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Oats and Cranberry Bars

oats & cranberry barsA few posts ago Mr. S wanted me to make him his favorite ginger molasses cookies – I said I would but didn’t.  If I’m not in the mood to bake, I don’t even make an attempt.  I’ve had failures in the kitchen before when my mood was less than buoyant resulting in the meal tossed away and a freezer job to the rescue.  I recognize those moments, not with anguish or defeat, but knowing full well I’ll make it again when the pep-in-my-cooking-stride returns.  You’ll notice the ginger molasses cookies have morphed into oats and cranberry bars, but Mr. S isn’t complaining, he’s smiling and waiting for the photos to be taken and then he can dig into a bar or two.

For this recipe, I highly recommend using dark chocolate of at least 60% cacao and try to choose dried cranberries that are minimally processed.  Naturally dried cranberries have a lovely taste without heaps of sugar added during the drying process – they look more natural than the commercial ones.  These bars are chewy, moist, and oh my, so delicious you’ll need someone to watch over you to keep from eating too many at one sitting.

Makes 12 large bars
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter (at room temperature)
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups pecans
1 1/4 cups dried cranberries
1 cup dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350f (180c). Place oven rack in middle position. Generously butter a 9-inch square baking pan.

In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy. Beat in eggs, milk, and vanilla. Whisk together flour, cardamom, salt, and baking soda, then beat into butter mixture until incorporated. Stir in oats, pecans, cranberries, and chocolate chips. Spread in buttered pan.

oatmeal cranberry chocolate barsBake until golden and a wooden tooth pick inserted comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool in pan 20 minutes, then cut into bars.

cranberry oat barsThe Culinary Chase’s Note: Use parchment paper to line baking pan…less mess to clean up afterward.  Enjoy!

Oats and Cranberry Bars
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons butter (at room temperature)
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1½ cups pecans
  • 1¼ cups dried cranberries
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350f (180c). Place oven rack in middle position. Generously butter a 9-inch square baking pan.
  2. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy. Beat in eggs, milk, and vanilla. Whisk together flour, cardamom, salt, and baking soda, then beat into butter mixture until incorporated. Stir in oats, pecans, cranberries, and chocolate chips. Spread in buttered pan.
  3. Bake until golden and a wooden tooth pick inserted comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool in pan 20 minutes, then cut into bars.
Notes
Use parchment paper to line baking pan…less mess to clean up afterward. Enjoy!

 

2 Responses to Oats and Cranberry Bars

  1. Minnie@thelady8home March 12, 2015 at 04:33 #

    Healthy yummy bar!

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