Friday, December 10, 2010

Cranberry sauce oatmeal bars

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I have a quantity problem in general. When it's just my immediate family, I end up with enough for two dinners and three lunchboxes. When I'm having 10 people for dinner, I make enough for 20. When 20 people are coming for Thanksgiving, I cook for the whole neighborhood. It's not that I don't like leftovers - I do, and I have many tricks for disguising and repurposing them. It's just that the overcooking is so...involuntary. Just once I'd like to make exactly the right amount. Once.

Anyway, after Thanksgiving I always end up with extra cranberry sauce. But that's not a bad thing. Because I've discovered cranberry oatmeal bars.

I've tried cranberry bars with a shortbread crust and crumble topping, but I prefer this version. It's more wholesome and has more texture. It doesn't hold together particularly well, so I served it right from the pan. If you're going to cut them ahead of time, keep the platter in the refrigerator until you're ready to put it out - that should help the bars keep their shape.

Normally I use regular five-minute rolled oats, but I happened to have a bag of Coach's Oats from Costco. The bag says "Cracked 'n Toasted Oats - Hearty steel cut texture in 5 minutes!" It looks a lot more like wheat germ than like rolled oats. I'd like to try these bars again with standard rolled oats, but the Coach's Oats did give the bars an interesting texture.

Cranberry oatmeal bars
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup uncooked oats
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup whole cranberry sauce
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder and melted butter with a fork until crumbly. Press about 2/3 of the mixture into an 8-inch square baking pan, covering the bottom and about 1/2 inch up the sides.Spread the cranberry sauce over the crust in the pan. Sprinkle with the reserved crumbs.

Bake 20-30 minutes or until top is golden brown. Cool completely before cutting.

3 comments:

Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite said...

What a fantastic recipe! So easy, and pretty healthy (compared to some holiday treats) and a great way to use up extra cranberry sauce, which yes, I *always* have too much of! Yum!

Monet said...

My mom is famous for making FAR more food than we could ever eat. So I know that we will have extra sauce come December 26th. I'm sending this recipe to her now so that we will have some baking to do that Sunday morning. Thank you for sharing with me. I hope you have a great Monday!

Barbara @ Modern Comfort Food said...

I have the same overachiever tendencies when I cook and have become quite the leftovers ninja as a result. I've still got a supply of Thanksgiving cranberry/orange relish stashed away in the freezer, and these bars are such a delicious way to use it up. A bit less sugar = breakfast bars? I wonder.

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