Fresh Cranberry Oat Bars

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I think I’ve sinned you guys. I haven’t made anything with pumpkin this season… I have definitely consumed many fabulous pumpkin delights, I just wasn’t involved in the creation of any of them…oh well, maybe I’ll throw something pumpkiny in here in spring just to mess up the alignment of the planets. I have also seen SO MANY pumpkin related ‘erythang around here, that I’m feeling pumpkined out.

So, in the usual Emma fashion, we’re skipping ahead to the cranberry! We cool cats are ahead of the game here at Emu’s Eats! Full steam ahead.

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I have had good and bad encounters with cranberries.

Bad encounters include: When I don’t think and pop a fresh one right into my mouth, followed by my face scrunching up into a picture day worthy expression! Sour/tart things just ain’t my thing.

Good encounters include: Cranberry juice, Cranberry sauce slathered on turkey at Thanksgiving and Christmas, and these Cranberry bars! (As you can tell good reasons > bad reasons)

For a few moments, I was wondering if it was too early to get into the cranberry shtuff since cranberries are  usually directly associated with Christmas. Then I thought, “No! They are in season right now, cranberry bars are needed!” Now that I’ve told you what goes on inside my brain, time for cranberries!

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A friend of mine’s family grew these cranberries on their farm! They actually dry pick them, as opposed to the usual cranberry bogs we all see on juice commercials, where the farmers are in fishing trousers waist deep in water. No wet feet came with these cranberries!

Funny enough, the friend in discussion actually loathes cranberries. Like, with a passion. Which makes sense, cause if my mom made me help grow/harvest/sell them day in and day out for weeks on end, they wouldn’t be my fave either.

What makes these particular bars so awesome, is that they are made with fresh cranberries, that are first made into the same cranberry sauce we use for Thanksgiving dinner! So, if you have some leftover cranberry sauce, you can slather it between the oat mixture and it will work just the same!

FRESH CRANBERRY OAT BARS

CRANBERRY FILLING

  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 TB water
  • juice of one orange

Stir together all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring often.

Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 10 minutes, just until the cranberries burst. Watch carefully and make sure it doesn’t over-boil.

Transfer to a heat proof bowl and cool for 10 minutes to let the sauce congeal.

CRANBERRY OAT BARS

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, lightly butter an 8 by 8 inch pan and line it with parchment paper, leaving some hanging over the edges.

In a small bowl, stir together everything except the butter.

Using your hands, massage the butter into the oat mixture, until it’s resembles crumbs.

Press two cups of the mixture into the bottom of the pan, making sure to pack it into the corners.

Spread the cranberry sauce evenly onto the oat layer, trying to leave a bit of space between it and the edge of the pan.

Scatter the rest of the mixture on top and lightly press it down with your hands.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the top is golden brown.

Cool completely, lift out of pan, cut into squares and enjoy!

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