Cranberry Walnut Crumble Bars for #SundaySupper

by Renee on December 1, 2013

Cranberry Walnut Crumble Bars | Magnolia Days

Holiday foods and ingredients line the shelves. You walk in the store and the front display has the assorted usual baking supplies. Marshmallow fluff, brown sugar, candied fruit, chocolate chips, and nuts are there waiting for you to buy. End displays further temp you as you go through the store. You arrive at the produce department to see an array of seasonal items. Fresh cranberries are one of them. However, Thanksgiving is over and you wonder what to do with them besides making sauce. The answer is simple; make cranberry walnut crumble bars.

Fresh cranberries are quite interesting. They float and bounce. Floating is how they are harvested. The fields are flooded and the berries rise to the surface. Bouncing helps growers sort through to find the good ones to sell. Cranberries are very sour and bitter in their natural form. It is why most of the dishes made with them are sweetened. The cranberries in these bars are sweetened and softened by cooking them with corn syrup, water, and orange juice.

Cranberry Walnut Crumble Bars | Magnolia Days

How are the cranberry walnut crumble bars? They have a wonderful sweet/tart flavor combo thanks to the cranberries. The crust is a nutty, buttery platform for the filling. One of the best parts is that it is covered with a walnut crumble topping. The bars are on the soft and gooey side so be careful when picking up one. It may try to fall apart on you. Best thing to do is to eat it quick before it has a chance. At least that is what I did.

I have you covered with fresh cranberries. The Sunday Supper bloggers have you covered with much more. Our “We Got You Covered” event has recipes for covered dishes, foods that are covered, and covering a need you may have. Special thanks our host DB, aka Foodie Stuntman, of Crazy Foodie Stunts for keeping us covered with the behind the scenes details for this event. Scroll down to see the fantastic recipes we have for you.

Have you cooked or baked with fresh cranberries? Now is the time. Grab several packs at the store and take advantage of them while they are available. Make these bars or cranberry salad and enjoy the season.

Cranberry Walnut Crumble Bars

1 hour

Makes 12 bars or 16 squares

Cranberry Walnut Crumble Bars

    For the filling:
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 2/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • For the crust and crumble topping:
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
For the filling:

Place the cranberries, corn syrup, water and orange juice in a medium saucepan. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove pan from heat and stir in vanilla.

For the bars:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease an 8-inch square baking pan. You can also line the pan with parchment for easier removal after baking.

In a food processor fitted with a knife blade, add the sugar, brown sugar, flour, oats, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.

Pulse one or two times to combine. Add the diced butter. Pulse until it resembles coarse crumbs.

Transfer the crumb mixture into a large bowl. Stir in the walnuts.

Set aside 1 1/2 cups of the crumb mixture in a bowl to be used for the topping.

Pour the remaining crumb mixture into the baking pan, spread evenly, and firmly press down.

Bake the crust for 15 minutes. Pour the filling over the baked crust and spread evenly. Sprinkle reserved crumb mixture on top.

Return the pan to the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until set.

Cool completely on a wire rack. Slice into bars or squares.

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Recipe adapted/inspired from a combination of elements from Peanutty Cranberry Bars on Hershey’s website and Cranberry Crumble Bars on Betty Crocker website.

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{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

The Ninja Baker December 1, 2013 at 3:27 am

Grabbing cranberries during this season and freezing them is something I do every year, Renee. Why? So, I can make wholesome yummy treats like your cranberry walnut crumble bars…P.s. My mother-in-law’s cranberry bread (the best!) calls for orange juice, too =)

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Renee December 7, 2013 at 9:37 am

I’ve seen some cranberry breads with orange juice and I need to make that one of the breads I make soon. Or freeze the fresh cranberries so I can make it later.

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Paula @ Vintage Kitchen Notes December 1, 2013 at 6:35 am

Since we don’t have cranberries here, I badly want them, tons of them! Crumb bars are usually very sweet, so I can only imagine (literally!) how great a layer of tart cranberries balances the whole thing! Love these Renee.

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Renee December 7, 2013 at 9:37 am

I didn’t realize you don’t have cranberries in Buenos Aries. How interesting.

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Kim@Treats & Trinkets December 1, 2013 at 7:56 am

These are so fun. I don’t think I’ve ever baked with fresh cranberries before; I’ll have to try! And this crust sounds so homey and comforting.

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Renee December 7, 2013 at 9:35 am

The buttery crust is very homey and comforting. You should bake with fresh cranberries. I think once you do you will be hooked.

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Laura Dembowski December 1, 2013 at 8:24 am

I love baking with cranberries. These bars look outstanding!

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Renee December 7, 2013 at 9:34 am

Once I’ve baked with cranberries there is no stopping me now either.

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Katy December 1, 2013 at 8:51 am

These bars look fabulous – I’m just about to go and buy fresh cranberries to make mince pies; I’ll buy extra to make these as well!

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Renee December 7, 2013 at 9:33 am

Mince pies are something I haven’t tried yet. I’m curious and need to tackle them one day.

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Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers December 1, 2013 at 9:35 am

Yum! I just love cranberries and walnuts together and in this little bar it’s just perfect!! This would make a great snack for work this week!!

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Renee December 7, 2013 at 9:32 am

Great idea to take them as a snack to work.

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Katie December 1, 2013 at 9:50 am

Mmmm! I love the tart bite of cranberries…and am looking forward to using them in my cooking/baking in the next few weeks! Your crumble bars look absolutely heavenly!

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Renee December 7, 2013 at 9:32 am

I’m looking for more fresh cranberry recipes too. I need to investigate and experiment while they are in season.

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Danielle December 1, 2013 at 11:55 am

These look delicious! I have cranberries on my grocery list for today…just might have to add this to my list of “holiday bakes”

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Renee December 7, 2013 at 9:31 am

These bars will be on my holiday bakes from now on and I hope they will be on yours too.

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Stacy December 1, 2013 at 12:14 pm

I’m going to send the link for these lovely bars to a friend who is in fresh cranberry country and was looking for recipes. Your bars look delicious and chewy, Renee!

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Renee December 7, 2013 at 9:30 am

Thank you so much for sending the link to your friend. How lucky for he/she to be in cranberry country. I bet the super fresh ones are superb.

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Tara December 1, 2013 at 2:14 pm

I would love the combination of flavors of the tart cranberries with the walnuts. They look so very good!!!

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Renee December 7, 2013 at 9:29 am

Oh they are so very good Tara. Walnuts and cranberries are such a nice combo.

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Christie December 1, 2013 at 3:55 pm

Wow. Renee, these look so uber tasty. I maybe has to snag a few bags of cranberries and freeze them so I can make these all year!! #pinning

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Renee December 7, 2013 at 9:28 am

Thanks a bunch for the pin Christie!

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Liz December 1, 2013 at 6:04 pm

Mmmmm….these sound amazing, Renee! I always have a stash of cranberries in my freezer…and one bag was waiting for this recipe!

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Renee December 7, 2013 at 9:28 am

I need to get extra fresh cranberries and freeze them too. Great inspiration Liz.

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Constance @FoodieArmyWife December 1, 2013 at 6:27 pm

Mmmm….these look delicious!!!

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Renee December 7, 2013 at 9:27 am

And they taste as delicious as they look.

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Shaina December 1, 2013 at 8:09 pm

Fresh cranberries are so great to bake with, I love their tart flavor

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Renee December 7, 2013 at 9:26 am

Me too. The tartness balances with all the sweetness.

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Dina December 1, 2013 at 11:07 pm

they look yummy!

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Renee December 7, 2013 at 9:25 am

They taste as yummy as they look too.

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Sarah | Curious Cuisiniere December 2, 2013 at 9:46 am

Yum! We love crumble bars, but we’ve never tried them with cranberry. How perfect for the season!

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Renee December 7, 2013 at 9:24 am

I very much agree with you Sarah. I can’t pass by those bags of fresh cranberries this time of year without getting some. They are so good.

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Julie @ Texan New Yorker December 2, 2013 at 4:13 pm

This looks great – I actually prefer fresh cranberries over dried a lot of the time. :)

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Renee December 7, 2013 at 9:23 am

I’m a fan of both fresh and dried cranberries and use the dried ones all throughout the year.

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Courtney @ Neighborfood December 2, 2013 at 5:32 pm

I love desserts like this…sweet and fruity with a good crunch!

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Renee December 7, 2013 at 9:23 am

Thanks Courtney and I like a good sweet and fruity dessert too. The crunch is a bonus.

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Cindys Recipes and Writings December 2, 2013 at 9:20 pm

I’m always looking for a good way to use cranberries. I think the walnuts sound perfect for this, Renee!

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Renee December 7, 2013 at 9:22 am

The walnuts add such a nice crunch to the crust and topping. Great with the cranberries too.

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Bill December 3, 2013 at 12:29 pm

Yum!! These will make great holiday sweets to have around the house. They look delicious!! Great post, Renee!

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Renee December 7, 2013 at 9:18 am

They do make great treats to have around only thing is they disappear quickly. Well, you can always make more.

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Sarah Reid, RHNC (@jo_jo_ba) December 3, 2013 at 9:50 pm

I know a host of people who would kill for these

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Renee December 7, 2013 at 9:12 am

I took them to a family birthday celebration and they disappeared in a matter of minutes.

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