Cranberry Nut Bars with Rosemary
Makes 24 to 32 bars
These buttery bars are tart, sweet, nutty, and fragrant with a pleasant surprise of rosemary. Use the larger amount of rosemary for a stronger herbal flavor, less for a milder one. Store any leftovers in an airtight container.
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
12/3 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
11/2 cups unbleached flour
3 extra-large eggs
11/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Zest of 1 orange
1/2 teaspoon salt
11/2 teaspoons baking powder
3 to 4 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, minced
11/4 cups hazelnuts, toasted, rubbed from their skins, and coarsely chopped, or pecan or walnut halves (not toasted)
7/8 cup dried cranberries or cherries, coarsely chopped
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly butter a 9-by-13-inch pan.
In a food processor or a bowl, place the butter, 2/3 cup brown sugar, 11/4 cups flour, and pinch of salt. Process, or mix in the bowl with a pastry blender, until crumbly. Pat the crust into the prepared pan and bake for 12 minutes or until just golden. Let cool briefly. Reduce the heat to 350°F.
Beat the eggs with the remaining cup of brown sugar. Blend in the vanilla, orange zest, remaining 1/4 cup of flour, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and baking powder. Stir in the rosemary. Evenly spread the nuts and cranberries over the crust and top with the batter.
Bake for 22 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean and the top is golden brown. Cool on a rack and then cut into bars.