Recipe:Cranberry streusel bars

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 4D

Prep time: 25 minutes, plus 2 hours chill time after baking

Bake time: 25 minutes

Makes 16

Recipe adapted from "The Daily Cookie" by Anna Ginsberg (Andrews McMeel, $24.99, 431 pages).

INGREDIENTS

1 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup old-fashioned oats

2/3 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

1/4 scant teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

One 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 large egg whites, room temperature

1/3 cup whole-berry cranberry sauce

2 tablespoons pecans, toasted and chopped

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and position a rack in the center. Using nonstick foil, or foil sprayed with cooking spray, line an 8-inch metal baking pan.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda and salt. Pour the butter over the flour mixture and stir until moist and crumbly. Measure out 1 cup of the crumb mixture, and set aside to use as topping. Press the rest into the bottom of the prepared pan.

In a medium bowl, thoroughly combine the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and lemon juice. Stir in the egg whites just until mixed. Pour the mixture over the crust in the pan. Drop spoonfuls of cranberry sauce over the cream cheese. Sprinkle the reserved crust mixture and the pecans over the cheese and cranberries.

Bake for 22 to 25 minutes, or until cheese mixture is set and topping cooked through. Let cool completely in pan, then chill for at least 2 hours. Using the foil, lift from the pan and set on cutting board. Cut into 16 bars.

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