Thursday, November 1, 2012

12 Weeks of Christmas Treats-Cranberry Cream Cheese Bars

We are at week six of this year’s 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats.  Hope your Christmas recipe arsenal is getting loaded with many great recipes.

I am continuing to make cookies using the Holiday Cookie Mix.  Although this is the sixth week of 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats, this is recipe number 7 made from the Holiday Cookie Mix.  The recipes that I have posted this far are:

Glazed Cinnamon Toffee Bars (Holiday Cookie Mix is here)
Buttermilk Rum Bars
Krispie Nut Bars
Chocolate Cottage Bars
Tropical Dreams
Tart and Tasty Lemon Bars

I made an error in the amount the Holiday Cookie Mix makes in my original post.  I said 12 cups, but it is actually about 16 cups.  I have made the correction in the original  post. One batch of the mix made all the listed recipes.  I have now started with a second batch of mix.

If you have ever purchased too many cans of cranberry sauce at holiday time, here is a way to use some of it up.  I developed this recipe to do just that.  These have a shortbread-like crust, a tart and creamy filling, and a crispy topping.  The can be cut into small bars to serve as cookies or into larger squares to serve as a dessert.

Either jellied or whole berry cranberry can be used.  A nice variation to this is to add a couple of finely chopped apples to the cranberry/cream cheese mixture.  The cream cheese can also be mixed with different flavor preserves to make other variations of these cookies.  Although I did not do it for the bars in the photos, next time I think that I will add a bit of red food coloring for added color to the filling.

Cranberry Cream Cheese Bars
2 1/2 c. Holiday Cookie Mix
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, very soft (may be low fat)
1 can (16 oz.) cranberry sauce
2 T. flour
a few drops of red food coloring (opt.)
2 c. Holiday Cookie Mix
1/2 c. quick oats
1/2 c. chopped toasted walnuts

Pat the 2 1/2 cups cookie mix evenly into a foil-lined 9x13-inch baking pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes.  Remove and let cook 5 to 10 minutes.  Beat cream cheese,   cranberry sauce and flour together until well blended.  The mixture will not be smooth if using whole berry sauce.  Spread mixture over the baked crust.  In a medium bowl combine 2 cups cookie mix, quick oats and walnuts and mix until well blended.  Sprinkle evenly over cranberry/cream cheese mixture.  Pat topping down gently.  Bake at 350 degrees 30 minutes until topping is golden brown.  Makes about 36 bar cookies or 12 to 15 dessert squares.  Store in refrigerator.

12 Weeks of Christmas Sweets is hosted by Brenda from Meal Planning Magic.  There is still time to join us, and you can find all the necessary information in her post here.

Check out the links below for all the delicious recipes shared this week.


  1. I love the idea of making a cookie mix in advance!! What a great time saver. And that's wonderful that you have so many recipes that you can make with this mix. I especially love the looks of these bars and the cranberry filling. Yum!

  2. These look really interesting! What a cool way to use up some cranberry sauce! Thanks for sharing!

  3. These are perfect for the holidays!

  4. What an interesting combination. I've never seen cranberry sauce in a bar recipe. Cranberry sauce is definitely reminds you of the holidays.

  5. What a fun cookie. They look wonderful!


I love to read your comments and suggestions. Hope that you enjoyed your visit to Grandma Loy"s Kitchen.

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