Fruity Cranberry and Orange Energy Bars
|For the crust:|
chopped, walnuts, pecans, almonds or hazelnuts or rolled oats, divided
whole-wheat pastry flour
cold and cut into small pieces
|For the fruit filling:|
fresh or frozen, divided
For the crust:
Mix together ¾ cup nuts (or oats), flours, sugar and salt in a food processor, pulse until the nuts are finely ground.
Add butter, pulse until well blended.
Add egg, oil, 1 teaspoon vanilla and almond extract in a small bowl, whisking until well blended.
With the motor running, add the liquid mixture to the food processor.
Process, scraping down the sides, if needed, until the mixture begins to clump, 35 to 45 seconds (it will look crumbly).
Measure out ½ cup of the mixture and mix in a bowl with the remaining ¼ cup chopped nuts (or oats).
Set aside for the topping.
Preheat oven to 400Â°F.
Well spray a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray or grease with butter.
For the fruit filling and finishing the bars:
Stir together 3 cups cranberries, orange juice, sugar and cornstarch in a large saucepan.
Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture is very thick, about 5 minutes.
(It takes about 10 minutes to get thick if you start with frozen cranberries.)
Stir in the remaining 2 cups cranberries, orange zest and 1 teaspoon vanilla.
Transfer the dough to the prepared baking dish.
Spread evenly and press firmly into the bottom to form a crust.
Spread the fruit filling evenly over the crust.
Sprinkle the reserved topping over the filling.
Bake for 15 minutes.
Reduce oven temperature to 350Â° and bake until the crust and topping are lightly brown, 25 to 30 minutes more.
Allow to cool completely at least 2 hours.
Cut into bars.
Serve or store at an air-tight container.