Cranberry Orange Oatmeal Bars

January 17, 2013 · 13 comments

cranberry orange oatmeal bars with coconut oil

It’s the eve of a four day weekend, and I think this is my exact favorite part of all the days off. There’s the promise of pancakes and diy Pinterest projects (yikes) all in the immediate future. There’s no bedtime to follow. And there’s a lot of crazy just floating around in my brain that I don’t have to make sense of. It feels good.

You should know this. I’m planning a weekend where the open wine bottles in their hurry up and drink me stages on my counter are my favorite kind of trouble.

But…allowing time for Target wanderings before lunches with friend is a close second. I never leave these occasions without nail polish or tank tops or one new plate to compliment my mixed up collection. I just can’t be responsible in that store.

In addition to consuming too much maple syrup, I think I’ll subscribe to the theory that anything involving oatmeal is automatically breakfast. Oats and coconut oil? Game over.

(Also…please tell me this is health food?)

cranberry orange oatmeal bars with coconut oil

These bars start with the Quaker oatmeal cookie recipe, but substitute coconut oil (in its solid state) for butter.

Orange zest is rubbed into a portion of the sugar, for a bright, citrus flavor. Dried cranberries are in for dried raisins…because a cranberry/orange/coconut combination beats everything ever. I also impulse bought orange m&m’s (fine…at Target) last month. This felt like the best use of such an awkward candy. (And was a totally good idea.)

cranberry orange oatmeal bars with coconut oil

I baked these into bars because a) it’s so much simpler than individual cookies and b) it feels more like a granola bar than a cookie. This is just enough to convince my brain that these belong with milky coffee…in the morning hours.

Weekends are for rule breaking…especially when there are extra days involved. Live it right.

Cranberry Orange Oatmeal Bars
recipe adapted from Quaker Oats

1 cup coconut oil (at room temperature/solid)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups oats
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup orange m&m’s (or chocolate chips)
1 tablespoon orange zest

Zest orange, and combine with 1/4 cup granulated sugar; set aside. Beat together remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar and coconut oil. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each. Stir in vanilla. Add dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and oats) and stir to incorporate. Fold in dried cranberries, m&m’s and orange zested sugar. Press into the bottom of a greased 9×13″ pan and bake in a preheated 350° oven for 25-30 minutes.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Cinnamon @ eatpraytri January 17, 2013 at 9:03 pm

i can NOT be responsible in that store either. Its a good thing its hours away now!

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Baking Serendipity January 17, 2013 at 9:15 pm

Hours?! You poor lady!

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Autumn@Good Eats Girl January 17, 2013 at 9:13 pm

Cranberry and orange is one of my favorite flavor combinations! These bars look amazing! YUM!

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Colleen @ What's Baking in the Barbershop?! January 17, 2013 at 10:16 pm

These bars are absolutely a health food. For sure. :)
They look wonderful!!!

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Elizabeth@ Food Ramblings January 18, 2013 at 8:16 am

These look great! I need to follow my list in Target exactly or I’m in trouble!

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Rachel January 18, 2013 at 11:05 am

I’m totally on the same page as you as I just devoured (I mean…made) a whole batch of oatmeal cookies this week! Yummy!

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Cassie January 18, 2013 at 4:45 pm

I am SO ready for a wine bottle to be cracked open for the weekend. And now I wish I had some of these bars to enjoy too. Love ‘em!

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Jessica@AKitchenAddiction January 18, 2013 at 4:45 pm

Love cranberry and orange and love oatmeal cookie bars. . .I think I need a few of these right now!

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Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts January 18, 2013 at 4:53 pm

I love baking with coconut oil – these bars sound amazing!

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Anna @ On Anna's Plate January 18, 2013 at 6:04 pm

If this is health food, it’s my FAVORITE kind of health food :-)

Enjoy the long weekend!!!

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mangiabella January 19, 2013 at 10:07 pm

haha nope, i made the hubs sign a caveat releasing me from responsibility in that store! so funny….i have missed thee bella, it’s been months since i’ve been away & although there is no way to play catch up, I am jumping in with both feet and it felt good to write a post myself, and read some of my fav bloggers …wishing you a very happy and blessed new year!

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Regina @ SpecialtyCakeCreations January 23, 2013 at 3:21 am

Yay…you got the cranberry+orange combo going this month on your blog too!!
I love the sound and look of these oatmeal bars. It could be breakfast, snack or dessert food for me ;)

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Jennie @themessybakerblog February 5, 2013 at 10:24 am

These look so good. Love the combo!

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