Cranberry Cream Cheese Bars
By Kim L. Fritzemeier
KFRM Central Kansas Reporter
Farm Wife along the Stafford/Reno County Line
I was skeptical. Cranberries and cream cheese sounded good. Chocolate and cream cheese sounded good. But I wasn't so sure that combining cranberries, cream cheese AND chocolate was a good idea.
1 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
3/4 cup plus 1 tbsp. brown sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 3/4 cups mini M&Ms, divided
1 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese
1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. cornstarch
1 16-oz. can whole berry cranberry sauce
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13- by 9- by 2-inch baking pan with baking spray. Set aside.
In large bowl, combine flour, oats, 3/4 cup brown sugar and butter; mix until crumbly. Reserve 1 1/2 cups crumb mixture for topping. Stir 1/2 cup M&Ms into remaining crumb mixture; press into prepared pan. Bake 15 minutes. Cool completely.
In bowl, beat cream cheese until light and fluffy. Mix in condensed milk, lemon juice and vanilla until smooth. Pour over crust. In small bowl, combine remaining 1 tablespoon sugar, cornstarch and cranberry sauce. Spoon over cream cheese mixture.
Stir remaining 1 1/4 cups mini M&Ms into reserved crumb mixture. Sprinkle over cranberry mixture. Bake 40 minutes. Let cool; chill before cutting. Store covered in refrigerator.
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