I can’t believe I’m going to do this. I’m going to share my coveted Cranberry Oat Crumble Bar recipe. Which is a double whammy because not only is it not my recipe (there I said it), but it comes from a source I’m a tad embarrassed to admit The Cake Mix Doctor.
Stop snubbing your noses. I know you are all foodies but let’s just hold off judgement until you’ve made these bars. Then we’ll see who’s laughing at cake mix.
I admit I cringe when I read the ingredients on the box label. And, I realize that this recipe comes on the heels of my pecan pie which uses two evil, bad, naughty ingredients (corn syrup and shortening). But it’s Thanksgiving and well, I’m done justifying. Just don’t eat too much. Ok?
Cranberry Oat Crumble Bars
1 package (12 oz; 3 cups) whole cranberries (I use fresh)
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup water (I use orange or pomegranate juice)
1 package (18.25 oz) plain yellow cake mix
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
1 cup old-fashioned oatmeal (I add 1/2 cup more)
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1. Place rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Set aside an ungreased 13 x 9 inch baking pan.
2. Pick over the cranberries, and discard any that are shriveled or discolored. Place the remaining cranberries, granulated sugar and orange juice in a medium-size heavy saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until the mixture is thickened and all the cranberries pop, 10- 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, pour the cranberry filling into a shallow freezer-proof glass dish, and place it in the freezer to cool.
3. Place the cake mix, melted butter, oatmeal, brown sugar, eggs, and ginger in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. The mixture will be thick. Reserve 1 1/2 cups for topping. Transfer the remaining crust mixture to the pan. Using your fingertips, press the mixture evenly over the bottom of the pan so that it reaches all sides.
4. Remove the chilled cranberry filling from the freezer and pour it over the crust, spreading it out with the rubber spatula. Pinch off pieces of the reserved crust mixture and scatter them over the filling. Place the pan in the oven.
5. Bake the cake until it is light brown and bubbling, 35 – 40 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool for 30 minutes.
6. Cut the cake into 24 bars. Serve.
These bars will store at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. But I betcha don’t have them that long!
*** Gluten Free Update: I’m working on gluten-free substitutes for Thanksgiving ’10. Wanna help?