I was really tempted to name these “Post Holiday Bars”, because they are a great way to use up leftover cranberry sauce.
But these days cranberries are available year round, so there’s no reason to wait for the holidays. Simply whip up a batch of cranberry sauce, whenever the whim hits!… Of course if you prefer store bought, just use that. Either works here… Do they sell cranberry sauce year round? I’ve never thought about it before, because I just buy the cranberries and make my own.
These use the same basic recipe as my Blackberry Oatmeal Crumb Bars. I ramped up the ginger (in the forms of both ground and crystallized) to compliment the cranberry sauce and couldn’t be more pleased. If you don’t have crystallized ginger on hand, feel free to omit it. But it does bring a lovely warm element to the bars.
Do you buy your cranberry sauce or do you have a favourite recipe?
Cranberry Sauce Oatmeal Bars
Recipe Type: dessert
Makes: 12 bars
- 1 cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
- 1 cup Quick Oats
- 2/3 cup Brown Sugar, lightly packed
- 1 tsp Ground Ginger
- 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
- 1/2 cup Vegan Butter (I used Earth Balance)
- 3/4 cup Cranberry Sauce*
- 2 tbsp finely chopped Crystallized Ginger
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
Preheat oven to 350°F and line an 8×8 pan with aluminum foil (leave enough overhang so you can use it to lift the finished bars out of the pan). Do not grease.
Make the filling by string together the cranberry sauce, crystallized ginger, and vanilla. Set aside.
In a bowl, stir together the flour, oats, sugar, ginger, cinnamon, and baking soda until thoroughly combined. Using a pastry blender or fork, cut in the vegan butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs (no pieces larger than a pea).
Reserve 1/2 cup of the crumb mixture. Press the remaining crumb mixture, firmly and evenly, into the lined baking pan. Spread the filling over the crust**. Sprinkle the reserved crumb mixture over the top.
Bake for 30 – 35 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.
When completely cool, lift out of baking pan, remove foil and cut into bars.
*Can use store bought or homemade cranberry sauce.
**The sauce has a tendency to grab the crust and pull a layer up as it’s spread out. To make the spreading easier, drop dollops of sauce evenly over the crust so you don’t have to spread it as far out.