The City Magazine Since 1975

Cranberry Orange Gingerbread Bars

From the kitchen of Wildflour Pastry 73 Spring St., (843) 327-2621, (Yields 32 bars)
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2 cups dried cranberries
2 cups fresh orange juice
3¼ cups all-purpose flour
1½ tsp. baking soda
1½ tsp. ginger
1½ tsp. cinnamon
3⁄4 tsp. cloves
3⁄4 tsp. allspice
1⁄2 tsp. kosher salt
9 oz. unsalted butter
1¼ cups sugar
1 Tbs. coffee
1⁄2 cup molasses
1 Tbs. grated fresh ginger
Zest of 1 orange
1⁄4 cup thinly sliced candied ginger


Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a nine- by 13-inch baking pan. Line the bottom with a piece of parchment paper, leaving a few inches overhanging the long sides of the pan.
Put the cranberries and juice in a medium saucepan over medium heat and cook until the cranberries have absorbed most of the juice, about 10 minutes. Remove the saucepan from heat and transfer the cranberries and liquid to a bowl. Stir occasionally until cool. Drain the berries, reserving the liquid. Set both aside.
Whisk together the flour, baking soda, spices, and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
 Put the butter and sugar in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the liquid from the cranberries, coffee, molasses, grated ginger, and orange zest and mix until just combined. Turn the mixer to low speed and add all of the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. Scrape half of the batter into the prepared pan. Use a rubber spatula to smooth the top.
Place the bowl back on the mixer and add the cranberries to the remaining batter. Mix on low speed until just combined. Scrape the batter into the pan, smoothing the top with a rubber spatula. Sprinkle the thinly sliced candied ginger evenly over the top.
Bake until the bars are cooked through and a toothpick inserted into the center of the pan comes out clean, 30 to 40 minutes. Rotate the pan from back to front halfway through the baking time. Remove the pan from the oven. Let the bars cool in the pan for at least four hours. Use the overhanging parchment paper to lift the bars out of the pan. Using a serrated knife, cut into two-inch by two-inch bars. Store the bars in a tin or other tightly closed container, layering parchment paper or waxed paper between them. They will keep for three days.