Cranberry Walnut Squares

Perfect as an afternoon snack in the office when you’re looking for that extra energy to get you through the day.  Definitely better than getting something from a vending machine.  You might even bring some extra… because if your office mates find out you’re eating one of these delicious and appealing bars… they’re going to want some too!

These Cranberry Walnut Squares are loaded with dried cranberries, chopped walnuts, flaked coconuts and raisins.

These squares are great for picnics.  As travel foods… And if you have kids… are undeniably healthier snacks compared to a regular candy bar.

Once you have gathered al the ingredients you need… these bars only take minutes to prepare.

Yes… it’s simple and easy… and for a little effort, you will be rewarded with all these goodies.  I’ve used Kitchen Aid mixer in mixing the crust.  And I’ve also used spatula and my hands/fingers.  For those who may not have an electric mixer.

Below are what you need for this recipe:

Crust ingredients: old fashioned oatmeal, all purpose flour, brown sugar, baking powder, kosher salt, coconut oil and milk, and ground cinnamon.

These are what you need for the filling ingredients: dried cranberries, raisins, walnuts, sweetened flaked coconut, sugar, all purpose flour, dried orange peel (optional) freshly squeezed orange juice, eggs and vanilla extract.

Making the Crust:

Measure one and one half cup of uncooked oatmeal into a food processor.

Pulse a few times until crumbly.

And pour the contents into a large mixing bowl.

Add to the coarsely ground oatmeal the rest of the crust ingredients.

Mix them up with your hands, breaking up the lumps of brown sugar.

Since the coconut oil is solid.  I melted it in the microwave for 30 seconds.  And added 1/2 cup of coconut milk.

Add these to the oatmeal, flour and sugar mixture.

If you are using butter… this is where you’ll add the melted butter to the  oatmeal and flour mixture.

Oatmeal, flour and sugar mixture with the coconut oil/milk combination.

Mix until crumbly.

Mix well until soft dough chunks are formed.

*** If using butter, the mixture will be more crumbly and will not form into soft chunks of dough.

Reserve half the crust (soft chunks of dough) for topping.

Meanwhile…

Press half of the crust onto a 9 x 13″ rectangular pan.

Bake bottom crust for 8 minutes.

And while you’re cooling the crust.  Mix the filling.

The Filling:

In a large mixing bowl, combine dried fruits, walnuts, and flaked coconuts.

And flour and sugar.

Mix.

Add orange juice.

In another bowl.  Beat eggs and vanilla extract.

Add beaten eggs to the dried fruits, flour, sugar mixture.

Stir until eggs/vanilla extract is absorb and a sticky mixture is formed.

Add the filling to the cooled crust.

Press the remaining crust over the filling.

I made small flat patches out of the remaining crust/soft dough chunks, by either pressing them in between my palms or between two pieces of waxed paper.  And then placing the flat patches (crust) over the filling.

And then bake in preheated oven for 28 – 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes of baking…

Completely cool for at least 2 hours before cutting into squares.

Serve as snacks, travel food, in place of lunch, and for kids lunch pack…

The Recipe:

Cranberry Walnut Squares

Crust:

1 ½ cups uncooked oatmeal – coarsely ground

2 cups unbleached all purpose flour

1 ¼ cup brown sugar

1 ½ tsp. baking powder

¼ tsp. ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp. kosher salt

¼ cup coconut oil melted

½ cup coconut milk

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Measure the coconut oil into a microwavable measuring cup.  Microwave for 30 seconds.  Add ½ cup coconut milk to the melted coconut oil In.  Stir.

Ground Old Fashioned Oatmeal in a food processor until coarse.

Empty the ground oatmeal into a large mixing bowl.  Add flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.  Mix with your hands, crumbling the brown sugar.  Give the coconut oil/milk a quick stir.  And power over the oatmeal and flour mixture.   Mix with your hands until soft chunks of dough formed.  Divide mixture in half.

Press half of the soft chunks of dough into the bottom of a 9”x13” baking pan… pressing on the corners and sides.

Bake Crust in the preheated oven for 8 minutes.  Remove crust from the oven and cool while you mix the filling.

Filling:

1 (6 ounce) package dried cranberries

1 cup walnuts – chopped

½ cup sweetened flaked coconut

½ cup raisins

½ cup granulated sugar

¼ cup + 1 TBSP. unbleached all purpose flour

1 tsp. dried orange peel – Optional (Available in the “spices section” at your local grocers.)

1/8 tsp. kosher salt

3 TBSPs. freshly squeeze orange juice

1 tsp. vanilla

2 extra large eggs

In a large mixing bowl… combine dried cranberries, chopped walnuts, flaked coconut, raisins, sugar, flour, dried orange peel, and salt.  Using a spatula, stir all these ingredients until well combined.  Add the orange juice and stir to coat all the dry ingredients.

In a separate bowl… whisk together eggs and vanilla extract just until lightly beaten.  Pour over the cranberry – walnut mixture.  Stir with a spatula until all ingredients are combined.

Spread filling mixture onto the cooled crust.

In between your palm, or between two waxed paper, flatten the soft dough chunks into flat patches, and place over the filling.  Press lightly with your hand.

Bake at 350°F for 27 – 30 minutes or until the sides or edges of the crust are golden brown.  Do not over bake.   Cool completely before cutting into bars.

Print a recipe using butter.

Tess’ Kitchen Secrets:

#1 – Coconut oil and coconut milk make these squares dairy free.  And it  makes the crust a bit more crispy and less crumbly.  And if it weren’t for the eggs, these bars would be considered vegan.

#2 – Walnuts blend so well with these bars.

Enjoy and Happy Cooking!

Tess Harris

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4 thoughts on “Cranberry Walnut Squares

    • Hi, Kathleen!

      Thank you…

      Good to see you here again… Thanks for coming back.

      Yeah. Me too! The walnuts are really perfect for this recipe. The squares taste heavenly… and less guilt. 🙂

      Until next time. Take care…

      Tess

  1. Reminds me so much of those 7 layer magic cookie bars ~ yummy. Yes, yours are much healthier by using the oatmeal and cranberries. I love eating dried cranberries as a snack, and throwing them into a tossed salad. You bet I’ll be giving this recipe a try. But unfortunately, I again gave up all flour & sugar products for Lent, so this will have to wait. Think I’ll make these just before our cruise, and drop some off to Megan, cause she will love them, and they will travel well. Thanks and Hugs Tess 🙂

    • Hi Tess!

      Thanks. Hugs back to you…

      Seven layer cookie bars. I’ve never heard of them. I guess I’d look it up… 🙂

      … me too. I like to eat cranberries if there’s nothing else sweet in the house. Though I’ve not try them on salad.

      … I forgot about the Lent season.

      Yeah. I have to remind myself to make these next time we travel too… I think I’ve made some brownies last time we went somewhere. Which of course not healthy…

      … You’re going on another cruise…? Where to this time…?

      Anyway. Thanks for stopping by.

      Have a great weekend.

      Hugs! 🙂

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