Living on Martha’s Vineyard and surrounded by Cape Cod cranberries, it’s bound to happen that my seasonal baked treats are cranberry-focused. These Cranberry Coconut Oat Bars are simple to make and packed with the flavors of the season: cranberries, orange, and oats!
This season, baking for friends is one of my goals. Actually, baking for strangers might be the best way to really describe it, as I tend to bake, wrap it up and head out the door, ready to surprise an unsuspecting friend with a sweet treat! Whether it’s the bus driver that takes me into town or the lady behind the espresso maker that makes my latte at the coffee shop, surprising someone with a baked good during the holiday season (and year-round) is the best way to bring a smile to someone’s face.
These Cranberry Coconut Oat Bars are packed with chewy cranberries and the aroma and flavor of fresh orange zest. I’ve used dried cranberries in this recipe that have been soaked for a couple of hours in hot water to rehydrate them and plump them up a bit. This is what makes this recipe extra tasty, so don’t skip this step! To make it simpler, the same dough used on the bottom is saved and mixed with shredded coconut to serve as the topping of the bars – a win win situation for everyone!
What’s your favorite dessert to bake with cranberries?
- 2 cups dried cranberries, soaked in hot water
- 1 orange, zested
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1¼ cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
- Preheat the oven to 350F and grease a square baking pan.
- Over low medium heat in a sauce pan, drains the cranberries and cook with orange zest, sugar, and cornstarch for 15-20 minutes.
- In the meantime, make the dough by combining the softened butter, sugars, and egg. Stir until combined and add the flour and oats.
- Using your hands, press ¾ of the dough on to the bottom of the pan. To the leftover dough in the bowl, add the coconut and mix (this will be used for the topping).
- Pour over the cooled cranberry mixture, spreading to the edges and corners.
- Sprinkle the coconut crumbles on top, lightly pressing down.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes until slightly golden brown on the top.