Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Fall food: Cranberry oatmeal bars

Fall has finally found its way to North Carolina and I'm baking accordingly. I see some pumpkin- and apple-based foods in my future.

My first fall treat: oatmeal cranberry bars. They contain--wait for it--both oatmeal and cranberry, as you may have guessed, and they've got a subtle orange flavor, too, thanks to a little zest and fresh juice.

This is a recipe from Cooking Light, which means it's not as bad for you as, say, caramel hot fudge peanut sundaes, but I've found that Cooking Light keeps the calorie counts down by recommending tiny portions. For instance, recipe is made in an 11x7-inch pan and is supposed to make 24 servings. You'd better just give me four right now.

Oatmeal Cranberry Bars

  • 4.5 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice
  • Cooking spray

  • 1 1/3 cups dried cranberries (about 6 ounces)
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated orange rind
  • 1 large egg white, lightly beaten
Preheat oven to 325°. To prepare crust, spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (through cinnamon) in a medium bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Drizzle butter and juice over flour mixture, stirring until moistened (mixture will be crumbly). Reserve 1/2 cup oat mixture. Press remaining oat mixture into the bottom of an 11 x 7–inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.

To prepare filling, combine cranberries, sour cream, granulated sugar, and remaining ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring well. Spread cranberry mixture over prepared crust; sprinkle reserved oat mixture evenly over filling. Bake at 325° for 40 minutes or until edges are golden. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.

The food: Oatmeal Cranberry Bars
The verdict: Wilford Brimley says you should eat them

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