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You know I’m not partial to giving you guys recipes to follow…I just don’t find that people actually have the time and money to buy specific ingredients and the extra time to assemble it all.

But, I make exceptions when I see something that uses ingredients you already have around, or things you’re buying anyway. Also, if it’s particularly tasty or healthy, I’ll throw it up here for you all.

I just got a great email newsletter from Better Homes and Gardens (my baking crack source), and I couldn’t help but share their idea for a great holiday cookie you can take with you.

Cranberry-Pear Bars with Orange Frosting

You may know (from my self-admitted obession) that pears are my favorite fruit. I have them around always, and this recipe only calls for one. So you can easily grab that at the store when you’re doing your regular grocery shopping.

As far as recipes go, this one is pretty stinkin’ easy.

Cranberry-Pear Bars with Orange Frosting

1  package 2-layer-size white or yellow cake mix
2  eggs
1/2  cup butter, melted (*or you could split that and do half butter, half non-fat plain yogurt to bring the calories and fat down)
1  tablespoon finely shredded orange peel
1  firm pear, peeled, cored, and chopped
1  cup fresh or frozen cranberries, thawed
1/2  cup chopped pecans (*really any nuts I have in my cupboard are fine for this…don’t go out of your way to buy pecans)
  Easy Orange Frosting
  Ground cinnamon (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 15x10x1-inch baking pan; set aside.

2. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, eggs, melted butter, and orange peel. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds or until combined. Fold in the chopped pear, cranberries, and pecans.

3. Spread mixture in the prepared pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Frost with Easy Orange Frosting. If desired, sprinkle with ground cinnamon. Cut into bars. Makes 48 bars.

Easy Orange Frosting: In a medium bowl, thoroughly combine one 15- to 16-ounce can of vanilla frosting, 1/2 teaspoon finely shredded orange peel, and 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon.

To Store: Place bars in a single layer in an airtight container; cover. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Thanks, BHG, loving you as always.

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