Pumpkin Cranberry Bars
These tart bars will really liven up your cookie routine! Try them out this Holiday season!
Continuing along in COOKIE WEEK for the Holiday Saute, I wanted to feature an at least semi-healthy cookie. And, although these Pumpkin Cranberry Bars are not technically cookies, I think they still count. I absolutely LOVE these bars, and they are always made at least twice in the fall/winter in our house. They freeze great, and my husband and my office loves them! My husband is a big hiker, and we add some extra oats in them so he can take them backpacking with him for a healthy, energizing snack.
This recipe is from Weight Watchers, and is absolutely amazing. I tweak it a little bit (add some extra oats sometimes, extra cranberries, little extra ginger), but play with it according to your taste buds and what you like! I'll post the original recipe, and then show how I tweak in the "suggestions" section.
Pumpkin Cranberry Bars (Weight Watchers)
Makes 18 Servings
1 cup packed brown sugar
4 tbsp reduced calorie margarine
1 cup pumpkin puree (canned or fresh)
1 large egg
1 large egg white
⅓ cup buttermilk
1 ¼ cups flour
1 ½ cups uncooked old fashioned oats
1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
⅔ cups dried cranberries
1. Heat oven to 350ºF (175ºC). Lightly coat a 9x13-inch (23x33 cm) baking pan with cooking spray, then dust lightly with flour.
2. In a large bowl, cream sugar and margarine with an electric mixer; beat in egg, egg white, pumpkin purée and buttermilk.
3. In medium bowl, combine flour, oats, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt. Stir into pumpkin mixture just until moistened, then add cranberries and mix gently.
4. Spread batter in pan and bake 20 to 25 minutes or until center springs back when gently pressed. Cool and cut into 18 bars.
Cost: Roughly $8.00
Cost per serving: $0.44 cents/bar (if you actually get 18 servings out of it-we cut big bars)
Bad Breath Factor: Not too bad, unless you overdo the pumpkin pie spice.
1) Use fresh pumpkin puree. Click here to learn how to cook your own pumpkin. Canned works too-but fresh is so much better!
2) I don't buy pumpkin pie spice. I like to go a little heavier on the ginger. You can use this combination of spices if you'd like: 1 ½ tsp cinnamon, ¼ tsp nutmeg, ¼ tsp ginger, and ¼ tsp cloves.
3) We tend to add about ⅓ cups of oats and an extra handful or so of cranberries. I also typically double the ginger-cause I LOVE ginger!
4) They freeze really well. Make a couple batches and eat them over the next few weeks. I don't cook with buttermilk much-so when it's in the house, I typically make about 3-4 batches of these.
Give these a shot-and make them in bulk :). They are really good and again-freeze really well! They're a real crowd pleaser: the savory, delicious pumpkin flavor really works well with the tart cranberries. They're amazing.