After Thanksgiving every year I always end up with extra fresh cranberries. I am not sure why I buy so many, whether I am worried they may disappear from the stores before I have my fill of fresh cranberries, or if I simply think we really need a double batch of cranberry sauce every year.
Whatever the reason, I had two extra bags of fresh cranberries leftover yet again this year after Thanksgiving so I decided to use some of them in this simple bar cookie to freeze for the upcoming Christmas holidays.
The bottom crust for these cookies is a buttery shortbread type, and you simply use some of the dough used for the bottom crust as the crumb topping after mixing it with chopped walnuts. Because of the tartness of the cranberries, these cookies are not too sweet so would be great anytime of the day as a snack.
For The Bottom & Top:
- 1 Cup Walnuts
- 1/2 Cup Sugar
- 2 1/2 Cups Flour
- 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- 1 Cup (8 Ounces) Cold, Unsalted Butter, Cut Into Small Pieces
- 1 Large Egg, Beaten
- 3 Cups Fresh Cranberries
- 1 Cup Grated Fresh Apple
- 3/4 Cup Sugar
- 1/3 Cup Maple Syrup
- 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
- Dash of Salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- For the crust, first line a 13 X 9 inch baking pan with aluminum foil leaving a 2 inch overhang, and spray well with cooking spray.
- In a food processor, grind 1/2 of the walnuts until finely ground, and then add the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
- Pulse to mix, and then add the butter and pulse until the mixture is the size of peas.
- Remove 1 cup of the mixture to a separate bowl, then add the egg to the food processor and pulse until the dough comes together.
- Place the dough from the food processor into your prepared pan, and press well to cover the bottom.
- Pierce the crust with a fork to prevent it rising, and then bake until the crust just begins to color and feels set to the touch, about 15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and cool.
- For the filling, in a saucepan add all of the filling ingredients and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat, and cook over medium low heat stirring often until the mixture has thickened, about 10 minutes.
- Spoon the filling mixture over the bottom crust and spread evenly.
- For the top, first chop the remaining walnuts and add these to the reserved crust mixture.
- Use your fingers to rub the mixture until it begins to clump together.
- Sprinkle the topping over the cranberry filling, breaking it small pieces as you do so.
- Bake until the squares are golden, about 20 to 25 minutes.
- Cool, then using the foil overhang remove from the pan and cut into 2 dozen squares.