This recipe is a great way to use up any leftover cranberry sauce you may have from holiday meals. I find whole berry works best but if you like the jelly kind, use it too. Store bought, in a can or fresh, any cranberry sauce will work out quite well.
For the best, make your own cranberry sauce.
Oatmeal Cranberry Bars
Pre-heat the oven to 350°F. Prepare a 9 x 13 inch baking pan. Spray the bottom and sides with baking spray, line the pan with a sheet of parchment, allowing the sides of the paper to overhang on the long edge of the pan. This makes for easy removal from the pan after the bars are baked. Simply lift the paper and the whole thing can be moved to a cutting board or platter.
Spray the parchment with baking spray. Set aside until ready to use.
Make the dough:
- 8 ounces soft unsalted butter
- 1 1/4 cups packed light or dark brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
Using a mixer with a paddle attachment, add the butter and sugar, mix just until it comes together.
Add the eggs and vanilla.
Mix together: flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and pecans in a separate bowl. Add the mixture to the butter and eggs, stirring slowly to combine, slowly add all of the oats and mix only until combined.
Press 1/2 of the dough into the bottom of the baking pan.
Dot the cream cheese over the surface of the dough.
Using the remaining half of the dough, dollop it over the top of the cranberries and cream cheese.
Bake in the pre-heated 350°F for 45 minutes or until the top is lightly golden brown.
When the bars come out, drop 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips on top. The heat from the baked bars will melt the chips, then spread the melted chocolate in swirled patterns over the top. You could drizzle some fondant icing over them too but that might be overkill.
Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack for about 1 hour.
Carefully lifting the sides of the overhanging paper, lift the baked bars onto a cutting board and cut them into the desired size with a sharp knife. Sprinkle any crumbles over yogurt.
Store covered at room temperature for up to 7 days. (If they last that long!)
- Recipe: Cranberry Swirl Lemon Bread (domestocrat.wordpress.com)