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Cranberry Oat Crumble Bars

Makes 24 bars

Preparation Time: 20 minutes

Baking Time: 35 to 40 minutes


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From The Cake-Mix Doctor

1 package (12 ounces; 3 cups) whole cranberries, fresh or frozen

1 cup granulated sugar

cup water

1 package (18.25 ounces) plain yellow cake mix

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted

1 cup old-fashioned oatmeal

cup packed light brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon ground ginger

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 F.

Set aside an ungreased 13-by 9-inch baking pan.

Pick over the cranberries, and discard any that are shriveled or discolored. Place the remaining cranberries, granulated sugar, and water in a medium-size heavy saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until the mixture is thickened and al the cranberries pop, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, pour the cranberry filling into a shallow freeze-proof glass dish, and place it in the freezer to cool.

Place the cake mix, melted butter, oatmeal, brown sugar, eggs, and ginger in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed f or 1 to 1-1/2 minutes. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. The mixture will be thick. Reserve 1-1/2 cups for the topping. Transfer the remaining crust mixture to the pan. Using your fingertips, press the mixture evenly over the bottom of the pan so that it reaches all sides.

Remove the chilled cranberry filling from the freezer and pour it over the crust, spreading it out with the rubber spatula. Pinch off pieces of the reserved crust mixture and scatter them over the filling. Place the pan in the oven.

Bake the cake until it is light brown and bubbling, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool for 30 minutes.

Cut the cake into 24 bars. Remove bars from the pan with a metal spatula, and serve