Cranberry Crumb Bars

These Cranberry Crumb Bars are so festive and perfect for holiday baking and gifting!

Do you want to know just how good these Cranberry Crumb Bars are? As Mary Poppins would say, they’re practically perfect in every way. I have made 3 pans of them just this week. Practically perfect, see?

So practically perfect that they’re verging on actual perfection minus the part about how they aren’t exactly health food. Okay, before you go all oh-my-gosh-are-you-crazy? and that’s-so-bad-for-you on me let me justify those three pans first. Okay?

Pan #1: made them for us. We devoured them. I had the last one for breakfast yesterday because it was calling my name in the fridge. I mean, it was the last one in the pan and the pan was just taking up way too much space since it wasn’t really serving any purpose by housing only one bar.

I took the bar out. I put the pan in the dishwasher. And then I ate the bar. The end. Oh except for the part where Logan tells me that he “only [likes] the chocolate brownies.” Oh well. More for me. (Sometimes there are advantages to having a picky child. The picky child just doesn’t need to find that out)

Pan #2 and #3: Made both today. Logan and Madeline had a grand time helping me press the crust in and then proceeded to litter the kitchen with flour, sugar, and baking powder. I was also trying to make Beef with Broccoli for dinner at the same time. Am I crazy or what? Please don’t answer that.

Pan #2 is for MOMS Club Garage Sale/Bake Sale tomorrow morning. Pan #3 part 1 is for a friend’s family. Pan #3 part two is for us. Again. I could hardly wait for them to chill before a.) delivering them and b.) eating them myself. So I ate some unchilled and they were a mess to cut into, but still really good. Though I do like them better chilled. I also think they’re the perfect treat for the upcoming holidays, or any time you want your kitchen to smell awesome.

P.S. Cranberries are good for you. Right? Right.

More Christmas Treats:

If you’re looking for additional inspiration for your Christmas treats this year, here are a few other favorite Christmas recipes that use Fisher Nuts. Be sure to check out the whole Christmas Recipes Archive right here if you need help building the rest of your holiday recipe plans.

Bittersweet Chocolate Swirl Fruit and Nut Bark pairs bittersweet chocolate, white chocolate, almonds, raspberries, strawberries, pumpkin and chia seeds for a delectable holiday treat.

Chocolate Dipped Nuts are a delicious, healthy treat. Mix it up by using a variety of different nuts: pecans, walnuts, and almonds, for example.

For those who crave savory treats, these Sweet and Spicy Rosemary Bar Nuts are always a hit. Mixed nuts meet rosemary, cayenne, cumin, brown sugar, and maple syrup.

Gingerbread Cookies are traditional this time of year, but these Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies offer a fun and unique twist on the classic.

A tasty ginger recipe that doesn’t require cut outs is this Caramel Pecan Gingersnap Thumbprints Recipe. 

Salted Vanilla Maple Nut and Seed Clusters taste indulgent but are anything but since they’re packed with all sorts of heart-healthy seeds and nuts.

If you like candied nuts, try these Cinnamon Vanilla Glazed Walnuts. They make a perfect gift when tied up in a bag with a bow, or in a pretty jar.

Cranberry Crumb Bars

Yield: 24 bars

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

These Cranberry Crumb Bars are so festive and perfect for holiday baking and gifting!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup almond meal*
  • 1 cup cold butter (2 sticks)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • juice of 1/2 of an orange
  • zest of one orange
  • 4 cups fresh cranberries**
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 Tbs cornstarch

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 9×13 inch pan.

In a medium bowl, mix together 1 cup sugar, flour, almond flour, salt and baking powder. Use a fork or pastry cutter to blend in the butter and egg. The dough will be crumbly. Alternatively, you can pulse the dry ingredients in a food processor with the butter until pebbly, and then mix in the egg until it all comes together. Pat half of the dough into the buttered pan.

In another bowl, stir together the sugar, cornstarch, vanilla, orange juice and zest. Mix in the cranberries. Sprinkle the cranberry mixture evenly over the dough in the pan.

Add 1/4 tsp cinnamon to the remaining dough, then crumble dough over the berries. Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until top is a light golden brown. Cool completely and chill in the refrigerator before cutting into squares. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Notes:

* I used these almonds. Just toss them in a food processor until finely ground to make almond meal.

**stock up while cranberries are abundant in stores. Just toss them in the freezer and use as you need. They'll be good for about a year. If you're using frozen fresh cranberries for this recipe there is no need to thaw them first.

To Freeze the Bars: Prepare the bars according to the recipe. After chilling the bars and cutting them into squares, place them on a parchment paper lined baking pan. Place the baking pan in the freezer and freeze the cut bars just until they are frozen (flash freeze). Then, remove the frozen bars and transfer them to a zip top freezer bag, layering them flat. Zip the bag, removing as much air as possible. Then, transfer the bag to the freezer.

Cranberry Crumb Bars
adapted from Smitten Kitchen