These cranberry walnut crumb dessert bars are a sweet and tangy dessert bar that will make you question your devotion to pie on Thanksgiving! They are a great make-ahead dessert, and are a wonderful addition to any holiday dessert table.
We’re nearing the most wonderful and magical time of the year and I love creating new recipes for the holiday season. There are so many great flavors to play with and they all help make the season even better! The best part is that I can always find exactly what I need at my closest Pick ‘n Save store.
I recently shared pressure cooker chicken spaghetti casserole and one pot sausage and rice casserole recipes with you that I did in partnership with Pick ‘n Save(truly my fave grocery store!) and have been loving hearing how you guys are enjoying making these comforting fall recipes. Please always leave a comment and share your recipe experience, I love hearing it!
For this upcoming Thanksgiving, I am making the most delicious cranberry walnut dessert bars. If you don’t know, Wisconsin is the nations leading producer of cranberries. We harvest more than 60% of the country’s crop, making cranberries Wisconsin’s state fruit. If you want to learn just a bit more about cranberries in Wisconsin, I wrote all about it in my visit to a cranberry bog here.
Tart cranberries are the best balance to the sweet crust and crumble. And if you ask me, this is the perfect Thanksgiving dessert if pumpkin pie isn’t your thing. Now, I like pumpkin pie, but I know plenty of people that won’t even touch it!
A slight digression down the cranberry path – do you eat cranberries or cranberry sauce at your Thanksgiving dinner? I don’t usually (I mean I’ll have a little bite but I don’t love them), but I have great memories of family making cranberry sauce every year and then having tons of leftovers because no one ate it. Anyways, these bars would be a great thing to make with leftover cranberry sauce!
Every time I make a batch of these bars, I put some aside because I actually prefer these bars served cold. So, I always store some in the freezer. I obviously let them thaw slightly and then enjoy!
Do you heat your desert up or prefer it slightly chilled? You could always meet in the middle and serve a warm dessert with a scoop of ice cream. Can’t go wrong there!
These cranberry walnut crumb dessert bars are a really great make-ahead dessert, meaning you can make them the day before an event and they hold up perfectly…freeing up oven space for day-of things! Hope you enjoy!
- 2 cups Kroger all-purpose flour
- 2 cups Kroger oats (old fashioned or quick cooking)
- 1 ½ cups Kroger brown sugar (light or dark), packed
- ¾ cup Kroger walnut halves, very finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon Kroger baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups Simple Truth unsalted butter (3 sticks), slightly melted
- 3 cups fresh cranberries
- 2/3 cup Smidge and Spoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon Kroger Pure vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 baking dish and set aside.
- In a large bowl combine flour, oats, brown sugar, chopped walnuts, baking soda and salt. Stir. Pour in melted butter and stir until a crumbly mixture forms.
- Press half of the mixture into the bottom of the prepared baking dish and bake for 8 minutes.
- While the bottom layer of the bars is baking, make the cranberry sauce/jam. In a medium pot with a lid, add the cranberries, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla extract. Cover and cook on high until cranberries pop. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until mixture has thickened into a jam-like consistency.
- Spoon/spread filling over bottom layer of bars. Crumble remaining topping over cranberry layer and bake for 25 minutes or until topping is starting to turn golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before slicing into bars and serving.