Cranberries make such a lovely addition to any dessert. They are sweet, yet tart and tend to pop in your mouth at just the right moment. I love how they jazz up these cream cheese bars. Super yummy! I am definitely making these cranberry cheesecake bars for my next Thanksgiving feast. They can sit right next to the cranberry sauce. Do you think these bars would pass as a fruit?
If you make these delicious cranberry shortbread bars please tell me how they turned out in the comment section below. Thanks!
8 ounces (2 1/4 cups) (225 grams) fresh cranberries, washed
2/3 cup (135 grams) granulated white sugar
3 tablespoons (35 grams) filtered water
2 cups (260 grams) Gold Medal all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) Morton kosher salt
1 cup (225 grams) Kerrygold unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup (75 grams) firmly packed Domino light brown sugar
1 teaspoon (4 grams) pure vanilla extract
Cranberry Shortbread Bars: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place the oven rack in the center of the oven. Butter (or spray with a non stick cooking spray) a 9 inch (23 cm) square baking pan.
Cranberry Filling: Put the cranberries, sugar, and water in a medium sized saucepan. Place over medium high heat and, stirring occasionally, bring just to a boil. Continue to gently boil until the cranberries soften and the juices becomes thick and syrupy, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool while you make the shortbread.
Shortbreads: In a separate bowl whisk the flour with the salt.
In the bowl of your electric stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter until smooth. Add the sugar and vanilla extract and beat, on medium low speed, until creamy and smooth. Add the flour mixture and beat just until incorporated and you have clumps of batter (not a solid ball of dough).
Evenly press about two-thirds (370 grams) of the shortbread onto the bottom of the prepared pan. Lightly prick with the tines of a fork. Bake the shortbread about 17 – 18 minutes or until lightly brown. Remove from oven and evenly spread the cranberry filling over the shortbread base, leaving a 1/4 inch (.5 cm) 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 for about 25 – 30 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Remove from oven, place on a wire rack, and while still warm, cut into 16 squares. Allow to cool completely in pan. The bars can be covered and stored in the refrigerator for about five days, or they can be frozen.
Check out this helpful how-to video from The Joy Of Baking YouTube channel:
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Image and recipe courtesy of The Joy Of Baking and YouTube.
Quick Tip: If cranberries aren’t your thing, feel free to replace them with cherries, strawberries, blueberries or any other kind of fruit that you enjoy.