Cranberry and Orange Ginger-Oat Bars
1 12-oz. package whole cranberries, fresh or frozen
3/4 C. water
3/4 C. sugar
1 T. grated fresh ginger
1 T. grated orange zest
Crust and topping:
1 3/4 C. all-purpose flour
2 t. ground ginger
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 C. (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 C. light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 C. old-fashioned oatmeal
In a medium saucepan, heat the cranberries, water, sugar, ginger and orange zest until boiling; cook over medium heat until all of the cranberries “pop” and the mixture is thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, transfer to a shallow plate and refrigerate until cooled and very thick. (The filling can be made up to 1 day ahead.)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spritz a 13-by-9-inch baking pan with nonstick baking spray.
Sift together the flour, ginger, baking powder and salt; set aside.
In a large bowl beat the butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the sifted mixture and oatmeal by hand just until blended. Reserve about 11/2 cups of the dough for the topping. Spread the remaining dough in an even layer in the prepared baking pan. Pat it lightly with fingertips.
Spoon the cranberry filling over the dough, and spread in an even layer. Using floured fingertips, sprinkle small clumps of the reserved dough over the cranberries. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the edges and top are golden brown. Cool on a wire rack before cutting into bars. Makes 24 bars.