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Recipe: Cranberry/Oatmeal Bliss Bars

After Christmas, we had a rather large amount of Craisins onhand.  Mom suggested topping cereal and oatmeal or adding them to pancake batter.  All great ideas, but I wanted to utilize a bigger quantity - rather than just a handful - of the dried berries all at once.  Having fallen in love with my coworker's "Oatmeal Caramelitas," I decided to tweak the recipe.  Why?  Because when I think of oatmeal and brown sugar as ingredients (both separately and together), my mind automatically goes to fruit and milk, not chocolate and caramel.  In my version, I substitute chocolate chips with Craisins and opt for condensed milk over caramel sauce.  The Maldon Sea Salt Flakes finish these bars with a delightfully savory kick!




  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all purpose or unbleached flour
  • 2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups salted butter, softened



  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease 13x9-inch pan.  Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off.  In large bowl, combine all crust ingredients, mix at low speed until crumbly, or mix by hand.  Reserve 3 cups of the crumb mixture for the topping.  Press remaining crumb mixture in bottom of the greased pan.  Bake for 10 minutes.
  2. In a small bowl, combine sweetened condensed milk and flour; blend well.  
  3. Remove partially baked crust from oven; sprinkle evenly with Craisins and, if you opted, the chopped pecans.  Drizzle with condensed milk mixture.  Finish by sprinkling the reserved crumb mixture. 
  4. Return to oven; bake an additional 20 minutes or until golden brown.  Lightly sprinkle with Maldon Sea Salt Flakes.  
  5. Cool 1 hour (or until completely cooled).  Refrigerate for 1-2 hours or until filling is set.  Cut in to bars and enjoy!


Until we eat again

The Lunch Belle

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