Cranberry Caramel Date Bars: A Luscious, Rich Bar Cookie Recipe
Cranberry Caramel Date Bars combine fresh cranberries with
caramel sauce, dates, and nuts – ingredients that combined make one of the more
perfect holiday cookie recipes. These cookies work well not only at Christmas
but also as a Thanksgiving treat, when fresh cranberries are readily available
in grocery stores.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Bake time: 35 minutes, divided
Makes 80-100 1-inch bars
1 cup fresh cranberries, chopped finely in food processor
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/3 cups all-purposed flour
2 cups oatmeal
½ cup packed brown sugar
½ teaspoons baking soda
1 ½ cups dates, chopped
¾ cup chopped walnuts
1 jar (10 ounces) caramel topping or sauce
- Preheat oven to 350º F (325º F for a glass dish).
- Lightly grease a 13 x 9 baking pan.
- In a small bowl, combine chopped cranberries and 2
tablespoons granulated sugar. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine 2 cups all-purpose flour, oatmeal,
remaining ½ cup granulated sugar, brown sugar, and baking soda. Cut in butter,
as for a pie crust. Mix well. The mixture will be crumbly.
- Reserve 1 cup of crumb mixture. Press the remainder firmly
into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 15 minutes.
Remove pan from the oven. Sprinkle the crust with dates,
walnuts, and cranberry mixture.
- Combine caramel topping with remaining 1/3 cup flour. Pour
caramel mixture over fruit and nuts, spreading evenly. Sprinkle reserved crumb
mixture over caramel layer.
- Bake bars 20 minutes or until set and crumb surface begins
to brown slightly. Remove the pan from the oven and allow it to cool completely
on a wire rack. Cut bars into 1-inch squares.
- Place bars in airtight container with waxed paper in between
layers. Store in the refrigerator.
A Special Tip from
Cranberry Caramel Date Bars are very thick. Cutting bars
into 1-inch squares (or smaller) y gives you a large number of cookies from one batch. Because the cookies are so rich, a smaller cut bar is not too small for one serving.
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