Pumpkin week: Pumpkin cranberry bars

These bars were so delicious! Moist with bright bits of cranberry and the smooth nuttiness of the pecans. Another winner from Stephanie over at joyofbaking.com. I’ll keep mentioning her time and time again because her stuff is good – go find something to try for yourself! Anyways, these were easy to make and even easier to enjoy. So, I sent them to work with M. Poor M, he’s been a relatively good sport about all the pumpkin (he hates pumpkin and all things made with pumpkin). But at least it was out of the house and away from me. Next week, I might just have to make M some chocolate chip cookies. But for now, enjoy this recipe and have fun!

Really, it does look curdled! I had to take a picture to show you.

Ready for baking!

Mmm!

MMM! Look at that!

What you need:
1 cup (100 grams) pecans
2 cups (260 grams) all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated white sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup dried cranberries or cherries

What to do:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place the rack in the center of the oven. 
Place the pecans on a baking sheet and bake for about 8 – 10 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant. Remove from oven, cool completely and then coarsely chop.

Increase the oven temperature to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) and butter and flour an 9 x 9 inch (23 x 23 cm) pan.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground cinnamon, ground allspice, ground ginger, and salt.

In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (2 – 3 minutes). Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat until incorporated. Beat in the pumpkin puree until incorporated (the batter will look curdled at this point). Gradually add the flour mixture, mixing only until combined. Stir in the chopped toasted pecans and dried cranberries. Spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 30 -35 minutesor until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bars comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Cut into 16 – 2 inch (5 cm) bars.

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