Cranberry Crumb Bars
1 cup sugar
21⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
1⁄2 cup almond meal*
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 sticks unsalted cold butter (important to be cold), cut into tablespoons
* If you can’t find almond meal, use plain almonds, preferably without skins. Grind in a food processor until very finely ground.
2⁄3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon almond extract
juice of 1⁄2 orange
4 cups (1 bag) fresh cranberries
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and butter a 13-by-9-inch pan. For crust: Using a food processor, pulse the dry ingredients with the butter until the dough is pebbly and then mix in the egg until it all comes together. Pat half of the dough into the buttered pan.
Filling: Stir together the sugar, cornstarch, almond extract and orange juice in a medium bowl. Mix in the cranberries. Sprinkle the cranberry mixture evenly over the dough in the pan. Add 1⁄4 teaspoon of cinnamon to the remaining dough and mix in the food processor. Crumble the dough over the cranberry mixture. Bake for about 45 minutes or until top is lightly brown. Cool completely and cut into squares. Serve in paper cups. Makes 2-plus dozen, depending on square sizes.