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Monday, March 20, 2017

Cranberry Bars

It may be the first day of Spring today, but there is still snow on the ground outside. As much as I want to eat local asparagus and new potatoes, my farmer's market only have onions and pickles for sale. Instead of being sad about there being no spring produce, I have decided to embrace the end of winter.

There may be no strawberries, but I still have a half bag of frozen cranberries in the freezer! You may think of cranberry and orange as more of a holiday flavor combination, but I really needed these last week when there was snow and hail piling up on my tulips.

The snow is slowly melting and I'm crossing my fingers that my bulbs weathered the storm. Until the snow is all gone, I'm enjoying the last of my favorite winter treats - hearty soups, root vegetables and cranberries.

If you are already enjoying jacket-free days, I'm really jealous of you. You can enjoy all of your fresh springtime produce and I'll finish eating this pan of bars.

One Year Ago: Peanut Butter Fudge
Two Years Ago: Homemade Marshmallow Peeps
Three Years Ago: Potato, Spinach & Asparagus Quiche
Four Years Ago: Momofuku Confetti Cookies
Five Years Ago: Fish with Mango Salsa
Six Years Ago: Filled Meringue Coffee Cake

Cranberry Bars

Adapted from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

Crumb base & topping

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon 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
16 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1-tablespoon pieces
1 large egg

1/2 teaspoon orange zest
1 1/2 tablespoons orange juice
3 cups fresh cranberries
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch

Preheat oven to 350 F. Coat a 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

In the bowl of your food processor, pulse together dry ingredients. Add butter and pulse to incorporate. Butter should be smaller than peas and the dough sticks together when pressed. Add egg and pulse to incorporate.

Press half of the dough into the bottom of the baking dish. Transfer remaining dough to another bowl.

Add filling ingredients to bowl of the food processor. Pulse until cranberries are coarsely chopped. Do not puree the mixture. Spread filling over the base layer. Sprinkle remaining crumb over top.

Bake cookies for 30 to 35 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Cut into 36 bars and share with your friends!
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