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July 4, 2012 / hippiechickamblings

Chewy Orange Cranberry Bars

It doesn’t get any better than this. These are quicker than anything you can stir up out of a box, plus they’re made with nothing but fresh ingredients you probably already have on hand. They’re perfect for an easy breakfast with coffee, yummy snacking, and make an elegant dessert. I even made these for my mom for her birthday, instead of a cake, and she was happier than a cat licking cream. They stay moist and chewy for days if stored in an airtight container and I’ve yet to find a kid or adult who doesn’t fall in love with them. Simple, portable, deliciousness, and no plate or fork required. Seriously, if these were served to the “right” people, Homeland Security may not be needed!

1 and ½ Cups all-purpose flour

2 Cups sugar

1 tsp. salt

2 sticks real butter, softened

4 eggs

2 tsp. pure orange extract

1 tsp. grated orange zest

3/4 Cup dried cranberries

Ocean Spray Craisins brand dried cranberries

Ocean Spray Craisins brand dried cranberries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Glaze:

1 Cup powdered sugar

2 Tbsp. fresh orange juice

1 tsp. grated orange zest.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease a 13 by 9 inch pan, line with parchment paper, and then grease the paper. Combine everything but flour, salt, cranberries, and glaze ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix well until smooth. Fold in flour and salt, and incorporate well. Fold in dried cranberries last. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 30 minutes until golden brown and set. Remove from oven and allow cooling for 5 to 10 minutes in the pan. Using a fork, carefully poke holes all through the top. Combine glaze ingredients and beat into a thin, consistency. Spread the glaze evenly over the top of the bars. It will be thin, and dry into a beautiful, shiny crust when cooled. Allow to cool completely in pan, then cut bars and remove to plate. Delicious!

Orange and orange zest. Photo taken with a Can...

Orange and orange zest. Photo taken with a Canon PowerShot S2 IS digital camera. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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