Happy New Year everyone!!! Hope you all had a safe and fun time ringing in 2013. I myself had a rather mellow New Years, which to many would probably be considered boring but considering I am almost due to give birth any day now I certainly can’t be doing any drinking not to mention anything in the party nature. So instead I stuck to my foodie roots and baked the day away, then made some fish for dinner, and closed off the evening with fireworks and a stroll around my calm, slightly brisk Florida neighborhood with the boyfriend. Since many of you out there have already or are currently conjuring up New Year’s resolutions, today’s post is just in time for those deciding to give up guilty pleasures of the sweet variety in order to keep fitness and weight loss resolutions. Sure, it is already the new year but one last splurge won’t hurt right 😉
Now most of you may have a hangover or are extremely tired and lacking any sort of an extensive attention span like myself so I will make sure to keep the notes on this formula brief. To promote optimum texture in these bars, be sure to keep the butter cold by leaving it in the refrigerator until you are just ready to use it. This allows the butter to hold it’s shape while being cut into the flour by the food processor. By using a whipping food processor blade and the cold temperature, the butter is quickly chopped into small bits without overheating and melting, which would result in a less desirable texture for the finished bar crust. These bars can keep in an airtight container at room temperature for approximately three days.
Cranberry Coconut Bars
- 1 cup plus 2 tbsp. All-Purpose Flour
- 1 cup plus 2 tbsp. Light Brown Sugar, packed
- 5 tbsp. Unsalted Butter, cut into 5 pieces, kept chilled
- 1 Egg
- 2 tbsp. Maple Syrup
- ¾ tsp. Vanilla Extract
- ½ tsp. Almond Extract
- ½ tsp. Salt
- ½ cup Walnuts, toasted & chopped
- 1 cup Dried Cranberries
- ¾ cup Shredded Coconut, sweetened
- Adjust oven rack to the middle position and heat to 375°. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil. Allow excess foil to hang over the edges for easy removal later. Grease foil with nonstick cooking spray. Process 1 cup flour and 2 tbsp. sugar in a food processor until combined. Add butter, 1 piece at a time, and pulse until only pea-size bits remain. Press the mixture into the prepared pan and bake until crust is light golden, about 15 minutes. Cool completely.
- While crust cools, whisk the egg, syrup, extracts, salt, remaining flour, and remaining sugar in a large bowl. Fold in the walnuts, cranberries, and coconut. Spread the mixture evenly over the cooled crust. Bake until the topping is golden brown and begins to separate from the sides of the pan, about 15 to 20 minutes. Cool completely. Once cool, use the foil overhang to lift the bars out of the pan. Cut into squares and serve.
SPECIAL THANKS TO:
PETER MENDOROS – PHOTOGRAPHY
RECIPE ADAPTED FROM MIKE HENDRICKS