Teresa’s Bake Shop – Christmas Cookie Extravaganza – 2013
These ooey, gooey, juicy Cranberry Almond Bars are fantastic! This fabulous Paula Deen recipe is a colorful and festive bar just in time for the holiday season! The crust and streusel topping layer is made out of your basic oatmeal, flour, butter and brown sugar base. This is topped with cooked cranberries with the added twist of pineapple preserves. After the cranberry layer is spread on the crust, the cranberries are topped with almonds and then the streusel topping. Cranberry Almond Bars are absolutely delicious!
I found the recipe for Cranberry Almond Bars a few years ago in Paula’s Holiday Baking magazine, circa 2010. I really wanted to try it but it took me a long time to find pineapple preserves back then. No store in the metroplex carried it. Now Smuckers offers it pretty regularly. When I saw pineapple preserves on the shelf about a month ago I snatched up a couple of jars just so I could make up several batches of this recipe for our Christmas Cookie Extravaganza this year.
I have to admit this is the first (and only) recipe I’ve made from Paula Deen that I’ve really had to fiddle with to get to work. The filling ingredients are so skimpy they barely cover the crust. So skimpy that I had to double the ingredients of the filling so there’s enough and you’re not just eating a crust bar! Yes, it does make these bars a little gooier as a result, but we love them that way. My husband has always liked fruity desserts, not dried out stuff, so adding extra filling suits him fine.
If you’re looking for a beautiful, elegant dessert bar for Christmas and all your holiday parties, may I suggest Paula Deen’s Cranberry Almond Bars this season? With my changes for double the cranberry/pineapple filling, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed at all in this lovely dessert.
Paula Deen’s Cranberry Almond Bars are festive and beautiful.
These lovely bars are great for holiday entertaining. This recipe makes a large 10×15″ pan of bars. Enough to have a few for yourselves and share at an office or holiday party! 🙂
If you freeze some cranberries you can make this dessert other times of the year, too! Cranberry Almond Bars are ooey, gooey, and delicious!
Here’s what I did.
Soften butter and put in large mixing bowl.
Add brown sugar, UNBLEACHED all-purpose flour (bleached flour toughens baked goods), baking soda, baking powder and oatmeal.
Using a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour/oatmeal mixture. Reserve 1 1/2 cups crumb mixture for topping.
Spray a 10×15″ cookie sheet with an edge with cooking spray. Press remaining streusel crumb mixture into pan.
Place cranberries and sugar in a medium-sized saucepan over medium-high heat. Add water and bring to a boil.
Cook mixture about 5 -10 minutes until it’s thickened.
Here the sauce has thickened.
Add Pineapple Preserves. These are now more readily available in the metroplex than three years ago when this recipe was first printed.
Add pineapple preserves to the thickened cranberry sauce.
Spread mixture on top of streusel crust.
Sprinkle with sliced almonds.
Sprinkle reserved 1 1/2 cups streusel topping over top of the almonds.
Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes. This is what it looked like just out of the oven.
Cool completely before cutting into bars. I think I put mine in the freezer for a little while before cutting so I could get a cleaner edge.
Cranberry Almond Bars are such a tasty treat. If you like cranberries, almonds and pineapples you will love these wonderful dessert bars.
We like these bars with a little more filling than the original recipe calls for.
Paula Deen’s Cranberry Almond Bars are a luscious dessert your whole family will enjoy.
Here’s the recipe.
CRANBERRY ALMOND BARS
- 2 cups Gold Medal UNBLEACHED all-purpose flour (bleached flour toughens baked goods)
- 1 ½ cups Quaker old-fashioned oatmeal
- 1 ½ cups firmly packed brown sugar
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 4 cups fresh or frozen Ocean Spray cranberries
- 1 1/3 cup sugar
- 6 tbsp. water
- ½ cup [url href=”http://www.smuckers.com/products” target=”_blank” title=”smuckers”]Smucker’s[/url] pineapple preserves
- 1 ¼ to 1 ½ cups Fisher sliced almonds
- Preheat oven to 350˚.
- Spray a 10×15” baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder, and baking soda.
- Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture is crumbly.
- Reserve 1 ½ cups crumb mixture.
- Press remaining crumb mixture firmly into bottom of prepared pan.
- In a medium saucepan, combine cranberries, sugar, and water.
- Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Cook, stirring constantly, for 5-10 minutes or until mixture is thickened.
- Stir in pineapple preserves.
- Spread cranberry mixture over crumb mixture in pan.
- Top evenly with almonds.
- Sprinkle reserved 1 ½ cups crumb mixture over almonds.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
- Let cool for 1 hour before cutting into bars.
If you enjoy holiday baking (and eating), give these bars a try sometime. You will love the combination of flavors. While these are a little gooey, they are mouthwatering.
Are you drooling yet? Prepare yourself for a wonderful treat when you make up a batch of these tasty jewels.