Michael's Cranberry Almond Ginger Bars Recipe

By Marisa Dabney | Dec 2nd, 2016

Michael Wolfe usually finds inspiration for his bakes in art galleries but during "Cookie Week" he is inspired by the holidays and incorporates a makes a cranberry jam in his signature bake. Michael's Cranberry Almond Ginger Bars recipe also includes ground and fresh ginger and is finished with a nutty crumble on top. Watch the full "Cookie Week" episode from season two episode 2 of The Great American Baking Show to see if the judges also taste the holidays when they eat his cookie bars.

Cranberry-Ginger Filling:

2 1/2 cups frozen cranberries (1 normal-sized bag)

1/3 cup caster sugar

1/4 cup light brown sugar

1 tbsp fresh, grated ginger

1 tbsp orange zest

3 tbsp water

1 teaspoon dark vanilla extract

Crust:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup almond flour (BOB'S MILL) 

3 tbsp corn starch

pinch kosher salt

1 1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1 1/2 teaspoon dark vanilla extract

227g  unsalted butter

Topping:

1/3 portion of crust dough

1/2 cup sliced blanched almonds

Garnish for plate:

Fresh sprigs of thyme – handful 

Fresh cranberries, if available

1 egg white (TWO CHICKS) 

Caster sugar

METHOD: 

1. Preheat oven to 350F (180C)

2. Spray 9x13in baking pan and line with parchment

3. Grate 1 tbsp ginger

4. Zest orange

5. Slightly toast almonds in skillet on stovetop

Filling:

1. In large saucepan, mix cranberries, sugars, ginger, zest and vanilla. Cook over med-high heat, and bring to boil. Boil until reduced and syrup is slightly thickened (about 5 min. or so). Stir frequently. Remove from heat and cool in shallow gratin dish.

Crust:

1. In medium bowl, sift flour, salt, cornstarch, and ground ginger.

2. In bowl of stand mixer, cream butter with brown sugar and vanilla. Add 1/2 flour and

3. Mix on low speed. Scrape side of bowl with rubber spatula and add remaining flour. Stir by hand until remaining flour is just incorporated.

4. Press about 2/3 dough into prepared pan evenly. Place parchment over dough and continue to smooth by hand until very even.

5. Pour cranberry filling on top and smooth evenly with offset spatula.

6. Add toasted almond to remaining dough and gently mix, and then crumble evenly over cranberries, allowing some cranberries to show through.

7. Place on middle rack of oven and bake for 30 min. or until top begins to brown. Cool on wire rack and cut into desired shapes.

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