Cranberry Orange Bars

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If you do one thing this winter season, please, please, p l e a s eeeee make these bars! They are fail-proof and will surely be your favorite bar. Yes- I said it! I have all the confidence in the world in these and the best tip I can give is to use a good quality, whole-berry cranberry sauce and a ripe navel orange.

Cranberry and orange are classic winter flavors and these bars take the duo to a whole new level. The shortbread crust is the perfect base to compliment the light but vibrant flavors and the pecan is the icing on the cake.

You can make these in less than an hour and let them cool overnight before cutting. Even better, you can cut a pie piece and serve it warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. I mean, it’s a win-win!

Ingredients:

1 c. butter
2 c. flour
½ c. white sugar
¼ tsp. salt
14 ounces whole-berry cranberry sauce
1 large, ripe navel orange
¼ c. crushed pecans
1 tbsp. corn starch


Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and line with parchment paper a 13×9 baking pan. In a large bowl with mixer or in your stand mixer, beat the butter until creamy. Mix in sugar, flour and salt until combined and crumbly.

Using your fingers or the bottom of your measuring cup, press 2 ½ cups of the flour mixture into the baking pan. Be sure to press evenly into pan and bake for 10-12 minutes.

Zest the orange and divide in half, setting aside half for the crumble topping. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the cranberry, juice and zest of half the orange, and cornstarch. Once combined, spread evenly over crust.

In a small mixing bowl, combine the flour mixture, remaining zest and pecans. Crumble the mixture over the cranberry and bake for 25 minutes, until the edges turn golden.

Once the edges are golden and the sides pull way slightly from the baking pan, remove from oven and cool over rack. Do not wrap or put away until completely cooled down.