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Leftover cranberry sauce? Try these crumbly oat squares!

Cranberry bars - leftover cranberry sauce? Try these crumbly oat squares!

I adore sweet-tart cranberry sauce. I make it from scratch – the easiest thing ever – but tend to keep it traditional; every year when I make something fancier, like a curried cranberry chutney, it’s ignored while everyone goes for the sweet stuff. I make a big batch using a bag of cranberries, a cup of sugar and about a cup of orange juice – maybe some zest too, if I have fresh oranges around, or a chopped up mandarin orange. I almost always have leftovers, and after the turkey sandwiches are all eaten, there’s usually enough left to make a batch of crumbly bars. The tart filling is a deliciou contrast to the sweet, crunchy base and topping – and they take about 5 minutes to assemble and pop into the oven.

Cranberry Crumble Bars

Base & topping:
1 cup all-purpose or whole wheat flour, or a combination
1 cup oats
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter

1 cup cranberry sauce

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda and salt. Add the butter and pulse (alternatively, mix with a fork or your fingers in a bowl) until the mixture is well combined and crumbly. Press a little more than half the crumbs into an 8” x 8” pan that has been sprayed with nonstick spray.

Spread the cranberry sauce over the crust, and sprinkle with remaining crumbs, squeezing as you go to create bigger clumps. Bake for 40 minutes, until pale golden and bubbly around the edges.

Cool in the pan on a wire rack. Makes 16 squares.

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