Healthy Cranberry Bars

Healthy Cranberry Bars - Cooking Up Happiness

It’s that time of year again, with all the sweet treats and temptations around you… Who says you can’t indulge a little bit?!

With these cranberry bars you might feel like you’re cheating, but surprise – you’re actually making a pretty good choice!

These treats are very comparable to the ever so popular Cranberry Bliss Bars from Starbucks… Those are quite delicious, but a little higher on the calories and fat (though still one of the better choices in treats from Starbucks).

Healthy Cranberry Bars - Cooking Up Happiness

These little bars have a combination of a brown sugar and oatmeal crust with a few little pockets of white chocolate (that’s right!), along with the sweetness and tartness of cranberries. Overall, they’re a great holiday combination that will keep your sweet tooth satisfied!

At under 150 calories a square these make a great afternoon holiday snack with a cup of coffee. They could possibly be a nice little grab-and-go breakfast if you want to get really crazy!

Cranberry Bar Ingredients:

For the Cranberry Bars

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup non-fat plain greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp. maple syrup (I used an agave maple by Madhava)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup ground old fashioned oats (pulsed in food processor into flour consistency and then measured out into 1 cup)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup white chocolate chips

For the Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 4 oz. reduced fat cream cheese
  • 2 oz. greek yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar

Directions:

For The Cranberry Bars

  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Cream together butter and yogurt using a hand mixer on low. Mix for just a few minutes and then add in maple syrup and 1 egg. Lastly, add the 2 tsp. of vanilla and mix until all ingredients are fully incorporated. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, ground oats, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon until combined.
  3. Using hang mixer start to slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet, adding a little at time and letting that fully mix in before adding more dry. Keep alternating until you have used all dry ingredients and they have been fully combined into the wet making the batter.
  4. With a spoon or spatula, fold in white chocolate chips and dried cranberries (you can optionally reserve a few for the top of the bars, too).
  5. Spray a 13×9 baking pan with cooking spray, pour batter into dish and spread evenly. Bake for 15-20 minutes. While cooling start to prep the frosting (directions below). 

Healthy Cranberry Bars - Cooking Up Happiness

For the Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. In a medium bowl mix together softened cream cheese, greek yogurt, and vanilla.
  2. Start to slowly mix in powdered sugar 1/4 cup at a time until you have used all the powdered sugar.
  3. Optionally you can add more powdered sugar to thicken up but the nutrition will change a bit.

To Build the Bars

  1. Once the bars are cooled, spread the cream cheese frosting evenly over the top.
  2. Sprinkle with the remaining dried cranberries (optional).
  3. Cut into 24 equal squares and serve.
  4. Refridgerate any leftovers.

Healthy Cranberry Bars - Cooking Up Happiness

Nutritional Information:

Servings: 24
Serving Size: 1 square

Calories: 132
Fat: 4 g
Carbohydrates: 21 g
Sugar: 14 g
Fiber: 1 g
Sodium: 40 mg (w/o added salt)
Protein: 3 g