{from scratch holidays} Cranberry Squares

Thanksgiving and its attendant leftovers are my favorite things about that holiday. I’m sure my family isn’t alone in that planning the Thanksgiving meal also means planning for maximum leftover efficiency. We all have our favorites – my son is the stuffing king, my daughter hoards the mashed potatoes and gravy, and my husband loves it all – preferably smothered in gravy, on a plate for midnight snacking. I have more rarified tastes, and really look forward to having plenty of left over homemade cranberry sauce for Cranberry Squares, a rich cookie bar that is just right for kicking off the post-Thanksgiving holiday madness.

The recipe is dead simple, and can easily be adapted for different dietary and allergy constraints with direct substitutions. You can change the basic flour you use by replacing up to 1 cup with rolled oats (as I did for the picture model seen here), or go bigger and use nuts or seeds like almonds or pumpkin. It’s a forgiving recipe, and if you don’t have enough cranberry sauce left over, you can add or substitute any nice jam that you like.  It is an easy-to-put-together recipe, and is perfect for those times you are kind of tired of cooking (like after Thanksgiving) but still want or need to do some baking. It’s also a great beginner recipe for kids, and we’ve sent it out as a food gift to rave reviews.

Cranberry Squares – baked, cooled and ready to eat!

RECIPE: CRANBERRY (or your favorite jam) SQUARES


  • 13×9 baking pan – lightly greased


  • 3 cups flour (can replace up to 1 cup with rolled oats, or nuts/seeds as you prefer)
  • 3 egg yolks (or use equivalent egg replacer if allergic)
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter, melted (or margarine)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • Grated rind of one lemon OR 1/4 tsp. fresh ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups (12 oz) leftover cranberry sauce (or jam flavor of choice)


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Dump all ingredients except the cranberry sauce into a bowl and mix. It will be somewhat crumbly, this is a good thing.
  • Take 3/4 of the mixture and press into the greased baking pan, making sure to keep as even as possible and to push it up slightly on the sides to give a nice base for the cranberry sauce:

  • Spread the sauce or jam evenly over the top of the filled pan:

  • and then crumble the remaining dough over the top:

  • Bake in the middle of the oven for about 45 minutes at 350 degrees, and let cool in pan after cooked. Cut into squares when cool, and the cranberry sauce is firmed up – waiting is hard, but worth it so you don’t get sludge instead of squares!


12 Comments Add yours

  1. Jeni B says:

    I need these for breakfast…. do you deliver?

  2. Christina says:

    I made this recipe last night using a from scratch pumpkin pie filling as I had a pie pumpkin rotting on my counter— SO GOOD! Thanks Gina

  3. Pirate Jeni says:

    I actually need a treat for thing tomorrow.. I might just make these!

    1. Gina M says:

      DO IT! So easy. Yet tasty.

  4. BETSY says:

    What a great way to use extra jars/cans of cranberry sauce! Yum!

  5. Niki says:

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