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Cranberry Crumb Bars

 Photo by Katie Olsen

Photo by Katie Olsen

Recipe and photo by Katie Olsen of Katiebird Bakes!

With a buttery, holiday-spiced base that doubles as the crumb, and a lightly sweetened cranberry filling, these cranberry crumb bars celebrate the humble fruit long after Thanksgiving ends!

Ingredients

Filling

  • 2 c fresh or frozen cranberries

  • 1/2 c apple cider

  • 1/3 c sugar

  • 1 tsp cornstarch

Crumb Base + Topping

  • 1 1/2 c all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 c granulated sugar

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg

  • Pinch of allspice

  • Pinch of cloves

  • 1/2 c unsalted butter, cold and cubed (1 stick)

  • 1 egg yolk (from 1 large egg; discard the white)

Instructions

Filling

  1. In a medium saucepan, stir together the cranberries, apple cider, sugar, and cornstarch. Bring to a boil over medium heat, and cook, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens and cranberries break down, about 5 minutes.  

  2. Remove from heat and let cool while you make the crumb mixture.

Crumb Base + Topping

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Grease an 8x8 inch square pan, or line it with parchment paper. Set aside.

  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and spices.

  3. Add cold butter to the bowl and cut it into the flour mixture using a pastry cutter, a fork, or (my favorite method) your fingertips. Stop when the mixture resembles wet sand. There may be some larger pea-sized butter pieces.

  4. Mix in the egg yolk until the entire mixture is moistened. You may have to use your hands to fully incorporate it.

  5. Pour half the mixture into the prepared pan, and press into an even flat layer with your hands. Make sure it is compact.

  6. Pour the cooled filling over the base crumb layer, spreading it evenly to the edges of the pan. Sprinkle the remaining crumb mixture over top.

  7. Bake for 35-37 minutes, until topping is lightly browned and filling is bubbling. Let cool completely before cutting into squares and serving.

Recipe Notes

In the somewhat unlikely event that you have leftover bars, you can store them in the fridge for up to 5 days.