Cranberry Walnut Bars

     Welcome to this weeks From Out Dinner Table! This week we are focusing on all the fun things you can do with a fun little winter fruit, the tart and vibrant cranberry. We all love squash and pumpkin, especially pumpkin spice this time of year but as soon as that is over we transition right to peppermint and cranberry doesn't get enough of its time in the spotlight. They are tangy, tart, fruity, and best of all bright pink. Seriously though, there isn't any food coloring in these bars and just look at that color! 

    Let talk about the cranberry for a minute. Cranberries aren't something you can plant in your garden and enjoy your own hard work. Unless you live in a bog. Because that is where cranberries like to grown. They grown on a vine through the late spring to late fall, almost winter. The night before harvest the bog is flooded with 1-2 feet of water and left overnight. Then the farmers trudge through the flooded bog with sticks poking at the vines to loosen the berries which float to the surface. From the surface the fruit is collected and loaded in to a truck to be taken for packaging. 

    What is mahalab? Well, it's a spice common in middle eastern cooking that is made from the center part of the pit of cherries. Sounds peculiar? It's actually delicious, it adds a fruityness with spiced notes without being as distinct as cinnamon or allspice. It goes perfectly in wintery desserts and just about any crust. I also use it in gluten free baked goods for a bit of additional flavor. It's easy to find on Amazon but if you can't find it or don't want to order, no worries, it's great without it. 

    The elderflower cordial is another fun ingredient that adds so much to the final dish. It can be purchased at most World Markets and online through Amazon. I have seen it once or twice at Homegoods, TJMaxx, and Ross, but inconsistently. 

Cranberry Creations

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Cranberry Walnut Bars
1 (12 oz.) bag fresh cranberries
2/3 c. sugar
3/4 c. water
1/2 c. Belvoir Fruit Farms Elderflower Cordial
1/2 tsp. Orange blossom water
3 eggs
1 Tbsp. cornstarch

2 3/4 c. flour
1 Tbsp. Mahalab (optional)
1/2 c. walnuts
2 sticks butter, melted
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cornstarch

    Pre-heat the oven to 350*F. Once the oven is heated add the walnuts to a dry pan and place it in the oven. Toast the walnuts in the oven for 12-15 minutes or until toasted. Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool. 

    In a medium saucepan heat the cranberries, water, and sugar. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes or until the cranberries are broken down and jammy. Remove from the heat and add to a high powered blender. Add the elderflower cordial and orange blossom water and puree on high. Once the cranberries are pureed keep blender for 5 minutes to be completely smooth. 

    In a food processor combine the flour, mahalab, walnuts, sugar, salt, and cornstarch and blend until smooth. Add the vanilla extract to the butter. While the food processor is still running add the butter and run just until it's about 75% incorporated. Remove from the food processor and and continue mixing with your hands. Press the mixture into a tin foil lines baking dish. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until starting to be golden around the edges. Remove from the oven. 

    Whisk together one of the eggs and the tablespoon of cornstarch. Whisk until smooth. Add the remaining two eggs and whisk again. Add the eggs and cornstarch to the cranberry mixture in the blender and blend again until smooth. Pour the mixture over the crust layer and return to the oven. Bake for 25 minutes or until the mixture is jiggly in the middle but set. Turn the oven off and open the door but leave the bars in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Chill over night before cutting into bars. 


  1. Love the layers! Looks absolutely delicious and a must-make!

  2. These bars are absolutely beautiful! Love the layers - and a perfect holiday treat!

  3. EPIC! These tasted as good as they look - will defo be making them again

  4. Yum! Can't wait to try these for the holidays. Thanks for sharing :)

  5. I'm pinning this to make for the holidays! CANNOT wait!! :)

  6. I need to find that elderflower cordial so I can make these. We love cranberry anything and your bars look perfect for Christmas.

  7. The bars look absolutely beautiful. A perfect holiday treat for the family.

  8. Lovely color! I am very excited to try this. Will surely do! Thanks for sharing!

  9. These look amazing! I was looking for a cranberry dessert to make and this looks perfect.

  10. The color on those bars is so pretty!

  11. These are soooooo pretty!!! I actually have some Mahalab in the spice rack too!!!

  12. Love the two different layers, looks delicious!

  13. The bars are gorgeous and I love the different flavors

  14. That cookie bottom is calling my name! I love that idea and the layer on top is so pretty.

  15. I've never heard of mahalab--I love discovering tasty new ingredients! And the bars are so pretty and festive!

  16. These bars look gorgeous! I never had a chance of using mahlab though I have seen some recipes using it. I would love to try this amazing bars asap.


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