Nutty Oatmeal Cranberry Bars Recipe
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Nutty Oatmeal Cranberry Bars are made with colorful fresh cranberries, oatmeal and pecans for an easy sweet little bite or main dessert for any holiday or special occasion.
I do love cranberry season, don’t you? There is something so uplifting about those perky tart red berries that just puts a smile on my face. Each year when they start popping up at our local grocers, I can hardly pass them up. They are so vibrant and colorful! I usually grab a bag or two each year to use in recipes and sometimes also for holiday decorations. I remember one year many years ago making all the decorations for our tree. We cut out paper snowflakes, each unique from the next, found pinecones to tuck amongst the bows of the tree, and even an abandoned old bird’s nest we discovered beneath one of our shrubs. To finish things off, I set and strung popcorn and cranberries, alternating them for a colorful garland. That was a long time ago. These days the fresh cranberries are usually reserved for our favorite cranberry recipes like Nutty Oatmeal Cranberry Bars.
Over the years we have enjoyed cooking with cranberries in both fresh and dried form in many of our other favorite recipes, like Easy Homemade Cranberry Sauce, Spiced Cranberry Hot Toddy, and Cranberry Pistachio Chocolate Muffins Recipe. I also love adding dried cranberries to a broccoli or kale salad. They are such a nice tart addition to a crunchy salad. Cranberries always bring a bit of life to the flavor party, not to mention color too!
These Nutty Oatmeal Cranberry Bars are no exception. They are a sweet and tart bite balanced with nutty pecans and crunchy oatmeal, and they sure are a pretty addition to any holiday dessert menu. Of course, these bars are perfect for sharing at holiday potlucks. They’re so easy to pack and take along to share.
Ingredients for Nutty Oatmeal Cranberry Bars
- all-purpose flour
- old fashioned oats
- brown sugar
- baking soda
- ground cinnamon
- fresh lemon juice
- sour cream or greek yogurt
- vanilla extract
- lemon zest
- fresh cranberries
- chopped pecans or walnuts
How to Make Nutty Oatmeal Cranberry Bars
Nutty Oatmeal Cranberry Bars are about as easy as it gets to making homemade treats. They are kind of like pie in that way, only easier. Let me tell you just how easy they are:
- Begin by preheating your oven to 325-degrees F. Grease or coat a 9 x 13-inch baking pan.
- Make the oatmeal crust first. In a large mixing bowl whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, oats, brown sugar, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon. Next, stir in melted butter and a bit of lemon juice until combined well. Then evenly press the mixture into the bottom of the greased baking pan.
- Next, you’ll make the cranberry nut topping. In a mixing bowl, combine sour cream, vanilla extract, lemon zest, flour and brown sugar. Spread the mixture over the prepared crust. Then evenly spread fresh cranberries over top, lightly pressing into the sour cream mixture. Finish by evenly spreading the top with chopped nuts.
- Bake the bars at 325-degrees F for about 45 minutes, until light brown. Be sure to allow to cool completely before slicing. (Of course, you can totally break that rule and serve warm and gooey with a scoop of vanilla cream on top too.)
Storing and Serving Nutty Oatmeal Cranberry Bars
- Nutty Oatmeal Cranberry Bars are perfect as a small sweet treat to enjoy with coffee or hot tea, or serve larger portions, slightly warmed and topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for one delicious dessert. Oh my goodness, I’m wanting to make another batch right now just thinking about it!
- These easy Nutty Oatmeal Cranberry Bars can be made ahead of time by a couple of days and kept covered and refrigerated. Or wrap tightly in plastic wrap, slip into a plastic freezer zip-top bag and freeze for up to a month. Then, when ready to enjoy, allow the bars to come to room temperature before serving.
Check out these other scrumptious dessert recipes for your holiday celebrations:
- Homemade Gingerbread Loaf Recipe
- Bailey’s Salted Caramel Chocolate Pie Recipe
- Pecan Snowball Cookies Recipe
- Chocolate Peppermint Biscotti
- Peppermint Fudge Recipe from Add a Pinch
Nutty Oatmeal Cranberry Bars Recipe
For Oatmeal Crust:
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cups old fashioned oats
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 8 tablespoons salted butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
For Cranberry Nut Topping:
- 1 cup sour cream or greek yogurt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 cups fresh cranberries
- 3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
- Preheat oven to 325-degrees F. Grease or coat with cooking spray a 9x13-inch baking pan.
- For Oatmeal Crust: Prepare crust by whisking together flour, oats, brown sugar, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon. Stir in melted butter and lemon juice until combined. Evenly press mixture into the bottom of prepared baking pan.
- For Cranberry Nut Topping: Combine sour cream, vanilla extract, lemon zest, flour and brown sugar. Spread mixture over crust. Spread fresh cranberries evenly over mixture, lightly pressing into mixture. Evenly spread top with chopped nuts.
- Bake at 325-degrees F for 45-50 minutes, until light brown. Let cool completely in pan before slicing.
- Bars can be made and cooked ahead of time by a couple of days and kept covered and refrigerated. Or wrap tightly in plastic wrap, slip into a plastic freezer zip-top bag and freeze for up to a month. Then, when ready to enjoy, allow the bars to come to room temperature before serving.