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OVENLY'S CRANBERRY JAM & PECAN COOKIE BARS
•1 (12-oz) bag cranberries, frozen OR 3 1/2 cups fresh
•1 cup water
•3/4 cup sugar
•1/3 cup fresh orange juice
•3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
•2 cinnamon sticks
Softened unsalted butter for greasing the baking pan
•1 ½ cups spelt flour
•1 ½ cups rolled oats
•½ cup coarsely chopped pecans, toasted
•1 teaspoon salt
•½ teaspoon baking soda
•10 tablespoons (5 ounces) unsalted butter at room temperature
•1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
•½ cup (packed) light brown sugar
•½ cup (packed) dark brown sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a 13 x 9-inch rimmed baking pan (1/4 sheet) with softened butter.
2. In a medium saucepan, bring the cranberries, water, sugar, orange juice, sage, and cinnamon sticks to a boil over medium heat. Stir, then reduce heat to low. Simmer, stirring occasionally and until the cranberries have popped, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Let cool for 10-15 minutes.
3. While the cranberry mixture cools, place the spelt flour, oats, pecans, salt and baking soda in a large bowl. Whisk to combine and set aside.
4. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or using a hand mixer), cream the butter and oil with the light and dark brown sugars until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes. Turn the machine off, add the flour mixture and mix on low until just combined.
5. Firmly press half of the dough into the bottom of the prepared baking pan, covering it completely from corner to corner, filling in any cracks with more dough. Using an offset spatula, spread the cranberry jam over the dough in an even layer. Crumble the remaining dough on top of the cranberry jam, and press down slightly so that it sticks.
6. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the crumble is golden brown.
7. Cool completely before cutting the bars into 15, approximately 3 x 2 ½-inch rectangles (or whatever size you prefer).
OVENLY'S BOOZY PISTACHIO BLONDIES
Yield: one 9x13-inch pan, cut into 15 bars
(COURTESY OF THE OVENLY COOKBOOK, HARLEQUIN/HARPER COLLINS OCTOBER 2014)
Softened unsalted butter and all-purpose flour, for preparing the baking pan
•¾ cup chopped (into 1/4 -inch pieces) dried Black Mission figs
•½ cup dried currants
•1 cup whiskey or bourbon
•1 cup (8 ounces, 2 sticks unsalted butter)
•2 cups all-purpose flour
•1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
•½ teaspoon salt
•¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
•¼ teaspoon ground cloves
•2 cups (packed) light brown sugar
•2 large eggs, at room temperature
•2 teaspoons vanilla extract
•½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
•½ cup roughly chopped raw pistachio nuts
1.Place the figs and currants in a medium heatproof bowl
2. In a small saucepan, bring whiskey to a low boil over medium heat. Pour the hot liquor over the figs and currants. Let them soak for at least 1 hour and then drain the fruit in a colander or mesh sieve placed over a bowl and reserve the whiskey for later use.
3. Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a 13 x 9-inch rimmed baking pan (1/4 sheet) with softened butter and dust the pan with flour.
4. In a small saucepan over low heat (or in a small microwave-safe bowl in a microwave oven), melt the butter and set aside to cool.
6. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, pepper and cloves.
7. Pour the melted butter into a large bowl, and add the brown sugar. Whisk vigorously to combine. Add the eggs, vanilla extract and reserved whiskey, and whisk until smooth.
8. Add the flour mixture to the butter-egg mixture. Use a spatula to mix until just combined and then add the booze-soaked figs, currants, and coconut. Stir until fully incorporated.
9. Spread the batter in the prepared baking pan, and sprinkle evenly with the pistachios.
10. Bake for 33 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the bars comes out clean. Cool completely before cutting the blondies into 15, approximate 3 x 2.5-inch rectangles (or whatever size you prefer).