Cran-caramel streusel squares

4

PREP TIME

25 min

Makes

2 dozen squares

* PLUS Baking Time: 55 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 2/3 cup cold butter , cut into chunks
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup quick-cooking regular or large-flake oats
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup butter , melted
  • 284-mL can caramel sauce , or butterscotch syrup
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen whole cranberries
  • 300-g container chopped pitted dates , about 1 3/4 cups
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Lightly coat a 9×13-inch (3-L) baking dish with butter or spray with vegetable oil. Place 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) flour and icing sugar in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Whirl until blended. Add cold butter cubes. Pulse just until mixture begins to clump together. Or, in a medium-size bowl, using a fork, stir flour with icing sugar until blended. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Turn mixture into baking dish. Press firmly and evenly over bottom of pan. Bake in centre of 350F (180C) oven until edges are golden, from 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven.
  • Meanwhile, prepare streusel topping. In a medium-size bowl, stir 1/2 cup (125 mL) flour with oats, both sugars and baking soda. Then stir in melted butter until mixture is crumbly. Set aside. For filling, stir caramel sauce with 1/3 cup (75 mL) flour in a large bowl. Stir in cranberries, dates and pecans.
  • Spread filling mixture overtop warm baked base, making sure cranberries and dates are evenly distributed. Sprinkle with streusel mixture. Return to 350F (180C) oven. Bake until top is light brown, from 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven. Cool on a rack at least 30 minutes. Slice into 24 squares, then cool completely in baking dish. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 1 week or freeze up to 3 months.

Nutrition (per serving)

  • Calories
  • 238,
  • Protein
  • 2.5 g,
  • Carbohydrates
  • 35.6 g,
  • Fat
  • 10.6 g,
  • Fibre
  • 2.1 g,
  • Sodium
  • 142 mg.

If you love squares and bars, you must try these rich creations. Dripping with caramel and packed with scarlet cranberries and a crunchy streusel topping, they’re an irresistible treat that’s great for making ahead.

Frost-free freezing

Baking ahead and stashing in the freezer saves time, but make sure to properly store the fruits of your labour. First wrap cooled baked goods in a layer of waxed paper to seal in moisture, then seal in a freezer bag or overwrap with foil. Label each package with the recipe name and baking date.