Cranberry Oat Cookie Bars – Fill the Cookie Jar

Who doesn’t need an easy cookie recipe or quick gift idea this time of year? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Cookie exchanges, parties, potlucks, gifts for teachers, neighbors, friends , etc. etc, etc.

These Cranberry Oat Cookie Bars are your answer whether you bake the cookies or just layer the dry ingredients into a jar for a sweet gift that even the baking phobic folks will appreciate.

Cranberry Oat Cookie Bars - crispy oatmeal cookie with a tangy sweet layer of cranberry sauce.

I really struggled to come up with a Thanksgiving (or Fall) cookie for our monthly Fill the Cookie Jar post this month. I don’t know if my fellow bloggers had the same dilemma. Be sure to scroll below the recipes to see what they created. Suddenly, the vision of sugar plums danced in my head. Ok, that’s Christmas and I used cranberries, not plums. But you get the picture. A jar mix cookie.

I love jar mixes for gifts, both giving and receiving. They make great hostess gifts and are good for teachers and busy parents and just about anyone else you can think of. Most of them involve dumping the ingredients in the jar in a pot or bowl with a few other ingredients and BAM! simple semi-homemade dinner (like the Lentil Soup Mix) or dessert like this one.

The original recipe called for strawberry pie filling, which you could use if you prefer. Or cherry or apple or peach. But to go along with the Thanksgiving theme I chose cranberry sauce. It made them slightly less sugary than the pie filling would have been – which was great. I made my own from the instructions on the pack of cranberries, making sure to mash the berries as it cooked so there weren’t any big pieces of cranberry.

Cranberry Oat Cookie Bars

Serves 24
Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 40 minutes
Total time 45 minutes
Meal type Dessert, Fruit
Occasion Thanksgiving
From book Gifts from a Jar: Cookies, Brownies & Bars
Cranberry Oat Cookie Bars - crispy oatmeal cookie with a tangy sweet layer of cranberry sauce.


  • 1 jar Cranberry Oat Cookie Bar Mix
  • 2/3 cups butter (softened)
  • 2 cups Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce (or 21 ounce jar of fruit pie filling - cherry, strawberry, apple, etc.)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Combine butter and Oat Bar Mix until blended.
Press 2/3 of crumbs onto the bottom of a 9x13 pan.
Bake 15 minutes, let cool for 5 minutes.
If using fruit pie filling or canned cranberry sauce, blend briefly in blender until slightly chunky.
Pour cranberry sauce/pie filling over baked crust.
Crumble remaining crumb over the top.
Bake 20-25 minutes. Cut into bars

Cranberry Oat Cookie Bars Mix

Cranberry Oat Cookie Bars Mix in a Jar - instructions to make an oatmeal berry cookie bar mix in a jar to give as a gift with printable baking instructions.


  • 2 1/4 cups uncooked quick oats
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


Click here for printable baking instructions to include with the jar mix.


In a one quart jar layer ingredients in the order given.
Top with fabric and ribbon as desired. Attach a copy of the baking instructions to the jar.

Until next time, happy eating.


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  1. Joanne/WineLady Cooks

    Audrey, this is a wonderful cookie bar for the holidays. I have to admit I do not make bar cookies but this month I’m sold on your Cranberry Oat Cookie Bars and Cynthia’s Pecan Pie Bars – I’ll just keep baking – who needs to cook dinner ?!#%>
    Joanne/WineLady Cooks recently posted…Pecan Pumpkin Spice CookiesMy Profile

    1. Audrey

      Ha ha! That just happened to me tonight. I baked a treat even before I decided what to make for dinner.

  2. Jamie

    YUM – these look amazing!! Might have to make these for our cookie exchange this year! 🙂
    Jamie recently posted…Make a Plan to Visit Crested Butte in Colorado!!My Profile

    1. Audrey

      Thanks, Jamie. They are so easy to whip up.

  3. Heather @ Join Us, Pull up a Chair

    Oh what a fun cookie bar! These look super easy to make too!
    Heather @ Join Us, Pull up a Chair recently posted…Apple Oatmeal Cookies – #FilltheCookieJarMy Profile

    1. Audrey

      This time of year, the easier the better in my book.

  4. Winnie

    I love baking with oats, and I love cranberry – so these are wonderful cookies for me to try 🙂
    Winnie recently posted…עוגת תפוחים עם ציפוי פרליןMy Profile

    1. Audrey

      Thanks for stopping by, Winnie.

  5. Kris ~Big Rigs 'n Lil' Cookies

    Clever, lovely, and delicious! I love everything about this, especially the gift giving potential. Except, if I give them away then I don’t get to eat them 🙂

    1. Audrey

      Make two batches like I did 😉 Problem solved, ha ha!

  6. Alayna @AlaynasCreations

    Mmmm looks great – and easy!

    Looking forward to another weekend of good times with the #HomeMattersParty
    Alayna @AlaynasCreations recently posted…Deployment Survival KitMy Profile

  7. Wendy @ Living Almost Naturally

    These Cookie Bars look Delicious! #HomeMattersParty
    Wendy @ Living Almost Naturally recently posted…Home Matters Linky Party #63My Profile

  8. Kim @ This Ole Mom

    Your cookie bars look delicious. Thank you for sharing the recipe. Coming over from Home Matters Linky. Thank yiu for hosting. Kim

    1. Audrey

      Thanks for coming by.

  9. Sahana

    Such a great idea for gift giving. And also like your twist of cranberries to make it seasonal Audrey.
    Sahana recently posted…2015 Ornament exchange link partyMy Profile

    1. Audrey

      Thanks, Sahana.

  10. Bev mcmichael

    I bought the coconut salted caramel bars in a mason jar at JoAn’s as a shower gift. The winner said they were delicious so I’d like the recipe please. Anyone have it?

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