Cranberry Pecan Bars
Easy vegan holiday cookie recipe, ovo-lacto & gf options
Charlotte, my trusty virtual assistant, thought we needed more holiday cookies. Those we had are great, she said, there just aren't enough of them. I agreed! Thumbprints and bars were the missing links, we decided.
I tweaked our butterscotch brownie recipe to make Cranberry Pecan Bars. Made in a 9x12 pan, these are cookie bars. Made in a 9x9 pan, like the ones in the picture, they are more like blondies. Either way, they taste fantastic!
P.S. Go for the optional coconut - makes them nice & chewy. And it's included in the nutrition info.
Total prep & cook time: 60 min
36 bars or servings
Nutrition Data Per Serving, 26 g, 1 bar: 123 cal, 60 fat cal, 7g fat, 3g saturated fat, 15g carb, 93mg sodium, 1g fiber, 1g protein, 8g sugars, low Cholesterol. Estimated glycemic load 9
- Use a 9 x 12 inch baking pan for this recipe
- 1 Tbsp egg replacer or ground flax seed (6g), beaten with 1/4 cup water
- 1 Tbsp orange zest (from 1 small orange)
- 1/4 cup orange juice (from 1 orange)(60 ml)
- 1/2 cup vegan margarine (120g) or other dairy free butter substitute (we used Earth Balance brand), or 1/3 cup coconut oil
- 1 cup brown sugar or coconut sugar (220g)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cups unbleached white wheat flour (210g) or 1 1/2 cups all purpose gf flour mix (180g) ( + 1 tsp xanthan gum (if not included in flour mix)
- 1 tsp baking powder (5g)
- 1/2 tsp salt (3g)
- 1 cup chopped pecans (100g)
- 1 cup dried sweetened cranberries (120g)
- Optional: 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (125g)
- Optional: powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Whip egg replacer with water. Set aside
- Mix flour, baking powder and salt. Add chopped pecans and coconut if using. Set aside.
- Add cranberries to a small bowl, cover with boiling water. Soak 5 minutes, drain and set aside
- Zest orange, then squeeze the juice. Set aside.
- Melt veggie spread or coconut oil and remove from heat. Use a bit to oil the baking pan. Dust baking pan with flour or line with parchment paper.
- Stir sugar, orange zest, orange juice and vanilla extract into the melted veggie spread or oil
- Add egg replacer and beat mixture well with a whisk or electric beater
- Stir in the drained cranberries
- Mix the wet with the dry ingredients - just until combined
- Spread in pan and bake for 30 - 35 minutes
- Cool 15 minutes in the pan on a cooling rack
- Dust with powdered sugar (optional), cool completely, then cut into 36 bars and serve
This recipe evolved from butterscotch brownies. I reduced the amount of sugar to 1 cup. That made for a less sweet, more cakey, but still dense and chewy bar, with lots of tasty additions.
We made these bars vegan, but it's easy to make them vegetarian if you'd rather. Replace the egg replacer + water with 2 eggs, and use dairy butter instead of oil or veggie spread.
To make the bars gluten free, use 1 1/2 cups all purpose gf flour mix + 1 tsp xanthan gum (if not included in mix) in place of the unbleached white (wheat) flour.
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