We’re just a few weeks away from Thanksgiving, a holiday I absolutely love. In fact I probably have more of a fondness and appreciation for this holiday over Christmas since it is not as commercialized. The First Thanksgiving was celebrated by the Pilgrims after their first harvest in the New World. Today Thanksgiving evokes images of football, family reunions, Thanksgiving parades, roasted turkey with stuffing, pumpkin pie and giving thanks. For most Americans it is a 4 day weekend, Thanksgiving being celebrated on the 4th Thursday of November. It is a holiday I look forward to as it involves togetherness, food, warmth and sharing.
I’m still in holiday baking mode here, (this was drafted the week before Christmas, so I had to post this). To be honest, I’m detoxing for the month of January. Just too many goodies were consumed by moi for the entire month. But these delicious beauties with cranberries, oats, dates and pecans will have you reaching out for more than one square at a time. They can really be made at any time, but adds a festive touch just around Christmas. They freeze and refrigerate extremely well too.They are so easy to assemble, and I guarantee the results will not disappoint. I find myself baking more over the holiday season than at any other time. In years past, I’d assemble about half a dozen cookies and squares in pretty decorative boxes with snazzy ribbons and hand these out to neighbors and friends over Christmas. It has been a wonderful holiday season, our girls were home for the holidays, we had some friends grace our Christmas table to celebrate good cheer and I cooked turkey and all the trimmings, as we were away for Thanksgiving. A short and sweet introduction to these flavorful squares. Happy New Year friends!
Cranberry-Caramel Streusel Squares
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup icing sugar
- 2/3 cup butter, chilled and cut into chunks
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
- 2 tbs granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 butter, melted
- 1 bottle caramel sauce (12.25oz)
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup cranberries (fresh or frozen)
- 10 oz. dates, pitted and sliced
- 1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
Preheat oven to 350 deg. Grease a 9″x 13″ pan and set aside. In a medium-size bowl, using a fork, stir the flour with the icing sugar until mixed. Cut in the butter until the mixture is crumbly. Turn the mixture into the baking dish, press firmly and evenly over the bottom of the dish. Bake in the center of the oven until the edges are golden, from 20-25 minutes. Remove from the oven. Meanwhile, for the streusel, stir 1/2 cup flour with the oats in a medium-size bowl with brown sugar, granulated sugar and baking soda. Stir in the melted butter until mixture is crumbly, set aside.
Now in a large bowl, stir in the caramel sauce with 1/3 cup flour. Stir in the cranberries, dates and pecans.
Sprinkle top with streusel mixture, return to the oven, bake until the top is light brown from 35-40 minutes.
Remove from the oven, cool at least 30 minutes.
Cut into 24 squares, then cool completely in the baking dish. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 1 week or freeze up to 3 months.