Cranberry Turtle Bars

These bars were on our “cookie plate” this year that we gave to friends.  Three friends asked that I put the recipe on my blog.  They are chewy and delicious and taste of caramel.  This recipe does require a candy thermometer or knowledge of the soft ball stage and totally worth the effort.  The recipe is from a class with Christine Law who was a pastry chef for Postrio in San Francisco.

These would be wonderful for an Open House Party during the Holidays.

Crust:
3 cup all purpose flour
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
¾ tsp. salt
1 cup + 2 Tablespoons of unsalted butter, cut into ¼ inch pieces

Filling:
1 ½ cups unsalted butter
2 ½ cups granulated sugar
¼ cup + 2 Tablespoons light corn syrup
¾ teaspoon salt
2 ¼ cup fresh cranberries
1 ½ teaspoon vanilla
4 ½ cups pecan pieces, toasted   [Toast at 325F for about 10 minutes]

Crust:  Combine flour, brown sugar, salt, and butter in a food process fitted with metal blade.  Process until moist clumps form.  Line a flat half sheet pan with aluminum foil.  Press crumb crust evenly into bottom of the pan.  Bake at 350 degrees F until golden and firm to the touch, about 15 – 20 minutes.  Let crust cool before filling. 

Filling:  In a 4 quart saucepan, combine butter, sugar, corn syrup, and salt.  Wash down the sides of the pot with a wet pastry brush just one or twice at the beginning of cooking.  Cook syrup over medium-high flame until it reaches 245 F on the candy thermometer.  Stirring is not necessary at this point.  Add cranberries and whisk to combine.  Cook until temperature reaches 245 F again.  This will take about 10 minutes, and it is necessary to stir occasionally to keep cranberries from sticking to the bottom of the pot.  When mixture is ready, cranberries will have broken down.  Remove pot from the heat and immediately add pecans and vanilla.   Pour mixture into shell and spread flat.  Cool to room temperature.  Cut into 1 inch square bars.  Wrap and store some of the bars at room temperature and freeze the remaining in a sealed container until needed.

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