Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Cranberry Oat Bars

Cranberry Oat Bars
Some technical difficulties with my camera have kept me from updating my blog for quite some time now but finally a trip back home for Thanksgiving has given me access to the family cam. These cranberry oat bars are a little something I whipped up as a dessert contribution. After making the cranberry sauce filling on the stove and seeing how easy it was I can't imagine how anybody uses that jelly canned stuff! Cranberrys can be so tart even after adding a cup of sugar so I love how the warm cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice in these bars offset the tartness of the cranberry. These travelled extremely well to my upstate New York Thanksgiving table, are easily cut into small or large squares for anyone to enjoy and can be frozen for a few weeks if necessary.

12 ounce package whole cranberries
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 package yellow cake mix
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

In a small saucepan combine the cranberries, sugar and water over medium heat. Stir occasionally for about fifteen minutes or until every cranberry has burst and the sugar is dissolved. The mixture should look more like a compote at this point. Take the cranberry sauce off of the heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, oats, brown sugar and spices and whisk all dry ingredients together. Next add the eggs and melted butter and stir with a wooden spoon. The consistency of this mixture is going to be closer to a dough than a cake batter. Make sure everything is well combined, especially the brown sugar that tends to get clumpy. Reserve a cup and a half of the dough in a bowl. Then, spray a nine by thirteen baking dish with cooking spray. Spread the remaining portion of the dough on the bottom of the pan like a crust making sure to reach all edges of the pan. Pour all of the cooled cranberry mixture on top of the dough and spread evenly with a spatula. Then, evenly distribute the reserved dough on top of the cranberry sauce in small dollops. When this bakes you get gorgeous golden brown nuggets of dough and you can see the bright colored cranberry sauce underneath. Bake in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Allow to cool on a rack for an hour or so and then cut into bars and enjoy!

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