Thursday, December 2, 2010

Whole Grain Cranberry Cream Cheese Bars (Treats for Co-Irkers)

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

Cranberry layer:
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.


Jessica @ How Sweet said...

I love your co-irker treats. :) Just like the others, these look divine!

Julie said...

YUM! Those co-irkers are so lucky!! I love cream cheese bars and cranberry sounds delicious!!

Design Wine and Dine said...

I know I will enjoy these!

Hmmm? I think I need a job and should be one of your co-irkers!

Those lucky bas%&#@%...I mean ducks.

SeattleDee said...

Tart and sweet treats - yours sound divine. I popped my leftover cranberries into rugelach, but the bar recipe is mighty tempting.

Debbie said...

I wish you worked with me!!! These look delicious...

Kat said...

So, that's what I do with the left-over cranberry sauce. Thanks.

June said...

Oh my goodness Mags. What a fabulous invention! My mouth waters as we "speak"

Moogie said...

Mags.... I love leftovers! When are you going to serve leftovers to me?

I'm waiting.

I'm still waiting.

Nanan said...

Co-irkers score again!!!!

Mary said...

Ohhhhhhhhhhh yum! How I wish I was on the receiving end of your treats!!!!

Natalie said...

absolutely heavenly! can't go wrong with that combination!

Carrie @ Cottage Cozy said...

My kind of dessert for sure...can't wait to try them!

Co Irker said...

I'm sorry to read that no one ate the cranberry sauce that you so lovingly made.

No, actually, I'm not. Their loss is very much our gain.

These were tart and sweet and so very appropriate for breakfast. Plus they have oats and whole wheat and you even used fat free condensed milk. So they're totally low fat! (If you don't take into account the butter and sugar and cream cheese...)

Thank you so much our amazing, absterging alchemist.


Lisa said...

What a great idea for using up leftover cranberry sauce. I had a whole container of it left in my fridge and had to end up throwing it out because I just had no idea what to do with it. I wish I had found your recipe earlier, but well, there's always next year. By the way, I'm holding another giveaway on my blog for Orglamix Organic makeup and you're welcome to come by and enter.

A Year on the Grill said...

getting your treats would almost be worth getting a job for.

Magic of Spice said...

Now that is my idea of leftovers...
wow these look delicious :)
You have the luckies co-irkers ever!

Barbara said...

You've outdone yourself with this one, Mags. How fortunate your co-irkers are!
Cream cheese and cranberries! YUM!

Laurie@The Baking Bookworm said...

Mmmm, Mags! The tartness of the cranberry sauce with the creaminess of the creamed cheese! Divine! I've stashed a few cans of cranberry sauce so I'll give this one a go too. Too many recipes, too little time! Your co-irkers are lucky, lucky people. :)

scrambledhenfruit said...

Great way to use up the leftover cranberry sauce- lucky co-irkers!

Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction said...

These are my kind of leftovers! In fact, I'm tempted to make some more cranberry sauce just so that I can make some of these bars. Yum :)

PearCloud said...

this should be sooooo yummy!!!!!!!! thanks for sharing, I'm gonna try it one day for sure!