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Cranberry Raspberry Streusel Bars

Makes 10-12 bars

Ingredients:

Streusel :
1 1/4 cups all‑purpose white flour
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
Generous 3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Rumford Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans, optional
Filling:
1 1/4 cups fresh cranberries (or partially thawed frozen berries), coarsely chopped
1/2 cup dried sweetened cranberries, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam
1/2 cup granulated sugar

Instructions:

Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously spray a 7- by 11-inch or 9-inch square flat baking dish with nonstick spray.

For the streusel: In a large bowl, thoroughly stir together flour, oats, sugar, cinnamon, Rumford Baking Powder, and salt. Add the butter, stirring until the mixture is well blended and crumbly. Firmly press about half (no need to measure) the streusel into the baking dish, forming a packed, even layer. Stir the nuts (if using) into the remaining streusel; set aside for topping. Par-bake the crust in upper third of the oven for 12 minutes; the layer will not be browned.

For the filling: Meanwhile, combine the fresh and dried cranberries, jam, and sugar in a medium saucepan. Stirring constantly, bring to a full boil over medium-high heat. Boil, stirring, for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Using a table knife, evenly spread the cranberry mixture over the crust. Sprinkle the remaining streusel evenly over the filling. Pat down lightly.

Bake in the upper third of the oven for 25 to 35 minutes or until the top is lightly browned and the filling is bubbly. Transfer the pan to a wire rack. Let cool to warm. If desired, trim off and discard any overly brown edges all the way around using a large, sharp knife. Cut and serve the bars warm as individual desserts or coffee klatch treats; or cut them small and serve at room temperature as cookies.

Comments:

For a nice seasonal dessert or treat with coffee or tea, serve these zesty, fruity, crumb-topped bars warm with a scoop of ice cream or dollop of whipped cream. Or let the bars cool, then cut into very small bars and serve on a cookie tray.

Tip: If you happen to have raspberry jam with seeds, simply heat the jam (in a microwave-safe bowl) in the microwave oven until fluid, then stir and strain the jam through a fine sieve to remove the seeds.