Cranberry Crumb Bars

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

I love this time of year...holiday decorations are going up, family gatherings and parties fill up your schedule and seasonal ingredients are abundant at the grocery store.


Fresh cranberries are one of my favorite seasonal ingredients to work with.  I use them for more traditional dishes like homemade cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving or Christmas, but when I saw this recipe online last week, I knew I had to make them immediately!


The vanilla drizzle is the perfect topping for these light and buttery cranberry crumb bars as it helps round out some of the tartness from the cranberries giving these bars a perfect balance of flavor.  If you are looking for a last minute addition for your dessert table tomorrow, make these.  I am serious guys!  This recipe does not disappoint and will be a major hit at any Thanksgiving celebration or holiday gathering this year.


Cranberry Crumb Bars
{yield: 24 servings}

Crust and Topping
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
½ almond meal or ground slivered almonds
1 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. Kosher salt
1 cup cold unsalted butter
1 egg
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon

Filling
4 cups fresh cranberries
1 cup sugar
Zest from 1 orange
Juice of ½ orange
1 tbps. cornstarch
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Vanilla Drizzle
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tbps. milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees and grease a 13x9 inch pan with cooking spray or butter.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, almond meal, baking powder and salt.  Using a pastry cutter or your fingers, cut in the butter until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs, then stir in the egg.  Measure out 2 ½ cups of the crumb mixture and press it into the bottom of the grease pan.


Rinse and dry the fresh cranberries before using!


Then in a separate bowl, mix together the cranberries, sugar, orange juice and zest, cornstarch and vanilla extract.  Pour mixture over the crust and spread out evenly with a spatula.  Add the ¼ tsp. of cinnamon to the remaining crumb mixture and spread it out evenly over the filling.  Don't forget the small addition of cinnamon as it adds nice flavor to the topping!


Place into the oven and bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until the top is a light golden brown.  Be prepared for smells of butter, citrus and berries to flood your house...the smells are truly ah-mazing!

To make the vanilla drizzle, combine powdered sugar, milk and vanilla extract and whisk until smooth.  If the drizzle is too thick add a little more milk...if its too thin, add a little more powered sugar to get your desired consistency.  Drizzle the mixture over the top of the room temperature bars and allow it to set.


LOOK at that drizzle!  Wait...I think we need one more look at it, don't you?!


YUMMY...you guys! It's so good.


The bars should be kept in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.  I had a one (okay maybe three) that I zapped in the microwave for about 15 to 30 seconds and they were delicious warmed up as well!  Try them both ways and see which you like better.

Thanks for stopping by the blog today and I hope you all have a very Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow filled with great food, family and friends!

Recipe adapted from Betty Crocker.

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