Cranberry Shortbread Bars


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

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

  • 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).

  • Such a fabulous twist on shortbread!

  • Esi

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

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

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • Cranberries and shortbread sound like a winner in my book!

  • 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.

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

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

  • Ann

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