun. He was pretty mesmerized (by the decorations AND by the revolving door at the entrance… oh, it’s the little things). I love these pictures:

Okay, on to baking. Last week we went over to my friend Kira’s for a playdate and she had the BEST cranberry bars. I’m not a big craisin fan, but these used fresh cranberries. She sent me the recipe and I couldn’t wait to make a batch (or three, actually):

Look at those berries…

Hopefully Kira will be cool with me posting the recipe on here. Apparently it’s a family recipe, so Kira’s mom gets all the credit!! The only alterations I made were substituting walnuts for pecans (we have a family member with an allergy) and drizzling white chocolate over the top.

Cranberry Bars

1 1/2 cups of sugar
1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter (melted and slightly cooled)
2 cups of fresh cranberries
2 large eggs
1 tsp Almond Extract
1 1/2 cups of flour
1/2 cup of chopped pecans (or walnuts)
Dash of salt

Optional: White chocolate or almond bark for drizzling.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9 X 9 inch baking dish.

2. Using a mixer, blend the sugar and eggs until thickened- about 2 minutes or so.

3. Add melted butter and almond extract. Mix this well.

4. Add flour and stir with a wooden spoon until well blended. Then stir in cranberries and pecans. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for about 1 hour or when toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool in pan completely before cutting into bars (you can freeze these as well).

**I drizzled them with melted almond bark after they had fully cooled & before cutting into bars.**

The other big project this weekend? Christmas Tree Cake Pops:

These are my first venture from Bakerella’s Cake Pop Cookbook. Honestly, once you track down all of the ingredients, nothing about them is that difficult… but dear lord are they time consuming!!! You have to bake the cake, crumble and mix with icing, form into shapes, chill, dip, decorate, wrap. This is what poor Brian is doing right now:

Gluing on the little “ornaments” with candy melts. Best husband ever?

And the finished product (x35):

Alright, I need to go finish wrapping these bad boys. Hope everyone had a great weekend!

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