One of my favorite desserts of all time is raspberry squares, the bar cookie that is almost like a Linzer torte with the extra deliciousness of a streusel topping. Nowadays, I’m always looking for ways to covert classics into gluten-free forms for my sensitive daughter and self – even better if I can pull off dairy-free as well.
With the holiday season approaching, I thought I would try using cranberries in place of the raspberry jam in this beloved bar. Combining cranberries with orange marmalade and a touch of crystallized ginger was the winning combination – and Bob’s Red Mill blanched almond flour was the key component (making them grain-free as well, for those who have other grain sensitivities). Adding some pecans for the streusel topping, makes this packed with protein as well.
Whether you have sensitivities or not, this will be a major crowd-pleaser at the cookie exchange. Spread some cranberry Christmas cheer!
CRANBERRY CHRISTMAS CRUMBLE
3 cups blanched Bob’s Red Mill blanched almond flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract, divided
1/4 cup coconut oil
3/4 cup orange marmalade
3/4 cup dried cranberries, divided
1/4 cup light brown sugar (packed)
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup crystallized ginger, finely chopped
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350. Stir almond flour, salt, baking powder and sugar together, and transfer to the work bowl of a food processor. Whisk together egg and 1 tablespoon of the vanilla, then add to dry ingredients. Pulse a few times in food processor just to combine. Sprinkle coconut oil over dry ingredients, spoonful by spoonful. Pulse ingredients together in the food processor until well-mixed and dough resembles coarse, moist sand. Set aside 1 cup of the dough. Spread and press the rest of it firmly and evenly into a 9×9 square baking dish (lightly coated with coconut oil)*. Bake for 12 minutes.
While the bottom layer is baking, combine the marmalade, 1/2 cup of the dried cranberries, and the remaining vanilla in a high speed blender (or the same food processor). Using a fork, combine the reserved dough in a mixing bowl with brown sugar, pecans, ginger, and remaining 1/4 cup cranberries to make the streusel topping.
When the bottom layer is done, gently spread the cranberry-marmalade mixture over it (an offset spatula is most helpful here), then sprinkle streusel evenly over the top. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Allow to cool completely and then sift the powdered sugar over the top. Cut into bars and serve!
*Alternate: Check out the foil sling method from America’s Test Kitchen.
Other cranberry treats from esteemed colleagues:
Cranberry Coffee Cake from Two Peas and Their Pod
Cranberry Nut Bread from Gluten-Free Mommy
Citrus Cranberry Nazook from Barbara Bakes
Cranberry Pistachio Pudding Cookies from Eclectic Recipes
Cranberry Ginger Upside Down Cake from Jeanette’s Healthy Living
Gluten-Free Cranberry Almond Loaf from Elana’s Pantry
— posted by Anne