Cranberry Christmas Bars
This recipe was originally submitted under the name "Cranberry Bliss Bars (Alternative Recipe)". It was supposed to be a homemade version of Starbucks' famous seasonal treat. It might be reminiscent of that, but it's quite different and - some will argue - even better than the pricey Starbucks' bars. Therefore, I've changed the name. This recipe could also be named Cranberry Cheesecake Bars. They have a crunchy cookie-like bottom crust with a soft, almost-fluffy center that tastes and feels like cheesecake. I loved these bars and so did everyone I shared them with. Bottom Line: Get ready to taste your new holiday tradition. A+ (This recipe was submitted in 2003. It was tested and photographed in December 2016.)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
1 and 1/2 cups uncooked quick cooking oats
3/4 cups plus and additional 1 Tablespoon firmly packed brown sugar - divided
1 cup softened butter
1 8-ounce package cream cheese
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 Tablespoon cornstarch
1 16-ounce can whole berry cranberry sauce
How To Make Cranberry Christmas Bars
Preheat oven 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 13 x 9 baking pan.
In large bowl combine flour, oats, 3/4 cup sugar and butter, mix until crumbly. Save 1 and a 1/2 cups crumb mixture for topping. Bake 15 minutes. Cool completely.
In large bowl beat cream cheese until fluffy, gradually mix in condensed milk, lemon juice, and vanilla until smooth. Pour evenly over crust.
In small bowl combine remaining sugar, cornstarch and cranberry sauce. Spoon over cream cheese mixture.
Sprinkle reserve crumb mixture over top. Bake 42 minutes, cool at room temperature, refrigerate before cutting. Store in refrigerator.
Cooking Note From Mr Breakfast
To cut these into bars, I found it easiest to pry the entire sheet from the pan. I used a knife to loosen the edges and then I was able to invert it onto a medium-sized cutting board. Next time I make these, I'll put parchment paper along the bottom and up two sides so I can lift the sheet of bars out of the pan.
I love the baked goods at Starbucks, but it's so much cheaper to make something similar (and maybe better) at home. These bars will remind you of cheesecake, but with a cookie crunch.
Mr Breakfast would like to thank susan for this recipe.
Recipe number 1024. Submitted 7/2/2003.