Now that Thanksgiving is over, I am more than ready to transition into the holiday baking season. I love this time of year and all of the baking that comes along with it. Whether it is for a gift, a cookie swap or just for myself, I always enjoy finding and trying new holiday cookie recipes. Sometimes the recipes turn out great and sometimes they are just okay. Sometimes they are worth sharing with others and sometimes they aren’t. These cranberry-oat bars? So good and definitely worth sharing.
I love almost any dessert with cranberries and these cranberry-oats bars are no exception. A buttery cookie crust is topped with a layer of cranberry jam and then the remaining dough is sprinkled on top of the cranberry jam. This particular recipe yields about 24 bars (depending on the size you cut them) but I have also halved the recipe and baked it an 8×8 inch baking pan with similar success. So now that December is here, happy holiday baking everyone!
- 2 cups fresh cranberries
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup water
- 2 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1½ cups light brown sugar
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, combine the cranberries, water and sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook, stirring often, for about 2-3 minutes. The cranberries should burst and the juice should begin to thicken. Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow the mixture to cool for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a 9x13 inch baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang on two opposite sides. Spray the aluminum foil with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the oats, flour, ground cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and brown sugar until light and creamy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the egg and beat until combined. Reduce the speed of the mixer and slowly add the flour/oat mixture to the bowl. Mix until just combined.
- Transfer ⅔ of the dough to the prepared baking pan. Spread the dough into an even layer. Spread the cranberry mixture in an even layer over the dough and then drop spoonfuls of the remaining dough over the cranberry mixture.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the top is golden brown in color. Allow the pan to cool on a wire rack for at least 2 hours before removing the bars and cutting them into 24 equal pieces.
Source: Recipe adapted from America’s Test Kitchen Best Ever Christmas Cookies