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Cranberry crumb bars with mulling spices

I mentioned these cranberry crumb bars last week in my cookbook book club post. I loved the sweet/tart combo of the cranberry filling. The recipe is incredibly easy to make; the base and the topping are one and the same, and the filling does not require cooking. A quick blitz in the food professor is all the cranberries need. This is a terrific autumn dessert and would be great addition to your Thanksgiving dessert table.

IMG_2502

Cranberry crumb bars with mulling spices, from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

Ingredients for the crumb:
16 tablespoons (225 grams or 2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled, plus more at room temperature for the pan
3 cups (375 grams) all-purpose flour
1 cup (200 grams) sugar
1/2 teaspoon table 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
1 large egg

Ingredients for the filling:
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
1 1/2 tablespoons orange juice
3 cups (340 grams or 12-ounce bag) fresh cranberries
1/2 cup (100 grams) sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch

Method:
Preheat your oven to 375°F. Line the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with parchment paper, and butter the sides and the parchment. In a large, widish bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and spices. With a pastry blender or fork, work the chilled butter and the egg into the flour mixture until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Pat half the crumb base into the bottom of your prepared pan; it will be thin.

In the bowl of a food processor or blender, briefly pulse the filling ingredients until the berries are coarsely chopped but not pureed. Spread the filling over the crumb base. Sprinkle the remaining crumbs evenly over the cranberry mixture.

Bake cookies for 30 to 35 minutes, or until lightly brown on top. Cool completely before cutting into squares.

Yield: 36 smallish rectangles

Recipe by Deb Perelman, republished with permission

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