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Cranberry Hazelnut Crumb Bars

Cranberry Hazelnut Crumb Bars

These cranberry hazelnut crumb bars are one of those thrown together, “let’s find a way to use up random impulse-purchased ingredients” recipes. They’re extremely easy to make, and extremely delicious. They also can be made ahead and travel well.

cranberry hazelnut crumb bars

The recipe is the result, as usual, of a bit of googling and some improvisation. I had some fresh cranberries hanging out in the fridge but didn’t feel like undertaking a full pie, or even an upside down cake. A cranberry crumb bar came to mind, and the internet led me to an enticingly straightforward recipe on the Betty Crocker website. That recipe involved almond meal, and, since I long ago discovered that cranberry + hazelnut is a fantastic combination, I surmised that it would be a great way to use up some more of the 3 lb. bag of hazelnut meal I impulse bought …. well, a while ago. (It’s been living in the freezer, ok?)

cranberry hazelnut crumb bars

In a friend’s words, the bars are a perfect combination of tart and sweet. They’re also deliciously buttery, with great textural contrast between the sticky cranberry filling and the crumbly topping and crust. They come together in a jiffy, and would be a great last minute addition to the Thanksgiving table if you have unexpected extra guests!

Cranberry Hazelnut Crumb Bars

Simple to make, decadent to eat. These wonderfully autumnal bars are an easy alternative to a pie or tart. The recipe is adapted from Betty Crocker Kitchens.

Course Dessert
Keyword cranberry, cranberry bars, cranberry crumb bars, cranberry hazelnut crumb bars, crumb bars, hazelnut

Ingredients

Crust/Topping

  • 150 g all-purpose flour
  • 100 g granulated sugar
  • 30 g hazelnut meal or finely ground hazelnuts
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup (112 g) cold unsalted butter
  • 30 g lightly beaten egg (about 1/2 one large egg)
  • pinch ground cinnamon

Filling

  • 2 heaping cups fresh cranberries
  • 2 tsp orange juice (I used a blood orange)
  • 100 g granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F.

  2. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper. (Use two overlapping parchment rectangles, to create a sort of sling that will help you lift the bars out once they are baked.)

  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, 100 g sugar, hazelnut meal, baking powder, and salt. Use a pastry blender to cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. (It doesn't have to be perfectly uniform, but the largest pieces of butter should be no bigger than the size of small peas.) Drizzle in the beaten egg, and continue mixing until the mixture starts to clump together. It will still be very crumbly — that's okay.

  4. Press half the crumb mixture into the bottom of the lined baking pan. Add the 1/4 tsp of cinnamon to the remaining crumb mixture and set aside.

  5. In a large bowl, combine the cranberries, 100 g sugar, orange juice, cornstarch and vanilla. Spread the cranberry mixture on top of the crumb mixture in the pan. Then top with the remaining crumb mixture, distributing it in clumps with your fingers.

  6. Bake the cranberry bars for 50 minutes, or until the crumb topping is golden and little pockets of cranberry goodness are starting to bubble up through the topping.

  7. Allow the bars to cool to room temperature in the pan. Then cover and refrigerate overnight or until thoroughly chilled. Remove the pan from the fridge, use the parchment sling to transfer the bars to a cutting board, and cut into 12 or 16 pieces.



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