Cranberry Pretzel Macadamia Bars

For holiday get-togethers, my godmother nearly always brings strawberry pretzel dessert. I love the sweet and salty taste of it. I was looking for a recipe where I could use up some pretzels, dried cranberries, and macadamia nuts left over from my holiday baking brigade. So when I found this recipe, I knew I had to give it a try. I made a couple adaptions to the recipe. First of all, I didn’t have quite enough pretzels so I crushed up some saltine crackers and threw them in. Secondly, I added some coconut to the recipe and sprinkled it over the pretzel crust along with the cranberries and macadamia nuts.

This recipe was adapted from Land O’ Lake’s Cranberry Pretzel Macadamia Bars.

Cranberry Pretzel Macadamia Bars

Crust Ingredients:
2 cups finely crushed pretzels
3 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 egg whites, beaten

Filling Ingredients:
1 cup dried cranberries
2/3 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1 cup coarsely chopped roasted macadamia nuts
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

Topping Ingredients:
1/2 cup white baking chips
1 teaspoon shortening

Heat oven to 325°F. Line 13×9-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, extending foil over edges.

Combine pretzels and brown sugar in medium bowl; stir in 1/2 cup melted butter until well mixed. Stir in beaten egg whites. Press onto bottom of prepared pan. Bake 8 minutes; sprinkle cranberries, coconut, and nuts over hot, partially baked crust.

Combine 1/2 cup butter and 1/2 cup brown sugar in 2-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Pour evenly over cranberries, coconut, and nuts in pan. Continue baking for 18 to 20 minutes or until caramel layer is bubbly and golden.

Place white baking chips and shortening in small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on MEDIUM (50% power), stirring occasionally, until chips are melted and smooth (45 to 60 seconds). Drizzle over bars. Cool completely. Lift bars out of pan using foil ends; cut into bars.


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