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Winning Cranberry Date Bars

I enjoy making these when the cranberry season arrives. The recipe is very easy to put together, which is perfect for busy parents like me. —Richard Grams, LaCrosse, Wisconsin
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. Bake: 30 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    4 dozen

Ingredients

  • 1 package (12 ounces) fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 package (8 ounces) chopped dates
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1-1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • ORANGE GLAZE:
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  • In a large saucepan, combine cranberries and dates. Cover and cook over low heat for 15 minutes or until berries pop, stirring often. Remove from the heat and stir in vanilla; set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda and salt. Stir in butter until crumbly. Press half into an ungreased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 8 minutes. Spoon cranberry mixture over the crust; spread gently. Sprinkle with remaining crumb mixture; pat down gently.
  • Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Combine glaze ingredients; drizzle over bars.

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Reviews

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Average Rating:
  • brunoite
    Nov 30, 2018

    Excellent! Tangy yet sweet! It did take me longer than 15 minutes on low heat to cook the cranberries and dates to the right constituency. Only made about half of the orange glaze and it was the perfect amount to drizzle over the squares.

  • 2124arizona
    Aug 27, 2017

    These bars are awesome!!

  • DawnLockhart
    May 25, 2015

    Very good - will definitely make again.

  • dahn98
    Dec 14, 2013

    These are easily my newest, favoritest Christmas recipe--ever. And here is why: when you snack on sweet treats, they are yummy and soothing. You expect that from sweet, homemade treats. Then you bite into one of these bad boys. Hello--they smack you right between the eyes with tartness, sweetness, then tartness again. Your mouth instantly salivates and galvanizes you from a grazer of seasonal sweetness to shocked silence as you decide if they are too sweet or too tart or too ?? I loved the looks on co-workers faces when they had to think whether they liked them or not. And they all LOVED them.Just to add to what others have said-do NOT add any water to the dates/cranberries. The consistency needs to be like buttering bread. Smooth it over the cooked bottom crust and crumble the rest of the topping. I didn't think there would be enough dough, but there was..Thanks again for this awesome recipe. I will NOT be sharing it with anyone.. My precious...

  • Donalee2
    Dec 30, 2011

    I HAVEN'T TRIED THIS RECIPE BUT I WILL. ABOUT THE CRANBERRIES AND DATES COOKING WITHOUT WATER. YES YOU CAN BUT YOU WANT TO KEEP THE FIRE UNDER THEM LOW UNTIL THE CRANBERRIES START TO POP TO GIVE THE MOISTURE. I COOK CRANBERRIES WITHOUT WATER ALL THE TIME.

  • madcookingmama
    Apr 12, 2011

    To the question about cooking the cranberries and dates without water--it works. The cranberries start to pop as they cook with the dates and it makes a thick, yet moist paste. You do not need any water! Trust the recipe-it is amazing!

  • madcookingmama
    Apr 12, 2011

    These are absolutely fabulous! I have been baking these delectable bars ever since they first appeared in Country magazine back in 1998. They are a family tradition at both Christmas and Thanksgiving and EVERYONE who tastes them asks for the recipe. This is a keeper!

  • orchardgal
    Dec 2, 2010

    How can you cook fresh cranberries and dates without any water? How much water to cook?