Cranberry Shortbread Bars

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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.

 

Cranberry Shortbread Bars