Monday, November 12, 2012

Cranberry Orange Pistachio Crumb Bars

Cranberry Orange Pistachio Crumb Bars 

Cranberry Orange Pistachio Crumb Bars are a taste like the return of Summer.  The bottom has a sweetened crust similar to a short crust pastry.  Then the cranberry orange marmalade layer and a crumbly pistachio crumb on top bring this to a whole new level of decadence.  

The bright flavors and jewel toned colors in this one will make it the perfect addition to the holiday desserts. These cranberry cookie bars have all of the flavor of a specialty pie, in a more convenient, easy to serve cookie bar. And because these bars are typically served in a much smaller serving size than the other holiday cakes and pies you won’t totally blow it if you indulge in this one after the holiday meal.      

Cranberry Orange Pistachio Crumb Bars
Prep time: 15 min
Bake time: 50-55 min

  • 2 1/2 cups gluten free Bisquick
  • 1 ½ cups sugar, divided (1 ¼ cups & ¼ cup)
  • 1 ½ tsp cinnamon, divided (1 tsp & ½ tsp)
  • 1 cup cold diced butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup pistachios, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup orange marmalade
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 orange (the zest and 3 tbsp of the juice)
  • 12 oz fresh cranberries, rinsed and drained

Video Tutorial

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F or 190°C and line a 9x13 inch pan with parchment paper.   
  2. In a small bowl stir together the juice and zest of the orange with the cornstarch until the cornstarch is dissolved.
  3. In a medium saucepan over a medium-low heat, stir together the marmalade and cornstarch slurry for about 1-2 minutes until the marmalade loosens up, the mixture is well combined and just starts to come to a boil then turn off the heat and stir in the cranberries and 1/4 cup of sugar and set aside to cool. 
  4. In a large bowl stir together the gluten free Bisquick with 1 ¼ cups sugar and 1 tsp of cinnamon then add the butter and using a pastry blender cut the butter into the dry mixture until the texture resembles coarse crumbs.
  5. Slightly beat the eggs and vanilla together then add it to the dry mixture and stir until you have a very crumbly looking dough mixture.     
  6. Remove 1 cup of the crumb mixture and stir it together with the chopped pistachios and the rest of the cinnamon and set it aside.   
  7. Dump the remaining dough into the bottom of the prepared pan and press it firmly in place.    
  8. Before adding the cranberry mixture give it a quick stir to make sure that the cranberries are all well coated in the marmalade then evenly distribute it over the bottom crust layer.     
  9. Scatter the pistachio crumb mixture over the cranberries and bake for 50-55 minutes or until the top has a golden color. 
  10. Once the bars come out of the oven let them rest for 5 minutes then use a flat metal spatula to loosen the edges to ensure there will be no sticking later.    
  11. Cool the pan to room temperature then cover and refrigerate for 4-6 hours or until they’re very well chilled.  Use the parchment overhangs to lift the bars out of the pan then slice them into whatever size you want and serve. 

Notes:  If you’re not following a gluten free diet you can replace the gluten free Bisquick in this recipe by stirring together (2 ½ cups of flour, 1 ½ tsp baking powder, and ¼ tsp salt).  If you cut the 9x13 inch rectangle into 30 pieces (or 5 x 6), the bars will fit nicely into standard sized paper cupcake liners for easier serving.  


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