I may or may not be a hoarder of cranberries. No judging. What can I say – they’re one of my favorite superfruits. In case you didn’t know – cranberry prices drop like crazy after the holidays. Another FYI – those little baggies freeze perfectly. Just throw them in the freezer as is – it doesn’t get any easier then that. I watch the prices drop and then load up. First sale was $1.00 a bag – I grabbed a few. Second sale was 3 for $1.00 – so I grabbed 6. With 10 bags of cranberries in my freezer, it’s time to get to using them. These Cranberry Chocolate Oat Bars are a great start.
First off, I don’t bother thawing the cranberries. I rinse them off in a colander and throw them in a saucepan, followed by sugar and water over medium heat. After 15 – 20 minutes, some occasional stirring and a few spritzes of molten cranberry to the face (be careful) – you should be done. You want a jam-like consistency with most of the berries “popped”.
You can mix everything else up as the cranberry cools down a bit. Set aside a heaping 1 1/2 cup of the batter (flour/sugar mixture). Prep a 13×9 baking dish. Some people like to set up the dish with aluminum foil or parchment paper for dessert bars such as this. Forget all that. I’m not into making any more work than necessary. Spray the dish with an even layer of baking spray, blotting up any excessive amounts. That’s it. These bars will come out effortlessly – just let them cool off completely.
Layer everything up in your 13×9. Using a spatula or the back of a spoon, spread/pat down batter. Sprinkle the chocolate over and cover with the cranberry. Spoon tablespoons of the reserved 1 1/2 cup of batter over the cranberry and try to spread/pat it out a little. This gets a little tricky – it’s thick and sticky. You’re not trying to get the whole top evenly covered – the batter will spread out and puff up a bit.
Bake in a 350° oven for 35 – 40 minutes or until top is light golden brown. Cool completely on a wire rack. I mean COMPLETELY. Remember how I said that these bars will come out effortlessly. They will. Just forget about them for 4-5 hours and then cut into it, loosening the edges with a knife.
These bars are out of this world. The cranberries loose just a tad of their bite – perfect amount of sweet and tartness. Then in comes the chocolate. How can you go wrong with chocolate? You don’t. How can you go wrong with chocolate and berries? You can’t. These bars are often mistaken for a cherry and chocolate bar. Call them what you want – it’s all equivalent to deliciousness.
I do hope you enjoy these Cranberry Chocolate Oat Bars and can’t wait to hear what you think about them! Thanks for reading and Happy Baking!
Recipe inspired from allrecipes.com
Cranberry Chocolate Oat Bars
- 12 oz bag of whole cranberries
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup water
- 2 cup all - purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 1/4 cup rolled oats
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar packed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup milk
- 3/4 cup butter melted
- 2 eggs lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
- In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the cranberries, 1 cup granulated sugar, and water.
- Cook, stirring occasionally until all of the cranberries have popped, and the mixture is thick and a jam-like consistency, about 15 - 20 minutes. Remove from heat, and set aside to cool.
- Preheat the oven to 350° Prep a 13X9 glass baking dish (I suggest Pam/baking spray)
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar and baking powder until combined.
- Add remainder of dry ingredients (ginger, cinnamon, rolled oats and brown sugar) and mix well.
- Add vanilla extract, milk, melted butter and eggs to dry mixture. Stir until combined.
- Set aside a heaping 1 1/2 cups of the mixture, and spread the rest into the bottom of the prepped 13x9 baking dish. Pat down with a spatula to form an even, firm layer.
- Sprinkle chocolate chips evenly over bottom layer.
- Spread the cooled cranberry mixture over the chocolate chips.
- Spoon tablespoons of the reserved batter over the cranberry and try to spread/pat it out a little. You're not trying to get the whole top evenly covered - the batter will spread out and puff up a bit while baking.
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned.
- Cool completely on a wire rack. After 4-5 hours, cut into bars and enjoy : )