Cranberry Shortbread Bars

January 5, 2012 · 12 comments

in desserts/sweets

I tried keeping things fairly low key this year, in terms of Christmas baking. After spending too much time decorating sugar cookies and standing at my stove dipping melomakarona, I opted for two really easy treats – peppermint bark, and these cranberry bars.

I hadn’t really planned on making anything new this year, but I happened to run across this recipe while I was on the Joy of Baking site looking at an old favorite, raspberry bars. I’ve made the raspberry bars in the past, for both holiday and any time treats, but I wanted to give these a try since cranberries are a bit more festive, and anything encased in shortbread is a surefire hit.

These bars come together very quickly. You just dump all the ingredients for the filling in a saucepan, and then mix a few ingredients together to make the bottom crust/topping.

I loved the buttery shortbread in these bars (I had to taste test one before giving them away, of course), and the slight tartness of the cranberries.

I am posting the original recipe/amount below, but I actually ended up tripling the filling (since I had two 12 oz. bags of cranberries) and making one 9×13 pan (with 1.5x the crust amount of the original recipe) and one 8×8 pan (with the original amount in the recipe, but it was too much crust/topping, since the recipe calls for a 9″ pan). Besides that, the only change I made was to add orange zest to the filling, which I think is a perfect complement to cranberries.

These are a great low-maintenance but well-liked dessert recipe, and I will definitely make them again.


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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Ann P. January 6, 2012 at 12:56 am

I love orange zest with cranberries! And instead of water, I like to add some nice Port wine :D This looks like the perfect recipe to draw out the holidays a little bit longer… :) I’m all for that!


Joanne January 6, 2012 at 5:35 am

I have so much cranberry love especially when it’s on top of a buttery delicious shortbread crust! These sound so delicious and just perfect for the holidays (or…any day).


Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar January 6, 2012 at 10:09 am

Such a fabulous twist on shortbread!


Esi January 6, 2012 at 11:04 am

Ive been seeing these a lot lately. They sound delicious. I may have go try them soon while cranberries are still available.


Heidi @ Food Doodles January 6, 2012 at 11:23 am

I love this! I have a very similar recipe and it’s one of my hubby’s favorite sweet treats I make :D I haven’t added orange zest before – I’ll try that next time!


Sara {Home is Where the Cookies Are} January 7, 2012 at 6:19 pm

MMM. I just might have to make these. I STILL have a bag of cranberries haunting me from the top shelf of my fridge! I like shortbread too – looks like a winner!


Lea Ann January 8, 2012 at 10:07 am

I ended up on your blog because I was too lazy to go grab my Rick Bayless cookbook so Googled Chipotle Beef Tacos. Found the recipe here and a great blog. I’ve subscribed.


paula January 8, 2012 at 4:49 pm

Cranberries and shortbread sound like a winner in my book!


Norma January 8, 2012 at 6:28 pm

I love your blog and have been trying to catch up with my comments. Wanted to take the time to wish you a very happy new year and promise to continue to follow in 2012.


Yammie @ Yammie's Noshery January 17, 2012 at 4:07 pm

Just found you on Foodgawker. I love your photography! It’s very vibrant. :)


Mercedes January 17, 2012 at 5:08 pm

These look beautiful and very festive (for Valentine’s Day too)! The topping looks amazing.


Ann January 18, 2012 at 9:24 am

What is not to like about Cranberries and shortbread. Beautiful squares. I think I still have a bag of cranberries in the freezer.



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