Makes 10 bars
1½ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup quick oats
¾ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
¼ teaspoon ground mace
¾ cup cold salted butter
4 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
1 cup water
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• Preheat oven to 350°.
• Line an 8-inch square pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil, letting foil hang over sides of pan to create handles. Line foil with parchment paper; spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
• In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, brown sugar, and mace, stirring well. Using a pastry blender, cut butter into flour mixture until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Work mixture with fingers until mixture is uniformly moist.
• Reserve ¾ cup crumb mixture for topping. Press remaining crumb mixture into bottom of prepared baking pan, smoothing to create a level surface. Set aside.
• In a medium saucepan, combine cranberries, water, sugar, cornstarch, and cinnamon. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently. When mixture boils, reduce heat to low, but let mixture simmer until cranberries burst and mixture thickens, approximately 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Add maple syrup and vanilla extract, stirring until incorporated. Let mixture cool.
• Pour cranberry mixture over crumb crust, smoothing to create a level surface. Sprinkle with reserved crumbs.
• Bake until set and crumb topping is golden brown, approximately 40 minutes. Let cool completely.
• Lift from pan, using foil handles, and place on a cutting surface. Using a long knife, cut into bars.
• Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
Make-ahead tip: Cranberry bars can be made a week in advance and frozen in an airtight container. Cut into serving pieces while frozen. Let thaw before serving.
Kitchen Tip: To cool cranberry mixture quickly, place bowl in a larger bowl filled with ice and water, and stir frequently.
Kitchen Tip: For pretty bars, freeze whole, and cut into bars while frozen.