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Spiced Cranberry Pecan Bars

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Tags: baking, fall, sweets, winter

Get your copy of Paula Deen’s Southern Baking here.

  • Prep time: 30 minutes
  • Cook time: 50 minutes
  • Servings: 24

Ingredients

  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons apple pie spice
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 large egg

Filling

  • 5 cups fresh cranberries, divided
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup applesauce
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1½ tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1½ tablespoons water

Topping

  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • ½ cup old-fashioned oats

Directions

Crust

Preheat oven to 350°. Line a 13×9-inch baking dish with parchment paper, letting excess extend over sides of pan.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, pie spice, baking powder, ginger, and salt. Add cold butter, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until crumbly. Add egg, beating until combined. Reserve 1 cup mixture for topping; press remaining mixture into bottom of prepared pan.

Bake until lightly golden, about 18 minutes.

Filling

In a large saucepan, bring 3 cups cranberries, sugar, applesauce, maple syrup, orange zest and juice, and salt to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until cranberries begin to burst. Reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and 1½ tablespoons water; stir into cranberry mixture, and cook until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat; fold in remaining 2 cups cranberries. Spread mixture in an even layer onto prepared crust.

Topping

In a small bowl, combine pecans, oats, and reserved 1 cup crust mixture. Sprinkle onto filling.

Bake until topping is golden and filling is bubbly, about 30 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Using excess parchment as handles, remove from pan, and cut into bars. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

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