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Holiday cookies: Triple-ginger cranberry bars

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press
Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - 12:01 am

These bars are a serious triple-ginger threat. We packed three varieties of ginger into these tender, chewy bars — grated fresh ginger, dry ground ginger and chopped crystalized ginger. Combined with the elderflower liqueur-soaked cranberries that stud the bars, it is an intoxicating combination (but still child-friendly, though you may not be willing to share).

Want to go for a fourth source of ginger? Swap ginger liqueur for the elderflower. And if cranberries aren't your style, chopped dried apricots or dried cherries would be good, too.

Triple-ginger cranberry bars

Start to finish: 45 minutes (plus overnight soaking)

Makes 24 bars

1 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup Saint Germain elderflower liqueur

2 cups packed brown sugar

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

3 eggs

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

1 teaspoon dry ground ginger

1/2 cup chopped crystallized ginger

1/2 cup slivered almonds

In small bowl or glass, combine the cranberries and liqueur. Cover and let soak overnight.

When ready to cook, heat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9-inch-by-13-inch baking pan with cooking spray, then line it with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, use an electric mixer to beat together the brown sugar, butter and salt until light and fluffy. With the mixer running, add the eggs, one at a time, scraping the bowl between each addition.

Stir in the flour, fresh ginger, ground ginger and the soaked cranberries (they should have completely absorbed the liqueur).

Spread the mixture into the prepared baking pan. Sprinkle the top with the chopped crystallized ginger and the slivered almonds. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until light golden brown and slightly firm to the touch. Let cool completely in the pan, then cut into 24 bars. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.

Per bar: 230 calories; 70 calories from fat (30 percent of total calories); 8 g fat (4 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 40 mg cholesterol; 37 g carbohydrate; 1 g fiber; 24 g sugar; 3 g protein; and 135 mg sodium.