Cranberry-Date Bars

These bars are chockfull of fresh cranberries and chopped dates, a filling that needs no added sugar! And because the crust contains wholegrain oats and cornmeal, these bars are as good for breakfast as they are for a dessert. They freeze well, too.

1 12-oz. bag fresh cranberries (thaw, if frozen)
1 8-oz. box chopped dates
2 T. water
1 tsp. vanilla

2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 ½ cups brown sugar, packed
½ tsp. baking soda
1 cup melted butter
1 cup flour
¼ cup cornmeal

2 cups powdered sugar
2-3 T. orange juice
1 tsp. vanilla

In a medium saucepan, simmer the cranberries, dates, and water until the cranberries pop. When thickened, remove from heat and add the vanilla.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350º. Stir all the crust ingredients together until well moistened. Press half the mixture into a sprayed 9 x 13” pan and bake for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and spread the filling over the crust, then dot the filling with clumps of the remaining crust. Bake another 25-30 minutes, until bars feel almost firm in the center. Cool on a rack. Mix glaze and drizzle over the top.

Kitchen Hint: You can replace half of the flour with whole wheat or white whole wheat flour.

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