Recipes

Whole Wheat Cranberry Bars

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving filled with delicious food and spending time with loved ones!

Now that Thanksgiving dinner is over, are you wondering what to do with extra cranberry sauce? These whole wheat cranberry bars solve your predicament! Leftover cranberry sauce is sandwiched between a sweet whole wheat and oat mixture in a tasty and slightly crumbly bar cookie.

This recipe is intended to feature a cranberry sauce that is tart and not too sweet. If you’re using a sweet cranberry sauce, consider cutting down the sugar a little bit. Same thing if you’re planning to substitute all-purpose flour for the whole wheat, the bars will taste sweeter and won’t need quite as much sugar.

In this recipe, and for most my whole wheat baking, I tend to lean towards white whole wheat. Still 100% whole wheat, it’s just a different wheat variety (“regular” whole wheat is made of hard red wheat whereas white whole wheat is from hard white – there’s no bleaching involved, the light color is natural). While white whole wheat has just as much nutrition as traditional red, the difference is that it has a paler color, lighter texture, and a milder flavor. I do like whole grain bread to have a strong flavor, but I prefer my other baked goods to have a milder taste and white whole wheat does the trick. But if you prefer traditional red whole wheat, by all means, use it!

For the whole wheat cranberry bars:

Makes 16 small bars

1 cup white whole wheat flour

1 cup old-fashioned oats

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pinch of salt

8 tablespoons unsalted butter

¾ cup cranberry sauce

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8×8 pan or spray on some non-stick spray.

In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Stir everything together to combine.

Ingredient waiting to be mixed together.
This was me being impatient. I just stirred everything together with my hands before smushing in the butter.

Add the butter in chunks and use your hands to mix and smush the oat mixture and butter together until the mixture resembles small pebbles. You want the butter to be well combined, because it needs to stick together for your base!

Crumbly oat mixture.

Press approximately 2/3 of the oat mixture into the bottom of your greased baking pan.

Dough pressed into pan.

Top with ¾ cup cranberry sauce, getting close to the edges without pushing it right up against the glass. While it will spread to the edges, having a minimal amount of cranberry touching the outside makes for a much easier cleanup afterwards!

Cranberry sauce spread on top of dough.

Sprinkle the remaining oat mixture over the top.

Crumb topping.

Bake for about 35 minutes until the top is golden and toasty looking.

Baked and sliced cranberry bars.

Allow to cool.

Whole wheat cranberry bars.

Slice the whole wheat cranberry bars and enjoy!

Whole wheat cranberry bars.
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Whole Wheat Cranberry Bars

Course Dessert
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 16 small bar cookies
Julie at Baking and Other Important Matters

Ingredients

  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup cranberry sauce

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8x8 pan or spray on some non-stick spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, sugar baking, powder, cinnamon, and salt. Stir everything together to combine.

  3. Add the butter in chunks and use your hands to mix and smush the oat mixture and butter together until the mixture resembles small pebbles. You want the butter to be well combined, because it needs to stick together for your base!
  4. Press approximately 2/3 of the oat mixture into the bottom of your greased baking pan.
  5. Top with ¾ cup cranberry sauce, getting close to the edges without pushing it right up against the glass. While it will spread to the edges, having a minimal amount of cranberry touching the outside makes for a much easier cleanup afterwards!

  6. Sprinkle the remaining oat mixture over the top.
  7. Bake for about 35 minutes until the top is golden and toasty looking.
  8. Allow to cool.
  9. Slice the whole wheat cranberry bars and enjoy!

4 thoughts on “Whole Wheat Cranberry Bars

  1. Those looks beautiful and delicious!
    I love the information about the different kinds of wheat – I had no idea – that’s really interesting!
    I will be making these all winter!

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