It’s officially the Christmas season and the first thing that I think of with Christmas in mincemeat. Mincemeat is not very common here in the states, but after the first Christmas I spent in England with my husband’s family, I was in love. I know in my grandmother’s old recipe box, there was a recipe for mincemeat, but it contained meat. The mincemeat that you buy in the store now is more apple/raisin based. I’m not really sure that I would like mincemeat with meat in it.
Mincemeat is like a chunky, spicy applesauce. This recipe was originally an apple cranberry bar, and I thought it would be great for fall baking. When I read the recipe and it called for applesauce, I decided that it would be a perfect Christmas cookie. You could certainly use applesauce if you don’t like or can’t find mincemeat.
You can make these cookies thinner or thicker. I opted to use a 7” x 11” pan, so my bars are thinner. Before I cut the bars, in the pan they looked really thin. Once cut, they are a good thickness so I am glad that I used the larger dish. I was worried that my dried cranberries were a little too dry, but the moisture in the mincemeat helped and they were just fine. The bars are fairly crumbly, but I figured that might be the case as the crumb mixture was drier than crumbles can be. I like the crumbly oats paired with the sweetness of the mincemeat and the slight tartness of the cranberries.
Mincemeat Cranberry Oat Bars
1 cup mincemeat
2/3 cup dried cranberries
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cloves
Zest of 1 orange
1 cup flour
1 cup oats
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold butter, cut in pieces
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8-inch square or 7” x 11” baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
Make the filling: in a medium bowl mix the mincemeat, dried cranberries, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and orange zest. Stir until combined and set aside. In a large mixer bowl, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda and salt. Add the pieces of butter and mix on medium, until crumbly.
Press half of the crumb mixture into the prepared pan, making sure to create an firm, even layer. Top with the mincemeat/cranberry filling. Sprinkle the remaining crumbs over the filling.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, until golden brown. Cool completely before cutting into bars.
Recipe from XO, Katie Rosario