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Fruit Crumb Bars

It takes much less time to make the cranberry version of these, as there is no peeling or slicing involved.

  • Yield: Makes about 5 dozen
Fruit Crumb Bars

Source: Martha Stewart Living, December/January 1999/2000


  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 4 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • Apple Filling
  • Cranberry Filling


  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Stir in oats and brown sugar. Using your fingers, work butter into mixture until combined; mixture should be crumbly but hold together.

  2. Line an 11-by-17-inch baking pan with parchment paper. Press 5 cups oat mixture into bottom of pan. Spread desired filling over oat mixture. Sprinkle remaining oat mixture over filling. Bake until golden, about 40 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool. Cut into 1 1/4-by-2 1/2-inch pieces; makes about 60. Serve.

Reviews (9)

  • deererider56 20 Dec, 2008

    We found this recipe in the December 1999 magazine about Christmas bar cookies. The cranberry one is one of our favorites . It has a tartness to it. The way I spread the bottom layer is to put the five cups in the bottom of the pan and then take a sheet of wax paper and cover the mixture and then take the back of a spoon and spread and press down and then take the paper up and you have a nice uniform layer for the base. I did the apple version one year and was not as happy with it.

  • sadvorak 10 Oct, 2008

    Maybe because the cranberries cook down more than the apples. That's my only guess. I'll have to make both as well.

  • Balls 4 Oct, 2008

    Wonder why the apple filling quantity produces 5 cups, and the cranberry filling produces 3 3/4 cups. Why the difference in filling quantity? Guess I'd have to make each to find out. Any ideas? Balls

  • Ann13 26 Sep, 2008

    If cost is a factor, I don't see why you couldn't use canned fruit pie filling, drain a little of the syrup/juiceout first , and just add the lemon and cinnamon.

  • sadvorak 25 Sep, 2008

    Other than the apples, the other ingredients are quite inexpensive, especially when you buy in bulk. Since you are concerned about the cost of apples, there are a few things you may do. Make sure to buy apples in season, and buy them in bulk as well (bagged, if this is an option for you). That way you pay less per pound than if you were to buy one at a time. But, if apples just aren't a feasible option, buy the cranberries. I think that filling sounds great too.

  • roserobin 25 Sep, 2008

    These are the kind of cookies that would be perfect for the kids on a cold game day with hot chocolate, or for a gift to a hostess of a house warming or fall dinner. Cut them small and have them with hot coffee and tea.

  • CaliDog 25 Sep, 2008

    For me, it's cost prohibitive. The apple filling calls for 10 apples. Around here, apples are over $1.00 per apple. Add on the cost of the remaining ingredients, and those are some expensive cookies.

  • turtlegrins 25 Sep, 2008

    It is for 5 dozen cookies, after all. I know at first it sounds like a lot, but it only is about a little less than a teaspoon of butter per serving--not bad, really! Same with the sugar... there turns out to be not much at all--and you could always substitute all-fruit (no-sugar-added) preserves for the filling. I can't wait to try them! Yum!

  • Beefar 25 Sep, 2008

    How unhealthy can you get - 1 1/2 cups of sugar and 3 sticks of butter?????? And that's not including what is in the fillings.

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