Cranberry Chai Crumb Bars
Makes 16 Bars
Crumb Bars Crust
- 1 1/2 Cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, Spooned and Leveled
- 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
- 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
- 1/4 Cup + 2 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar
- 1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter, Cold, Cubed
- 2-3 Tablespoons Dona Chai’s Masala Chai Concentrate, Cold
- 3 Cups Fresh or Frozen Cranberries
- 3/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
- 1/2 Cup + 1 Tablespoon Water
- 3/4 Cup Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, Spooned and Leveled
- 1/4 Cup + 2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, Melted
- 1/4 Cup Sliced Almonds, Toasted
- 3 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar
- Pinch of Salt, Optional
- 1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar, Sifted
- 1/2 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter, Melted
- 1-2 Tablespoons Whole Milk or Milk of Choice
- 1/4 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
In a medium saucepan, mix together the cranberries, sugar, water and chai spice.
Bring cranberry mixture to a boil under medium high heat. Reduce heat to medium and cook cranberry mixture, stirring intermittently, until its juices thickens into a syrup-like consistency, about 8-10 minutes.
With the back of a large spoon or a masher, mash some of the cranberries in the filling while leaving some whole.
Transfer cranberry filling into a medium mixing bowl and allow to cool to room temperature.
Crumb Bars Crust
Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly grease and line an 8 x 8 inch square baking pan with parchment paper allowing for some overhang. This will make it easier to remove the crumb bars from the pan once baked.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, chai spice and salt.
Add all of the cubed butter into the bowl with the dry ingredients.
Using a pastry cutter or your hands, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture takes on a crumbly appearance with pea-sized pieces of butter present.
With a fork, mix in 2 tablespoons of the masala chai concentrate into the dry mixture just until it starts to clump up into a ball. If the crust mixture appears dry and overly crumbly, mix in the additional concentrate 1/2 tablespoon at a time.
Transfer crust dough to prepared baking pan and press into an even layer using your hands or the back of a measuring cup.
Bake the crust dough for 18-20 minutes just until it has lightly golden brown edges and no longer looks wet in the center.
As the crust bakes, prepare the crumb topping. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, chai spice and salt (optional).
Pour the melted butter into the bowl with the dry ingredients and use a fork to combine.
Allow the crumb mixture to firm up, about 5-10 minutes. Once firm, use your hands or a fork to break up the larger clumps into smaller pieces before mixing in the almonds.
Evenly spread cranberry filling over the crust once it is removed from the oven.
Next, sprinkle the crumb topping in an even layer over the cranberry filling.
Bake the crumb bars, rotating the pan halfway through bake time, for 25-30 minutes or until the cranberry filling looks mostly set and the crumb topping appears golden brown without looking wet.
Cool crumb bars in pan for 2-3 hours before removing and cutting into 16 equal pieces.
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, melted butter, vanilla extract and 1 tablespoon of milk into a smooth, pourable glaze. If glaze appears too thick, whisk in addition milk 1/2 teaspoon at a time.
Drizzle the glaze over cooled, cut bars and allow to set before serving.