Cranberry Streusel Bars (using leftover cranberry sauce)
Got leftover cranberry sauce? You’ll want to make cranberry sauce just so you can make these delicious & easy cranberry struesel bars!! Even my friends & family who despise cranberry sauce can’t stop eating these. If you don’t have enough cranberry sauce, you can add in a little jam or fruit preserves too.
Every year during the holidays, I make homemade cranberry sauce. I absolutely love it. And so does my oldest daughter. But, the rest of my family doesn’t like cranberry sauce. I always knew they were strange – my husband is to blame for that one 😉
Even though my oldest child and I completely gorge in it, we always have some leftover. I use some of it for sandwiches, but I was looking for a different way to use it up this year.
That’s how these Cranberry Streusel Bars came to life. By making a simple streusel out of flour, butter, brown sugar, & oats – I completely transformed that cranberry sauce into an amazing little snack/dessert. Heck, we’re even eating them for breakfast. Totally yummy!
If you don’t have any leftover cranberry sauce, don’t fret – you can still make these!
Just whip up a half batch of my homemade cranberry sauce for the perfect little treat. Don’t worry, it’s super simple too. I’m including a printable recipe for a half batch under the recipe for these yummy bars. Or, if you just don’t have enough cranberry sauce leftover – mix in enough of your favorite jam (any flavor) to make 1 cup’s worth.
Here’s what you need. The nuts are completely optional… I put them in the photo because I was going to use them in these bars. But when I was making them, I honestly just spaced on it – and didn’t add them. But that’s ok, we didn’t miss them. 😀
In a small saucepan, mix together 1 cup of cranberry sauce with 1/2 cup white sugar. (Or use your microwave with a microwave safe bowl)
Heat on medium heat for a couple minutes until the sugar is combined with the cranberry sauce, and is dissolved.
Set the cranberry mixture aside, and mix up your streusel.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, & salt. Using your fingers, combine 1 stick of softened butter with the dry ingredients. Keep combining until it’s well incorporated and crumbly. Stir in walnuts if you’re using (I didn’t).
Grease a 9 inch baking dish.
Press 2 cups of the streusel topping into the bottom using your hands – or in my case, your fist. Use this as a chance to release any aggression you’ve been holding in… Maybe during your holiday meal, your husband said something wasn’t as good as his mother’s. Or, maybe your crazy Aunt Sue asked you if you’re pregnant when you’re not.
Just get it out, it’s cheaper than therapy – and a heck of a lot more fun.
Spread the cranberry sauce mixture over the streusel crust.
Sprinkle the remaining streusel on top.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned. Cool completely before slicing.
Cranberry Streusel Bars
- 1 cup cranberry sauce recipe to follow for 1 cup's worth if you don't have leftover cranberry sauce
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
- ¾ cup light brown sugar packed
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter softened
- ⅔ chopped walnuts optional
For 1 cup of cranberry sauce if you don't have leftover:
- 1 cup of cranberries
- ¼ cup white sugar
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup orange juice
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 inch square baking pan.
- In a small sauce pot, combine the cranberry sauce with ¼ cup white sugar. Heat at medium heat for a couple of minutes, while stirring, until the sugar is incorporate and completely dissolved. (You can also use your microwave for this in a microwave safe bowl)
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, & salt. Using your fingers, work the 1 stick of softened butter into the dry ingredients until well mixed & crumbly. Stir in walnuts if using (optional).
- Firmly press 2 cups of the streusel topping into the bottom of your greased baking dish. Spread the cranberry sauce mixture over the crust. Top with the remaining streusel.
- Bake for 30 minutes, or until the crust is lightly browned. Let cool completely before slicing
- For the cranberry sauce (optional - if you don't have leftover)
- Combine the sugars & orange juice in a small sauce pan. Cook on medium until the sugar is dissolved. Add in the cranberries, and cook for 10 minutes - stirring occasionally. Sauce will thicken as it cools.