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Ginger Cranberry Bars

“These beautiful bars were among the winners of a cranberry festival bake-off,” notes Lynn Newman of Gainesville, Florida. “They're tangy, crunchy and subtly sweet.”
  • Total Time
    Prep: 15 min. Bake: 40 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    2 dozen

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract, divided
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cans (16 ounces each) whole-berry cranberry sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds

Directions

  • In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in 1-1/2 teaspoons almond extract. Beat in flour until crumbly.
  • Press into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Bake at 350° for 25-28 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat cranberry sauce and ginger. In a small bowl, beat egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, and remaining extract on high until stiff glossy peaks form. Spread cranberry mixture over crust. Spread meringue over cranberry layer; sprinkle with almonds.
  • Increase heat to 400°. Bake for 14-15 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely before cutting. Refrigerate leftovers.

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