Sunday, December 16, 2012

Dark Rum Cranberry Apple Mincemeat Squares

Finally!  The very first batch of Christmas cookies are done. Honestly, I didn't think it was ever going to happen.  

Just so much going on with work, Christmas shopping, a fun trip to Cleveland last weekend, sauerkraut making class yesterday (more on that SOON!) and just all the everyday stuff we all have going on. How do any of us do this?!

One way I am doing it this year is to simplify.  Instead of a fussy cookie, this super easy bar cookie was what I managed to fit in between everything else today. Bar cookies are a busy cookie baker's best friend, you know.  

In this case, it was a simple matter of throwing some ingredients into the food processor and pulsing a few times, chopping an apple to mix with store-bought mincemeat and a couple other items and then layering the two before baking.  Cool, cut into squares and there you have it.  Almost instant, deliciously Christmas-y cookie bars.  

Yep, all the cookies this year are going to be just as easy....don't we ALL need a little break?!

  Dark Rum Cranberry Apple Mincemeat Squares
  • 2 cups oats, gluten-free to makes these GF or regular if gluten isn't an issue
  • 2 cups flour, Jules gluten-free flour or regular all purpose flour if gluten isn't an issue
  • 1 3/4 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 sticks butter, cold, cut into small dice
  • 1 cup pecans

  • 1 jar mincemeat, Crosse and Blackwell brand
  • 1 large apple, peeled, cored, fine dice
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 3 tablespoons dark rum, I used Kraken - use your favorite

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9" X 13" baking dish with 2" sides.  Butter all the way up and well.

Using a food processor, add oats, flour, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon and butter.  Pulse until the butter is well incorporated.

Press 2/3 of the flour mixture into the bottom of the buttered pan.  Press firmly and evenly into place.

Add the nuts to the flour mixture in the bowl of the food processor and pulse until the nuts are chopped into the mixture.  Set aside.

Mix the mincemeat, diced apple, cranberries and rum together well.  Spread evenly over the flour mixture in the bottom of the pan.  Using your hands, evenly spread the flour and nut mixture over the top of the filling.  Press down firmly and evenly.

Bake 60-70 minutes until the top is browned nicely and the filling begins to bubble up around the edges.  Remove from oven and cool completely on a rack.  I like to wait until the next day to cut this into squares. 
NOTE:  This could be even easier if I didn't go to the bother of adding fresh apple to the mixture.  Why do I do it then?  Because my mom always added fresh apple to her mincemeat mixture.  She said it gave a fresher taste.  I agree.  That's why I add cranberries and rum, too.  Well....maybe the rum is just to make it a little boozy tasting.  Nothing wrong with that.

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