Holiday Cookie Countdown: White Chocolate Cranberry Crumb Bars

Remember those Cranberry Bliss Bars from Starbucks?

These are even better!

I know. It’s kind of a bold claim. But hear me out, folks — these are so jam packed with complementary flavors that a whole party happens in your mouth with each bite. Warm, toasted brown butter flavor in the crust and topping, zingy cranberry, a twist of orange brandy liqueur and velvety white chocolate.

I took these to some new neighbors yesterday and let’s just say we made fast friends. They called and asked for the recipe exactly 10 minutes after I delivered them. :-)

p.s. They couldn’t be prettier to look at, so don’t hesitate to put these front and center on your cookie tray!

p.p.s. Don’t skip the browning the butter step. It adds so much flavor to the crust and topping!

Holiday Cookie Countdown: White Chocolate Cranberry Crumb Bars

Holiday Cookie Countdown: White Chocolate Cranberry Crumb Bars

Ingredients

Crust and Topping:

1 cup unsalted butter

2 1/2 cups flour

1/2 cup sugar

3/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1 cup white chocolate chips

Filling:

2 1/2 cups fresh cranberries, divided

1/2 cup grated apple

2/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup maple syrup

2 Tbsp brandy

1/8 tsp salt

1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch

1 1/2 Tbsp water

Instructions

Brown butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until it turns brown and smells aromatic, about 6 minutes. Pour into a glass measuring cup and chill in the freezer until solid, about 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°F and line a 13 x 9-inch baking dish with parchment paper, leaving 2-inch "handles" on each side.

Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Dice and sprinkle solidified brown butter over flour mixture and use a pastry cutter to cut in evenly until mixture resembles coarse meal. Fold in egg until combined. Reserve 1 cup of dough for topping; press remaining dough evenly into bottom of prepared baking dish. Bake for 17 to 18 minutes, until crust is lightly golden; cool on a wire rack.

For the filling, combine 2 cups cranberries, grated apple, sugar, maple syrup, brandy, and salt in a heavy saucepan over medium high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until cranberries begin to split open. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Whisk cornstarch and water together in a small bowl; stir into cranberry mixture and cook until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat and fold in remaining 1/2 cup cranberries. Spread mixture in an even layer over crust. Crumble reserved topping on top.

Sprinkle with white chocolate chips; bake for 25 to 27 minutes, or until golden and filling is bubbling. Cool completely in baking dish on a wire rack. Just before cutting, chill in the freezer for 15 minutes. Carefully lift parchment to remove bars from pan and place on a cutting board; cut into squares with a sharp knife.

Adapted from Tutti Dolci.

http://sugarmamacooks.com/holiday-cookie-countdown-white-chocolate-cranberry-crumb-bars/

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