Friday, December 20, 2013


These delicious cranberry bars are easy and definitely gift-worthy. I plan to box up a few for a friend and the rest are already in the freezer to appear again on Christmas Day.
 The ingredients.....
 After combining the ingredients for the bottom of the bar (with your hands) this is what it will look like (it just looks like that egg shell is in the bowl, actually it is outside the bowl) and you will reserve a cup for the topping to be added later.
Ready for the oven.....
Right out of the oven, ready to cool and cut...the house smells so good!


  • 1 bag(s) (12-ounce) fresh cranberries (not frozen)
  • 1 1/2 cup(s) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup(s) old-fashioned oats
  • 3/4 cup(s) packed light brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon(s) freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) salt
  • 1/2 cup(s) (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and softened
  • 1 large navel orange
  • 1 can(s) (14-ounce) sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup(s) sliced almonds

  1. Let cranberries stand at room temperature 1 hour.
  2. Arrange 1 rack in middle of oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 13- by 9-inch baking pan with foil, with overhang on all sides. Generously grease foil.
  3. In large bowl, combine flour, oats, sugar, nutmeg, baking powder, and salt. With fingers, work in butter until evenly distributed. In small bowl, reserve 1 cup mixture for topping; press mixture firmly to form pea-size clumps. Transfer remaining mixture to prepared pan. With hands, firmly press mixture evenly into bottom of pan. Bake until light golden brown, about 12 minutes.
  4. While crust bakes, from orange, grate 1 teaspoon peel and squeeze 1/3 cup juice. In medium bowl, with wire whisk, stir sweetened condensed milk, egg yolks, vanilla, orange peel, and orange juice until well combined.
  5. Sprinkle cranberries evenly over hot crust. Pour orange mixture over berries. With spatula, spread gently to evenly distribute cranberries and orange mixture over crust. Bake 7 minutes or until orange mixture just begins to form a skin around edges.
  6. Remove pan from oven. Sprinkle evenly with reserved topping, then sprinkle almonds evenly over top. Bake 30 minutes or until filling bubbles and topping is golden brown.
  7. Cool in pan on wire rack 1 hour. Carefully lift out of pan using foil overhang. Cool completely on wire rack. Remove foil and cut into 24 bars. Serve immediately or store in airtight container in refrigerator up to 3 days or in freezer up to 3 months.
 As you can see from the photos I did not line my pan with the foil. I sprayed the pan with Wilton's Bake Easy, you could probably use any non-stick spray or Baker's Joy.  I had no trouble getting these out of the pan.  I followed the rest of the recipe exactly as written except (there is always an except with me) my orange was not so sweet so I added just a few drops of orange oil as I wanted to make sure that the orange flavor was there and it was.

Note about the garnish on the first photo: As I mentioned I am going to give a little box of these as a gift and I wanted something cute for the top of the box so I made this little "wreath" out of preserved cedar.  I love this stuff and keep it around - it lasts forever (preserved).  I just snipped off a length of the cedar and took a pipe cleaner and tied it together to form a "wreath," leaving long tail of pipe cleaner so I could wrap it around the ribbon and the little bit of berries and then there is enough of the tail left to tie around the ribbon on the box. I then just hot glued the pine cone.

Wilton Bake Easy, Walmart, stores that carry baking supplies
Link to preserved cedar, Curious Country Creations
Gingham Ribbon, Michael's
Baking Dish, Boleslawiec 
Red Platter by Holiday Home
Pine cones, mother nature or your local craft store or Curious Country Creations, link above
Recipe source, Bobby Flay


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