Saturday, September 18, 2010

Cranberry Turtle Bars

This recipe was submitted by my friend Lori Owens and was included in our cookbook, If I Can Cook It You Can Cook It Cookbook, published by G8Press.

For base
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup packed light brown sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1½ sticks (¾ cup) cold, unsalted butter and cut into ½ -inch cubes

For topping
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
¼ cup light corn syrup
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups fresh or frozen cranberries
(not thawed; 6 3/4 oz), coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups pecans (12 oz), toasted and cooled, then coarsely chopped

For decoration
2 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), very finely chopped

Make base:

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Line a 15- by 10-inch shallow baking pan (1 inch deep) with foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang on the 2 short sides. Butter all 4 sides (but not bottom).
Blend flour, brown sugar, and salt in a food processor, then add butter and pulse until mixture begins to form small (roughly pea-size) lumps. Sprinkle into baking pan, then press down firmly all over with a metal spatula to form an even layer. Bake in middle of oven until golden and firm to the touch, 15 to 17 minutes, then cool in pan on a rack.

Make topping:
Melt butter in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat and stir in sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Boil over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until caramel registers 245°F on thermometer, about 8 minutes. Carefully stir in cranberries, then boil until caramel returns to 245°F. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, then stir in pecans until well coated. Working quickly, spread caramel topping over base, using a fork to distribute nuts and berries evenly. Cool completely.

Cut and decorate bars:
Lift bars in foil from pan and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into 6 crosswise strips, then 6 lengthwise strips to form 36 bars.
Melt half of chocolate in top of a double boiler or a metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, stirring until smooth. Remove bowl from heat and add remaining chocolate, stirring until smooth. Transfer chocolate to a small heavy-duty sealable plastic bag. Seal bag and snip off a tiny piece of one corner to form a small hole, then pipe chocolate decoratively over bars. Let stand at room temperature until chocolate sets, about one hour.

GateKeeper Sig
Shabby Chic Victorian Rose Divider

Image of Cranberries
Copyright: Wikimedia Commons
Credit: Mariluna

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