Double Chocolate Pecan Cranberry Bars

These have got to be my favourite Christmas treat of all time. Some I enjoy because it is Christmas and it seems only right to have them, these are a different story completely. They offer up the best of all things. They are chewy, yet crunchy and soft and gooey. There is a little saltiness with sweet. I really struggle to find a reason not to eat them and I always run out of these well before Christmas even arrives.

Again, I owe this recipe to my cousin – where would I be without her inspiration? They formed part of yet another photo of her baking which I absolutely had to have the recipe for. I have shared it around to almost everyone who has tasted them. In some ways I wish they were a little more complicated and proprietary. However, they are the type of things that looks unassuming and will quickly win you over.

The best part, these are so easy to prepare that you can easily whip them up in the evening and be eating a slice before you go to bed! Trust me, I know. Now, don’t be surprised if you pull them out of the oven and find they don’t look as ‘pretty’ as you hoped. I have tried my hand at all sorts of ways to make them look better and have failed miserably. Photogenic they are not – I won’t even let you know how much effort went into make the picture look sell-able. Otherwise you would never have even opened this recipe page!!

If there is one thing you need to add to your Christmas baking, this is it. You won’t regret it.

Note – for my dairy-free and vegan friends, I have been desperate to give soya alternative condensed ‘milk’ a go with this, but have not yet organised myself with powdered soya milk to do so. If anyone gets to this before me and has some suggestions, please pass them along! 

9×9 inch tin

Makes 2 Dozen

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  • 150g (1 1/2 cups) Digestive biscuits, broken
  • 1/2 cup Butter, or dairy free spread, melted
  • 110g (1 cup) Pecan, halves
  • 180 g (1 1/2 cups) dried Cranberries (or dried sour cherries if you are not keen on the taste)
  • 1 cup (90g) flaked Coconut, if possible use long shred, although desicated still works
  • 110g (3/4 cup) Dark Chocolate
  • 110g (3/4 cup) White Chocolate
  • 1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk

Set the oven to 175C / 350F

Begin by preparing the base. The recipes I have found suggest using a 13×9 inch tin, but I found a 9×9 inch one seems to work better for me. Line the tin/or glass casserole dish with parchment. (This will allow you to remove it easily later.)

In a food processor, break the digestives up into the bowl and blitz them until you have a fine crumb. Melt the butter and then pour this into the bowl and blitz again until combined. Pour the crumb into your lined tin and press firmly into the bottom. Set aside.

In a large bowl, measure out the coconut and cranberries. Add the pecans, breaking up about half of them with your hands as you go. If you are using chocolate chips, measure these and place them into the bowl as well. Otherwise, if you are using bars, chop them roughly with a sharp cooks knife and then decant these into the bowl. Give everything in the bowl a bit of toss to distribute things evenly.

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Pour in the condensed milk over the mixed topping and stir it through, making sure everything has been coated. Tip this over the pressed biscuit base and level it out, pressing it down gently to make sure there are no large pockets of air but not so much as to flatten the contents so they are squished. You want a bit of rough texture with these.

Place in the pre-heated oven and bake for 25-28 minutes, the edges should be just starting to colour. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before cutting into small squares. (I find placing them in the fridge for a while and using a serrated bread knife gives the best finish)

Store in an airtight container and store them in the fridge, or somewhere cool for up to a week. Alternatively wrap them well with cling film and place in the freezer for 4-6 weeks, allow them to come to room temperature for a few minutes before eating.

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. erin says:

    lady! i have been making my own sweetened condensed milk using coconut milk and a bit of sugar! http://www.howsweeteats.com/2015/05/homemade-sweetened-condensed-coconut-milk-for-iced-coffee/
    was just about to make these today actually. nice timing. xo

    Like

    1. No way! This is brilliant. Thanks for sending this along. I will definitely be looking at making this. xx

      Like

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