Cranberry-Macadamia (Pecan) Bars

Here's the second recipe for cookies I made for a cookie tray Christmas gift. This is a fancier cookie than what I normally make, but I wanted to make some varieties that I knew no one else had given them yet. Plus, the bar cookies were easier than drop cookies. Just like the Chocolate Revel Bars, this recipe comes from that Better Homes & Gardens red and white plaid binder cookbook most of us have in our collection. Just a note: I always use pecans in this recipe.

Cranberry-Macadamia Bars

1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. finely chopped macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, or pecans

1 1/4 c. sugar
2 beaten eggs
2 T. milk
1 tsp. finely shredded orange peel
1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 c. finely chopped macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, or pecans
1 c. finely chopped cranberries
1/2 c. coconut

In a mixing bowl stir together the flour and the 3/4 c. sugar. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until misture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the 1/2 c. nuts. Press flour mixture into the bottom of an ungreased 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Bake in a 350 oven for 10-15 minutes or until the crust is light brown around the edges.

Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl combine the 1 1/4 c. sugar, eggs, milk, orange peel, and vanilla. Beat until combined. Pour over the hot crust. Sprinkle with the 1/2 c. nuts, cranberries, and coconut.

Bake in the 350 oven for 30 minutes more or until golden. Cool slightly in pan on a wire rack. Cut into bars while warm. Cool completely in pan.
My notes: I lined my pan with parchment paper. After allowing the bars to cool for a bit, I lifted the entire pan of cookies out onto a cooling rack to finish cooling. I didn't cut the bars until they were completely cool. The orange zest in these cookies makes all the difference in the world, so if you try the recipe, don't let that out! Thanks for stopping by!

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