These Cranberry Caramel Bars have a crumbly oat crust, filled with tart cranberries and sweet caramel — a match made in heaven!
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I know you think I haven’t eaten anything except baking for the last few weeks now.
That’s not entirely true.
I mean, you can be sure I’ve been doing a lot of taste-testing. But I occasionally try to be a responsible mother and cook real food.
It’s just more fun to tell you about all kinds of sweet, gooey things you can make for Christmas instead.
So, I was perusing my Southern Living Christmas cookbook, the same cookbook I got this recipe from, and I found this gem. I had in fact passed by it many, many times.
Because there was no picture.
I think that’s kind of a thing of the past, right? Cookbooks without pictures? I mean, how am I supposed to know if I did it right?
Anyway, so I made them.
And they were delicious.
I don’t make a lot of things with fresh cranberries (or even a lot of cranberry sweets altogether), but these are such a pretty pink addition to your holiday baking plates!
I first posted this recipe back in 2014, so it was time for an update!
They are crumbly and sweet and tart and crunchy and gooey and everything you could want in a cookie bar 😉
Variations on these Cranberry Caramel Bars:
- Swap half of the cranberries with raspberries for an extra fruity twist
- Add a ½ teaspoon of cinnamon to your oat crumble crust
- Drizzle with caramel and serve warm with ice cream (plates and forks required!)
- Swap the fresh cranberries for frozen, but be sure to add 1 tablespoon of corn starch so the filling is not too juicy
- Add a sprinkling of white chocolate chips to your cranberries before spreading on your caramel.
How to store Cranberry Caramel Bars:
You can store these bars at room temperature for 24 hours, refrigerate for 1 week, or freeze for up to 3 months.
We usually freeze them because I love having a stash of freezer baking to pull out if we have last minute guests!
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Cranberry Caramel Bars
- 3 cups fresh cranberries (if using frozen, add 1 tbsp corn starch)
- 6 tbsp sugar
- 2 1/3 cup all-purpose flour divided
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 2 cups regular large oats
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 cup butter melted
- 3/4 cup chopped pecans
- 1 cup caramel sauce
- 1/4 cup powdered icing sugar
- 1 tablespoon milk
- Line a 9×13″ pan with tin foil and spray with non stick spray. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Stir together cranberries and 6 tbsp sugar. Set aside.
- Combine 2 cups flour, baking soda, oats, sugar and brown sugar in a large bowl. Stir in melted butter until crumbly. Set aside 1 cup of flour mixture.
- Press remaining flour mixture into prepared pan and bake for 6-8 minutes, until crust appears dry but not browned.
- Sprinkle crust with cranberries and pecans. Combine caramel sauce with remaining ⅓ cup flour and pour over top. Sprinkle with remaining flour mixture and press down gently. Bake 20-25 more minutes until lightly browned.
- Cool on a wire rack and cut into bars.
- Stir together powdered sugar and milk until combined. It should be quite thick — add additional milk or sugar if necessary to reach desired consistency
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