No one, and I mean no one, escapes "leftover week," not even the co-irkers. After all, before we can move on to Christmas goodies, we have to completely rid ourselves of all that is Thanksgiving. It's the holiday law. (And if it is broken, I might be subject to hard lumps of brown sugar in my Christmas stocking.)
You know that cranberry sauce that everyone said they wanted but nobody ate? Well, it was the last of my Thanksgiving leftovers and I decided to make it into these delicious cranberry cream cheese bars. Made with whole grains, these little bars pair puckery plus perfectly sweetened components to make them all around yummy. I think you'll enjoy them!
Whole Grain Cranberry Cream Cheese Bars
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup oat flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
2-3 TBSP orange juice
Cream cheese filling:
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 (14 oz) can sweetened, condensed milk (I used fat free)
2 TBSP lemon juice
1 1/2 cups cranberry sauce
1 1/2 TBSP cornstarch
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9X13 pan with cooking spray.
For the crust:
In bowl of mixer combine the cream cheese and brown sugar. Beat until mixture is creamy. In a separate bowl whisk together the baking powder, salt, cinnamon, oats, oat flour and whole wheat flour. Add to the mixer and mix to combine. Slowly add the orange juice and mix just until mixture starts to clump. Do not over mix.
Take half of the crust mixture (about 3 1/2 cups) and press firmly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Reserve remaining crust for topping.
For the cream cheese layer:
In medium bowl beat cream cheese until fluffy. Slowly add the sweetened condensed milk and beat until creamy. Add in the lemon juice.
Pour cream cheese layer evenly over crust layer.
For the cranberry layer:
Stir the cornstarch into the cranberry sauce. Dollop the mixture over top of the cream cheese layer as evenly as possible.
Top with remaining crust mixture. Bake until light, golden brown, 35-40 minutes. Remove from oven and set on a rack to cool. After about 10 minutes, loosen the edges of the squares with a knife. Refrigerate overnight, covered, before cutting and serving.
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