mulled wine crumble bars + The Curated Cookie Platter

Mulled Red Wine Cranberry Crumble Squares
Makes about 25 small squares

For the crumble:
1 orange
1 1/2 cup (187 grams) flour
1 cup (100 grams) old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup (100 grams) sugar
1/4 cup (50 grams) brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup (113 grams or 1 stick) butter, softened and cut into pieces

For the filling:
1/3 cup (78 ml) honey
1/2 cup (118 ml) red wine
6 ounces (175 grams or about 1 1/2 cups) whole cranberries, fresh or frozen
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon clove
1 tablespoon sugar + pinch of salt, as needed

Make the crumble: Zest about half the orange into the bottom of a medium bowl. Use a vegetable peeler to create a few wide strips with the remaining peel and place them in a medium saucepan since you will be using them shortly for the filling.

Whisk the flour, oats, sugars, baking powder, salt and cinnamon into the zest. Add the butter and use your fingers to work the butter in until coarse crumbs form and the mixture holds together when pressed. If it is a tad on the dry side, mix in a teaspoon or two of warm water until it holds together. Refrigerate the mixture while you make the filling.

Make the filling: Combine all ingredients (except for the sugar and salt) in a medium saucepan (your orange peel should already be hanging out in there!) and set the pan over medium heat. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove cover and turn up the heat slightly. Cook for about 5-10 minutes more until the cranberries begin to burst and the sauce has thickened. Turn off the heat and discard the orange peels. Taste the filling – if the cranberries were on the extra tart side then stir in the tablespoon of sugar and a pinch of salt. Let the filling stand for 20 minutes at room temperature, or if you are in a rush, refrigerate for 10-15 minutes. You just don’t want to put hot filling on top of the crumble.

Assemble and bake: Preheat the oven to 350. Butter an 8×8 pan and line with two overlapping pieces of parchment. Press about 2/3 of the crumble into the bottom and up the sides of the pan, using the bottom of a measuring cup to really pack in the crumble in tight. Spread the filling in an even layer over the base and crumble the remaining 1/3 of the oat mixture over the top. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top of the crumble is lightly brown and the filling is bubbling. Let cool completely, remove from the pan, and slice into small squares.