Happy Thanksgiving! I hope your holiday is filled to the brim with happiness, delicious food and complete agreement on politics. I have already been warned to keep political “discussions” (i.e. steamrolling) to a minimum. We shall see. I’m popping in today to share a delightful way to use up leftover cranberry sauce — these Cranberry Ginger Crumble Bars.
I personally love cranberry sauce, but not the way it is typically used at Thanksgiving, i.e. glopped onto a plate to commingle jarringly with twelve other incongruous soft foods. I use it for swirling into yogurt, dolloping on PB toast or topping oatmeal. Whatever your thoughts on cranberry sauce may be, you will likely have some leftover tomorrow, and I highly recommend you make these bars to snack on over the long weekend ahead.
These bars resemble traditional raspberry crumble bars, with a few seasonal upgrades. Leftover cranberry sauce takes the place of raspberry filling, which makes these bars both easier and more delicious than the original. I love how the tart flavor of cranberry contrasts with the sweet shortbread crust. Cinnamon and ginger infuse the whole grain shortbread crust with a delicate spice, while candied ginger studs the crumble topping to give it an interesting bite. If you don’t have leftover cranberry sauce on hand, I include my simple recipe below. I would not recommend using a savory cranberry sauce or a relish-style cranberry sauce in these bars. Nobody wants onion in their crumble bars!
I wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving tomorrow and a relaxing start to the holiday season. Enjoy! xo Maggie
p.s. If you like cranberries as much as I, this cranberry loaf is a real winner.Print
- 2 cups spelt flour (whole wheat pastry or all-purpose work, too)
- 1 3/4 cups rolled oats
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted, plus more for pan
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 1/2 cups cranberry sauce (see recipe below)
- 1/3 cup candied ginger, finely chopped
- Optional: powdered sugar for dusting
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8 inch square cake pan with parchment paper and grease the sides with butter.
- Make the crust: in a large bowl, mix together flour, oats, sugar, butter, salt, cinnamon and ginger until a crumbly dough forms. Press two-thirds of the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan, using the back of a measuring cup to get the dough even and compact. Bake for 10 minutes. While the crust bakes, mix the remaining crumble mixture with the candied ginger.
- Assemble: Spread the cranberry sauce evenly atop the pre-baked crust. Sprinkle with the remaining crumble. Bake for 30-35 minutes until lightly golden and cranberries are bubbling.
- Allow the bars to cool **completely** before removing them from the pan and cutting them into squares. The bars will firm up as they cool. After cooling on a rack for 10 minutes, you can place them in the fridge to speed up the cooling process. Dust with powdered sugar (optional) and enjoy!
If your cranberry sauce is loose and rather liquid-y, stir in 1-2 tablespoons of arrowroot powder or cornstarch to help thicken it.
I would not recommend using a savory cranberry sauce or a relish-style cranberry sauce in these bars.
- 1 quart/ 4 heaping cups cranberries (fresh or frozen)
- 1 1/2 cups apple cider
- 1/4 cup raw sugar (plus more, to taste)
- Zest and juice of 1 orange
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 inch knob fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- In a medium pot combine all ingredients except the orange juice and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and cook until cranberries are completely softened and mixture has reduced into a thick sauce, about 25 minutes. Taste and add more sugar (or maple syrup or honey) to reach desired level of sweetness — I like it quite tart.
- Remove from heat and stir in orange juice. Enjoy!