A not-too-sweet treat!
Cranberries are especially festive during the holiday season, but there also a versatile and healthful ingredient to use in baking year-round. When making these delicious bars, if using homemade cranberry sauce, drain off any excess liquid before adding the sauce to the brown sugar and cornstarch mixture. If you like cranberries as much as I do, you might also enjoy this flavourful cranberry-balsamic chutney. And if you’re looking for no-bake squares that get rave reviews every time I serve them, check out my lemon-coconut squares.
- 2 cups (240 g) all-purpose flour (regular or gluten-free)
- 1 1/2 cups (135 g) quick cooking oats
- 1/4 cup (50 g) firmly packed brown sugar
- 1 cup (225 g) butter, melted
- 8 ounces (225 g) cream cheese
- 1 (14 oz/348 mL) can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 teaspoon (1.7 g) powdered ginger
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) orange juice
- 2 tablespoons (16 g) cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon (12.5 g) brown sugar, packed
- 1 (14 oz/348 mL) can whole berry cranberry sauce or 1 1/3 cups (370 g) homemade sauce
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9 x 13-inch (22.5 x 32.5 cm) baking pan with parchment paper, making sure some paper hangs over the edges, and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, 1/4 cup (50 g) brown sugar and butter until well blended and crumbly. Reserve 1 1/2 cups (245 g) crumb mixture. Press remaining mixture firmly on bottom of prepared baking pan.
- Bake 15 minutes in preheated oven. Remove from oven; set aside.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk until smooth. Stir in ginger and orange juice. Spread over baked crust.
- In a medium bowl, combine the remaining 1 tablespoon (12.5 g) brown sugar and cornstarch. Stir in cranberry sauce until evenly blended.
- Spoon cranberry mixture evenly over cream cheese layer; top with reserved crumb mixture.
- Bake 45 – 50 minutes, or until topping is golden.
- Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- To serve, lift out of pan using the parchment paper overhang then use a sharp knife to cut into 3 x 1 inch (7.5 x 2.5 cm) bars (or smaller squares). Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze for longer storage.
Makes one pan.