All things cranberry

Happy almost Thanksgiving!

May or may not actually post about what I make for the holiday (sweet potato pie & cookies) but here at least is a treat that nearly everyone can share – my apologies if you’re nut free. Otherwise, these bars are refined sugar free (of course) but also are gluten & grain free, dairy free, vegan & paleo. Yay!

They’re also super easy and come together in about five seconds, a plus when oven real estate is at a premium, assuming you’re doing the whole turkey thing.

C and I loved that they’re tart but herby – the thymes gives them a unique flavor that’s juuuuust on this side of savory. We didn’t eat them with ice cream but I’m 100% sure that would be spectacular; they’re also equally good in wedges on their own. Excellent for breakfast, which is what we did.

Cranberry sauce has always been a favorite part of the Thanksgiving spread for me – generally speaking, I’m not the world’s biggest fan of the traditional Thanksgiving food (I know I know save your gasping) – my mom would be one of the first to attest. When I was small, I didn’t like pumpkin pie (eeehh not a ton has changed there, tho I’ll eat a small slice) so I always just asked for a bowl of whipped cream instead. I STILL love whipped cream, so that’s not changed! But cranberry sauce – I remember being fascinated by the ridgy blob that came out of a can as a kid, and now the real, non-canned variety is hands down my favorite part of the spread.

These bars are a fun hybrid: they start with a layer of shortbready crust and are filled with a quick cranberry jam/sauce, followed by more crumbly topping. Super fast, super easy, super delicious.

And with that – happy Thanksgiving! I hope your holiday is relaxing and safe.

sunset & golden hour!

Cranberry, Pecan & Thyme Crumble Bars

Treats for everyone! Gluten & grain free, refined sugar free, vegan, dairy free & paleo. Hooray! A Wait are those Cookies original. Yield: 1 9″ pan of bars, serves several. Perfectly tart and slightly herby; great for snacks or breakfast.

For the cranberry filling

1 bag (~2 c) fresh cranberries
zest & juice of one lemon
2 tbsp maple syrup
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 tsp tapioca flour
1/4 c chia seeds
1 tbsp vanilla

In a small saucepan, heat cranberries, lemon zest and juice, maple, sea salt, and tapioca until the berries have popped and the liquid is just barely boiling, 10ish minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in chia seeds & vanilla; let cool.

For the crust & crumble

2.5 c almond flour
1 tbsp vanilla
1 tsp fresh thyme
1/4 tsp sea salt, heaping
3 tbsp maple
5 tbsp melted coconut oil
1/3 c chopped pecans
3 tbsp dark chocolate, roughly chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 and line some kind of 9” pan with parchment – this is the least fussy recipe ever, so square, round, tart pan, etc – whatever you have is fine! I used an 9” cake pan. In a large bowl, stir almond flour, vanilla, thyme, salt, maple, and coconut oil together. Reserve a heaping half cup and stir in the pecans and dark chocolate (this will be the top bit) – set aside. Press the rest of the dough into the base of the pan, and bake for 12-15 minutes until set.

Remove from the oven and top evenly with cranberry chia jam. Crumble the rest of the reserved topping on the berries, and bake for another 23-25 minutes, until the top is lightly golden brown and the berries are bubbly. Remove and let cool completely before serving. It’s also fabulous cold – I made mine the night before serving, refrigerated overnight and served straight out of the fridge – highly recommended. Leftovers keep well covered in the fridge for a day or two but I dare you to have any ;)

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