Cranberry Crumb Bars

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How is it already the middle of November?  I suddenly feel very unprepared for the coming holidays.  I have a lot of planned knitting to knit.  A lot of holiday baking to bake.  And of course there is work.  Yesterday it got cold and it was like suddenly my brain kicked in.  I have so much to do before the holidays!  And what did I decide to do with my freaking out about the way the days seem to have speed up around me?  I decided to make cookies.

It seemed only logical.

I love cranberries.  This time of year just screams cranberry to me.  When I was young my father used to make a cranberry pie.  It was delicious but so rich you could just barely eat a whole slice before surrendering.  But it was so so good!

These cookies remind me of my father’s pie.  They are delicious and rich, sweet and tart, mmmmmmmmm.  But they have two advantages over my father’s pie.  One, they take barely an hour from start to finish to make.  Two, they cut into much smaller portions so you have to eat two or three before raising the white flag.

Cranberry Crumb Bars

from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

For the cookie:

8 tbsp butter, chilled

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp nutmeg

1/8 tsp allspice

1 egg

For the filling

1 1/2 tsp orange zest

1 1/2 tsp orange juice

1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries

1/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 tsp cornstarch

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Heavily grease an 8 X 8 square baking pan.

Whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice.

Using a pastry cutter, fork, or – my favorite – your hands, cut in the chilled butter.  Add in the egg and mix until the mixture resembles wet sand. Set aside.

In a food processor combine the orange zest, orange juice, cranberries, sugar, and cornstarch.

Blend until the berries are coarsely chopped.  Be careful not to go too long and puree the berries.

Press half the crumbs into the bottom of the well-greased pan.

Spread the berries over the cookie base.

Sprinkle the rest of the crumbs over the top of the fruit.  Try to get it as even as you can.

Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

It’s hard but you have to wait until the cookies are completely cooled before you cut and enjoy.

I highly recommend eating with a steaming mug of tea by a roaring fire.  Who cares about the holiday to-do list!

 

Cranberry Crumb Bars

For the cookie:

8 tbsp butter, chilled

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp nutmeg

1/8 tsp allspice

1 egg

For the filling

1 1/2 tsp orange zest

1 1/2 tsp orange juice

1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries

1/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 tsp cornstarch

 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Heavily grease an 8 X 8 square baking pan.

Whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice.

Cut in the chilled butter.

Add in the egg and mix until the mixture resembles wet sand. Set aside.

In a food processor combine the orange zest, orange juice, cranberries, sugar, and cornstarch.

Blend until the berries are coarsely chopped.

Press half the crumbs into the bottom of the well-greased pan. Spread the berries over the cookie base. Sprinkle the rest of the crumbs over the top of the fruit.  T

Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Allow to cool completely before slicing.

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