With the fourth of July coming up, everyone likes to make all manner of patriotic colored foods. Hey, I get it, and I do it, too. It’s fun :). We make Punch Bowl Cake, red/white/blue layered spritzers for the kids, and one of my favorites are the red, white, and blue layered jello jars. Now you need to add Cranberry Cheesecake Bars to that list!
This is a decadent dessert that you might not think of this time of year because of one of the ingredients. I never limit cranberries to Thanksgiving though, because they are so stinking good. So I got to thinking, reckon how many of us have a can of cranberry sauce in our pantries right now? I bet a lot of us do. I checked when I was getting ready for this post and I had three! What better way to use it right now than to make these pretty, easy to serve, cheesecake bars with a ribbon of red and white running right through the center?
And you know that I REALLY love about taking these to a Fourth of July get celebration? They come out of the pan looking as pretty as they do in that photograph up there! Seriously!
Ready? Let’s get in the kitchen!
You’ll need: All purpose flour, oats (quick or old fashioned), brown sugar (light or dark), butter or margarine, white morsels (white chocolate chips), cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice, vanilla, cornstarch, and one can of whole berry cranberry sauce.
Mix your oats, brown sugar, and flour in a bowl. Stir them up good.
Now add in your butter and cut that in there with a fork or a pastry cutter until it is good and crumbly.
Stir in your morsels.
Now take out 2+1/2 cups of this and set it aside. That will be your crumb topping later.
Press the rest into a 9×13 pan that you’ve sprayed with cooking spray.
In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until it is fluffy – or until it decides to give up and do whatever you want.
Add in sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice, and vanilla. Mix that up until smooth and creamy.
If you didn’t let your cream cheese sit out like you were supposed to, it might be a little lumpy still. But hey, life happens.
Spread this over the top of your crust.
Dump your cranberry sauce into a bowl or measuring cup like I’m using. Add cornstarch.
Stir that up really good with a fork to blend.
Now if you are thinking this out in your head you might be thinking that this isn’t going to be an easy task but it really is. Once you start stirring that fork around it all blends together surprisingly fast.
Spread this over the top of your cream cheese mixture.
Sprinkle the reserved crumb mixture on top.
Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes.
Ain’t they perty?
Now technically you are supposed to not only allow these to cool completely but also cover and refrigerate them before serving. You should definitely, definitely do that. Always follow instructions, right? But I will tell you that eating one warm, straight from the pan, is a pretty awesome experience as well. 🙂
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 +1/2 cups quick or old fashioned oats
- 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 cup 2 sticks butter or margarine, at room temp
- 2 cups white morsels chips, such as Nestles
- 8 ounces cream cheese at room temp
- 14 ounce sweetened condensed milk
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 14 ounces Ocean Spray Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- In large bowl, combine flour, oats, and brown sugar. Cut in butter until crumbly and then stir in white chips. Set aside two and 1/2 cups of this mixture to use for the topping later. Press the rest into the bottom of a greased 9x13 pan to form a crust.
- In a separate bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Add in sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice, and vanilla and beat again until smooth and creamy. Pour over crust.
- Stir together cranberry sauce and corn starch with a fork. I know it seems like it won't stir together before you get started but it is really very easy. Spread this over the top of the cream cheese mixture and then sprinkle the reserved crumbs over the top of that.
- Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes or until center is set. Cool completely (but they are delicious warm! Don't ask me how I know this...). Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Cut into bars and enjoy!
“Look back in forgiveness, forward in hope, down in compassion, and up with gratitude.”
Special thanks to my friends at Ocean Spray. I fell in love with this recipe and reached out to them for permission to share it. They were even gracious enough to let me use their final photograph!Yum