Monday, November 24, 2008

Cookie 2: Cranberry-Apple Butter Bars

These are so good! And they actually taste like cranberries, not some over-sweetened-fake-almost-tasting-like-strawberries or raspberries cookies. Don't you hate that?

I tend to like things on the tart side (these are not super tart, but not super-super sweet either), so if you are on the sweeter side, maybe make a half-batch and decide whether you prefer more sugar, but I tested these on my husband and colleagues and they went over with high marks. Give them a whirl - they would be perfect for Thanksgiving and Christmas!

Cranberry-Apple Butter Bars (adapted from Pillsbury Fall Baking Booklet, recipe found here)
Ingredients
Filling:
1 bag (12 oz) fresh cranberries
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon orange peel, grated
1/4 cup orange juice
1/2 cup apple butter or cranberry-apple butter
2 tablespoons butter

Base/Topping:
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar (packed)
1 1/2 cups AP flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 cups quick-cooking oats

Steps
1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Spray 13 x 9-inch pan with cooking spray.

2. In a saucepan, mix cranberries, white sugar, orange zest and juice. Boil and cook for approximately 6 to 8 minutes, stirring frequently, until cranberries pop and mixture thickens. Stir in apple butter and 2 tablespoons butter; remove from heat.

3. Beat 3/4 cup butter and the brown sugar in a separate bowl, scraping bowl occasionally, until fluffy. Stir in flour, salt, baking soda and oats. Press approximately 3 cups oat mixture in pan. I ended up using a bit less than that for the base in order to have enough for the topping. While you are pressing the base, keep an eye on how much you have left for the topping, if you are running out, use a bit less for the base.

4. Spread cranberry filling over base. Crumble remaining 2 cups oat mixture over filling and press lightly.

5. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely before cutting.

Last year, I made homemade apple butter as part of my gift baskets. If you are doing that, these bar cookies would make a great gift basket paired with the apple butter and cute recipe card!

3 comments:

Katie said...

Oh I am SO loving these! Some of my favorite flavors and you KNOW I love bars like this! Totally want to make these now! Thanks for sharing!

Colleen said...

These look delicious - great fall flavors. I love the addition of the flavored butter as well!

Andrea said...

These look great! I love a tart dessert, I'd almost always choose citrus over chocolate. I LOVE your pictures. You're very talented! ;-)