With both kids in school now, baking these days needs to be simple and quick … just like my posts need to be concise and to the point. You see, homework, lunchbox prep, dinner and making sure uniforms are cleaned and pressed take up the better part of my afternoons nowadays. So here it goes: these Oatmeal Cranberry Bars are really quite healthy. With just a few tablespoons of butter, a single egg, oatmeal and nutritious cranberries they make for an ideal snack the kids can tote in their lunchboxes. Not to mention they’re a sweet accompaniment to that (much-needed) afternoon cup of joe.
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup flaked coconut
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line an 8-inch square metal baking pan with some foil, allowing for some excess to hang over sides. Grease the bottom and sides of the foil with some butter or margarine. In a medium-large bowl, stir together the oats, flour, brown sugar, cranberries, coconut, baking powder and salt then set aside. In a smaller bowl whisk the butter, egg and vanilla well then stir the mixture into the larger bowl and blend with a whisk or wooden spoon until combined well. Empty the batter into the baking pan and using a wooden spoon or your hands, gently pat it down to evenly fill the baking pan.
Bake until set and golden, about 25 minutes. Lift the ends of the foil to remove the bars with the foil from the baking pan. Cool on a rack, then cut into squares. Makes about 16 squares which keep well for at least 5 days in a tightly-covered container.