Cranberry Shortbread Bars

Thursday, December 31, 2009
Since I had leftover cranberries I had the joy of picking out another cranberry recipe to make. I didn't have much time for anything too elaborate as I was bringing it to a new years party for the same night, so I chose simple cranberry shortbread bars.
I will say I ate some of the cranberries as I boiled them because they are just that good! I thought these were actually best eaten warm-out-the-oven. They were fine room temp. but even then I put them in the microwave to enjoy warm. Served with some whipped topping it also good. It helps temper the tartness. these pretty good. Almost too simple for me though. I'll be looking forward to more cranberry recipes in the future!

Cranberry Shortbread Bars

from The Joy of Baking

Cranberry Filling:
8 ounces (2 1/4 cups) fresh cranberries
2/3 cup granulated white sugar
3 tablespoons water

Shortbread Bars:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and place the wire oven rack in the center of the oven. Butter a 9 x 9 inch pan.

Cranberry Filling: In a medium sized saucepan, place all the ingredients. Then, over medium-high heat, cook the ingredients until boiling. Continue to boil the filling until it becomes thick and syrupy, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool while you make the shortbread.

Shortbread: In a separate bowl whisk the flour, cornstarch, and salt.
In a bowl cream the butter until smooth (about 1 minute). Add the sugar and beat until smooth (about 2 minutes). Beat in the vanilla extract. Gently stir in the flour mixture just until incorporated. You want the mixture still somewhat crumbly but mixed well.

Evenly press two-thirds of the shortbread into the bottom of the prepared pan. Then evenly spread the cranberry filling over the shortbread base, leaving a 1/4 inch border.

With the remaining shortbread dough, using your fingers, crumble it over the top of the cranberry filling. Then lightly press the dough into the filling.

Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Remove from oven, place on a wire rack, and while still hot, cut into 16 squares. Allow to cool completely in pan.


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