Saturday, November 3, 2012

#cranberrylove Cranberry Cheesecake Bars

This month the theme for Love Bloghop is cranberries, or #cramberrylove.  It couldn't have come at a better time, as fresh cranberries are appearing in the grocery stores.  Join in on the #cranberrylove fun linking up any cranberry recipe from the month of November 2012.  Don't forget to link back to this post, so that your readers know to come stop by the #cranberrylove event.  The twitter hashtag is#cranberryhlove:)

I love cranberries, fresh or dried, and cranberry juice. I use the dried cranberries in baking and cooking, when the fresh ones aren't available. During the holidays I use a lot of cranberries in various ways; I always make fresh cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving, I float fresh cranberries In Mulled Hot Cranberry Apple Cider, in my Sour Cream Coffee Cake that I make every Christmas, in Salads, Christmas cocktails, in a warm fruit topping  for baked brie, hot tea mixed with cranberry juice and a cinnamon stick, and many more.  Besides being a healthy fruit to eat, you can even decorate with them. I even float cranberries in my candle bowl for a festive touch.

Probably most people think that cranberries are grown in the Northeast, a but now Wisconsin produces more cranberries than any other state in the US.  and the cranberry is the Wisconsin State fruit, which I did not know. There is even a huge Cranberry Festival in Warrens, WI, in NW Wisconsin. My Bunco group went a on a road trip to this festival several years ago.  Even then, there were 50,00 people expected over the weekend event. Now I see they expect 110,000 people in 2013.

For my  #cranberrylove recipe, I knew that I wanted to bake something.  I make raspberry bars with a shortbread crust, but I wanted something a little different.  then I thought of Cheescake and cranberries, but I settled on Cranberry Cheesecake Bars. I saw a recipe from Lizzy @That Skinny Chick Can Bake, which I tweaked a bit.  the recipe called for canned cranberry sauce, but I used fresh cranberries. Also,  I used rolled oats, instead of the Quick-cooking oats, which was in the recipe.

These bars are wonderful with an oatmeal crust, rich cranberry sauce topped cheesecake, and topped the another layer of Oatmeal crumb topping. These would be a wonderful addition to any Thanksgiving or holiday dessert table. Scott tested these already and they get his approval.

Cranberry Cheesecake Bars Adapted from Lizzy@That Skinny Chick Can Bake

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups uncooked quick cooking or rolled oats
3/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon firmly packed brown sugar, divided
1 cup butter, at room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 can (14 ounce) sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 (16 ounce) can whole berry cranberry sauce, or 2 c fresh cranberry Sauce***

Preheat oven 350°. Lightly grease a 13 x 9 baking pan. 

In large bowl combine flour, oats, 3/4 cup sugar and butter; mix until crumbly. Reserve 1 1/2 cups crumb mixture for topping, and press the rest into the greased pan. Bake 15 minutes. Cool completely.

In large bowl beat cream cheese until fluffy, gradually mix in condensed milk, lemon juice, and vanilla until smooth. Pour evenly over crust. In small bowl combine remaining sugar, cornstarch and cranberry sauce. Spoon over cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle reserved crumb mixture over top. 

Bake 40 minutes. Cool at room temperature, refrigerate before cutting. Store in refrigerator.

*** Cooks Note: If you make the Fresh cranberry sauce, I would recommend making it the day before, or early in the day, so it can cool completely in the fridge, before topping the cheesecake batter.

Fresh Cranberry Sauce
1 c sugar
1 c water
1 12 oz bag, fresh cranberries, rinsed

Combine sugar and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to boil; add cranberries, return to boil. Reduce heat and boil gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cover and cool completely at room temperature. Refrigerate until serving time. Makes  2 1/4 cups.

I linked up my recipe to Brandie@The Country Cook's Weekend Potluck #42
 Stop by and say Hi to Brandie!

Here is a list of my wonderful co-hosts

Deanna @ Teaspoon of Spice | @tspbasil
Kimberly @ Badger Girl Learns To Cook | @bdgergrl
Evelyne @ Cheap Ethic Eatz |  @cethniceatz
EA @ The Spicy RD | @thespicyrd
Sheila @ Pippi’s In the Kitchen Again | @shlylais
T.R. @ No One Likes Crumbley Cookies | @TRCrumbley
Shulie @ Food Wanderings | @foodwanderings
Becky @ Baking and Cooking: The Tale of Two Loves


  1. these sound marvelous I have tons of fresh cranberries in my fridge got to get to make these soon!

    1. Claudia,
      These bars would be a good use of your cranberries, so good.

  2. I have no cranberries! Ugh. These look so delicious. What a perfect way to start the holiday season.

    1. Christiane,
      Save this recipe, and then you can make these yummy bars, when you get some cranberries.

  3. I love cranberries I need to try this recipe out. My favorite time of year to bake and cook with cranberries.

    1. I agree with you that this is a wonderful time of year to bake and cook with cranberries.

  4. those cheesecake bars look too good! wish I had a few for dessert right now!

    1. Chef Dennis,
      Thank you! I would send you some, but I don't think that they would survive the trip:)

  5. Just saw cranberries in the market- love Lizzy's cookie recipes and your cheesecake bars look delicious!

    1. Patty,
      I just saw these fresh cranberries last Tuesday and took advantage of them. the cheesecake bars are very good!

  6. Mmmmmm....your bars look fantastic! Love your tweaks...and now I must try them "Becky's Way!"

    1. Lizzy,
      Thank you for sharing the recipe. he bars turned out so well and are so good.

  7. Oh wow those bars look amazing, love the cheesecake part too. Lizzy has great recipes.

    1. These bars are so good with a crunchy oatmeal crust, creamy cheesecake, and tangy cranberry sauce, tipped with more crust crumbles.

  8. Wow Becky, did not know it's #cranberrylove month. I will certainly link up with you real soon, since we all love cranberries many ways, and both Lora and I make something with it. Just love the fresh cranberries the most:)

    Love your 'tweak' on Lizzy's Cranberry bars. So pretty, creative and very yummy!

    1. Elisabeth,
      Fresh cranberries are the best, and these bars certainly showcase them. I'll be looking for your #cranberrylove recipe soon.

  9. Replies
    1. Yes, Betsy, you need to make these, and you won't be disappointed.

  10. Man those bars look inviting! I am wild about cheesecake and oats...and cranberries too. MMMM wonderful!

  11. These look so decadent! I have tons of cranberries in my freezer - I need to make these!

    1. Jessica,
      These bars are a great way to use some of those cranberries in your freezer.


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