These tart, yet sweet cranberry orange bars will make the perfect addition to your Christmas cookie tray. I absolutely love this combination of flavors! The fresh oranges and tart cranberries give these bars a refreshing taste with just the right amount of sweetness. For this recipe you can use fresh or frozen cranberries. If you use frozen, don’t worry about thawing, just throw them into the food processor and pulse.
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Cranberry Orange Bars
- 3 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
- 2 large unpeeled oranges, seeded and cut into 16 slices
- 2 1/2 cups sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
For the Crust:
- 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- zest of one lemon
- 1 cup cold unsalted butter (2 sticks), cut in ½ inch cubes
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 to 2 tablespoons water
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-by-13-inch glass or light-colored metal baking pan. Put a long piece of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan, letting the parchment extend up the two short sides of the pan and overhang slightly on both ends. (This will make it easy to remove the bars from the pan after they have baked.) Butter the parchment.
- In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, pulse cranberries and oranges until coarsely ground, about 15 pulses; Set aside.
- In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar, cornstarch and ginger. Add ground fruit and bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cook stirring occasionally until thickened, about 15. Remove from the heat; stir in nuts. Set aside to cool while making crust.
- To make the crust, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment combine flour, sugar, cinnamon and lemon zest on low speed. Add the butter, toss with a fork to coat with the flour mixture. Mix on medium-low speed until the texture resembles coarse cornmeal, with the butter pieces no larger than small peas. Add egg yolks and vanilla. Gradually add water, tossing with a fork until dough forms a ball. Pat at two-thirds of dough into the prepared pan. Pour the cranberry mixture evenly over the crust. Crumble remaining dough over the berry layer.
- Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until top is golden brown. Cool completely on wire rack then transfer to the refrigerator to chill before cutting into squares. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Yields: about 2 ½ dozen bars
Source: adapted from Taste of Home