There are times when you don’t want to get into a recipe that’s overly time-consuming; times where you want something that’s quick and easy. Using canned whole cranberry sauce makes this recipe for an unusual holiday bar effortless – and ready in under an hour.
Contributing to their uniqueness is that cranberries really are seasonal, appearing at Thanksgiving and Christmas only. Tart and sweet, even people who say they “don’t really like cranberries” find they like these holiday bars.
To protect your baking pan, using parchment or foil slings is essential, but don’t do what I did. I must’ve been working on auto-pilot and only put in one piece – as seen above. Putting in the second, which would cover all exposed sides, would’ve meant much easier removal; it works well to lift out the whole piece, pop it on a cutting board, and then cut into pieces.
When adding the topping, leave some of the filling exposed. It gives a peek of what’s inside and will help it stay crumbly. If you refrigerate the pan once it’s baked and cooled, don’t cover the top. Just like any apple/fruit crisp, you do want it to stay crispy – which makes a nice contrast to the base. You can press small pieces of parchment to any cut & exposed sides, if you wish.
Easy. Quick. Tasty. Much like Pfeffernusse: Spicy Holiday Cookies these Easy Cranberry Oat Bars are a must-have in my holiday baking, and just might become part of the annual tradition in your home.
- 1 cup whole oats
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 can whole-berry cranberry sauce
- Preheat your oven to 350°
- Prepare the parchment paper (or foil) slings for an 8x8” baking pan. Set aside.
- Combine all dry ingredients in medium sized bowl.
- Add butter and mix to make various sized crumbles.
- Put just over half in the prepared 8" pan, pressing down gently to make the base.
- Add the cranberry sauce, spreading it evenly.
- Crumble over the remaining oat flour mixture, leaving some of the filling peaking through.
- Bake 25 - 30 minutes, until golden brown and filling is bubbling.
- Let cool and set in pan.
- Remove using the slings. Place on cutting board, and cut into squares.
- *The slings should be cut to fit the bottom, and overhang by about 2" on the sides.