There’s something so wonderful about the flavor of tart cranberry in winter months. Is it coincidence that the berries are harvested just in time for holiday baking? I think not! Mother Nature gives us just what we need to wake up sleepy winter taste buds.
These bars hold a tart layer of jammy cranberry between two layers of vanilla-scented oat crust. They would be right at home on any holiday cookie tray, but I often found myself craving them for breakfast with coffee (oats = breakfast, right?).
These come together quickly because the ingredients are so simple. Chances are you have all the ingredients for the crust in your pantry.
The crust is held together with a whole cup (!) of melted butter.
Brown sugar makes the crust packable. Above you can see half of the oat mixture pressed into the bottom of a 13×9 dish.
Cranberries are cooked down with sugar to a jam-like consistency. Be sure to cover the pan as you cook them! When they pop a little bit of hot berry juice will burst forth and could cause burns.
Just look at that red color! The jam is so pretty absolutely brimming with tart flavor. After the berries are spread over the crust, the remaining oat mixture is sprinkled on top.
Despite the ‘crumble’ in the recipe title, the bars slice rather cleanly. Large square bars make a hearty breakfst, but I plan to cut smaller pieces for holiday cookie trays. They are a cozy treat and so season appropriate!
Cranberry-Oat Crumble Bars
- 13×9 inch baking dish
- 2 cups 260g all-purpose flour
- 2 cups 200g quick-cooking oats
- 1 1/2 cups 320g brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup 2 sticks, 226g unsalted butter, melted
- 4 cups 640g fresh cranberries
- 1 1/4 cups 250g granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Combine flour, oats, sugar, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Stir in melted butter and mix until crumbly. Press half of the mixture into a greased 13×9-inch baking dish. Bake 8 minutes.
- Combine cranberries, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla in a large sauce pan; cover and cook over medium-high heat until berries pop. Reduce heat to medium and cook until mixture thickens to a jam-like consistency.
- Spoon the filling evenly over the crust; sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture. Bake 25 minutes or until the filling is bubbly and the topping is golden brown. Let cool 20 minutes, or until the filling is set. Cut into bars and serve.