Recipes, Special Diets on December 4, 2012 by

Apron Strings: Cranberry Christmas Crumble Bars: Gluten and Dairy Free

One of my favorite desserts of all time is raspberry squares, the bar cookie that is almost like a Linzer torte with the extra deliciousness of a streusel-like topping. Nowadays, I’m always looking for ways to covert classics into gluten-free forms for my sensitive daughter and self – even better if I can pull off dairy free as well.

With the holiday season approaching, I thought I would try using cranberries in place of the raspberry jam in this beloved bar. Combining cranberries with orange marmalade and a touch of crystallized ginger was the winning combination – and Bob’s Red Mill blanched almond flour was the key component (making them grain-free as well, for those who have other grain intolerances). Adding some pecans for the streusel topping, makes this packed with protein as well.

Whether you have sensitivities or not, this will be a major crowd-pleaser at the cookie exchange. Spread some cranberry Christmas cheer!

Cranberry Christmas Crumble Bars: Gluten and Dairy Free

  • 3 cups Bob’s Red Mill Blanched Almond Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Coconut Oil, softened
  • 1 Egg
  • 1-1/2 Tbsp Vanilla Extract, divided
  • 3/4 cup Orange Marmalade
  • 3/4 cup Dried Cranberries, divided
  • 1/4 cup Light Brown Sugar (packed)
  • 1/2 cup chopped Pecans
  • 1/4 cup Crystallized Ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp Powdered Sugar

Preheat oven to 350. Stir almond flour, salt, baking powder and sugar together, and transfer to the work bowl of a food processor. Whisk together coconut oil, egg, and 1 tablespoon of the vanilla, then add to dry ingredients. Pulse ingredients together in the food processor until well-combined and dough resembles coarse sand. Set aside 1 cup of the dough and press the rest of it firmly and evenly into an 9×9 baking dish (lightly coated with coconut oil)*. Bake for 12 minutes.

While the bottom layer is baking, combine the marmalade, 1/2 cup of the dried cranberries, and the remaining vanilla in a high speed blender (or the same food processor). Combine reserved dough in a mixing bowl with brown sugar, pecans, ginger, and remaining 1/4 cup cranberries with a fork to make the streusel topping.

When the bottom layer is done, gently spread the cranberry-marmalade mixture over it (an offset spatula is most helpful here), then sprinkle streusel evenly over the top. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Allow to cool completely and then sift the powdered sugar over the top. Cut into bars and serve!

We are a birth mother and daughter, Donna and Anne, respectively, who reunited 27 years after Anne’s adoption. Among the many things we reconnected through was our shared love of food and cooking. After Donna published her first cookbook, we teamed up on “101 Things to Do With Tofu” and had such a great time we knew we’d have to do more joint food projects.

Donna brings many years of cooking experience to Apron Strings, including expertise in Southwestern cooking, while Anne offers more   allergen-friendly posts and other healthy fare (with some decadent exceptions, of course). We also like to share stories from our family as we go from time to time, Together we hope to inspire you AND learn from you as we go! You can contact us at ourapronstrings[at]gmail[dot]com.



JJ says:

Did anyone at Bobs Red Mill test this recipe before posting it online? It sounded delicious. I am an experienced baker but this just didn’t work out well. Dough consistency was not like “dry sand”, it was very sticky and hard to spread in the pan. With topping I had to pinch off small bits as it would not sprinkle. The dough and the filling would only fill the 9×13 pan in a very thin layer (unlike the photo). Was this possibly a typo and meant to be put into a square pan? Bars had a nice flavor but came out real chewy not crumbly. Sorry to complain but I am wondering if recipe was tested.

AmandaCarter says:

JJ, thank you for taking the time to comment. We’re so sorry you had a frustrating experience with this recipe. The recipe was developed and tested by our guest bloggers, and we reached out to them for any suggestions based on your feedback. They noted that the consistency of the dough should be like coarse sand, but it won’t be dry, and that you want to make sure the coconut oil is softened but not liquified. For the pan, they suggested trying a 9×9 pan instead of 9×13 (we decided to actually revise the recipe to reflect this). I hope these notes are helpful. Thank you ~ Amanda

View Comments

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest Posts

Keep up to date on the latest from
Bob's Red Mill
Subscribe Now