Friday, November 12, 2010

12 Weeks of Cookies Week 7 - Cranberry Shortbread Bars

I finally found fresh cranberries at our stores and I knew I had to make something with them. I have never made anything with fresh cranberries before. I didn't know that they popped so vigorously and their juices will be all over my stove as I was making the filling for these bars. I know now and so does my stove. :-) Making the filling was my adventure of the day and it turned out wonderfully. The bars are tart and beautifully paired with a sweet brown sugar shortbread. They would be perfect for your holiday tray.

Cranberry Shortbread Bars
adapted from Joy of Baking

Cranberry Filling:
  • 8 oz. fresh cranberries
  • 2/3 c granulated sugar (3/4 c if you like the cranberries less tart)
  • 3 tbsp water
  • orange zest (I used the zest of half an orange)
Shortbread Ingredients:
  • 2 c flour
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 c unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 c brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Topping:
  • 3 small bars white chocolate
  • 1/4 tsp shortening
Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 375 and place rack in the middle of the oven. Grease 9" pan with butter or cooking spray. 
  • Make cranberry filling.
    • In a medium saucepan, place all ingredients in pan.
    • Then, over medium high heat, cook ingredients until boiling.
    • Continue to boil until it becomes thick and syrupy, roughly 5 minutes.
    • Remove from heat and let cool while you prepare the shortbread.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk flour, cornstarch, and salt.
  • In a stand mixer, cream butter until smooth.
  • Add sugar and beat until smooth.
  • Beat in vanilla extract. 
  • Gently stir in flour mixture until just incorporated.
  • Evenly press two thirds of the shortbread dough into the bottom of the prepared pan.
  • Then evenly spread the cranberry mixture oven the shortbread, leaving 1/4" border.
  • With remaining shortbread, crumble it over the filling. Lightly press into dough.
  • Bake at 375 for 30 minutes or until top is golden brown. 
  • Remove, and place on wire rack to cool. While still hot, cut into 16 squares. Allow to cool.
  • After the bars are cooled, melt white chocolate and shortening until smooth.
  • Microwave for 30 sec, stir, microwave for 20 sec, and stir. Drizzle over bars.
  


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15 comments:

  1. Lovely! Your bars are so beautiful and yummy! And the combination of berries with white chocolate seems perfect!

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  2. These look delicious! I am following your blog, I invite you to follow me!

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  3. These look delicious, Tracy! Yet one more reason to buy more cranberries!:)

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  4. I also have fresh cranberries(3 lbs. from Costco!)and have never made anything with them before, but now I am inspired! These look so delicious! I love shortbread!

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  5. You had me at cranberry but WOW do these bars look good!!

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  6. What a great way to use cranberries while they are season!

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  7. Oh my golly! These look amazing!

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  8. I've only made fresh cranberry chutney with the fresh berries but I love shortbread and these bars look delicious. Opps, excuse the drool! ;)

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  9. When I made cranberry sauce for my first time, I was surprised by the popping too. I'm just glad I wasn't wearing white at the time. But, I've gotten used to it since then, so making these bars would be a pleasure. Love your white chocolate topping on them.

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  10. They look so good, love the white chocolate on top!
    mickey

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  11. wow how fabulous do these look. I definitely need to give them a try. I am a new follower!
    xo

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  12. These bars look so delicious with the brilliant crimson of the cranberries and the drizzle of white chocolate. I wish we could buy fresh cranberries in my neck of the woods!

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  13. Thank you for all the wonderful comments! I appreciate all of them! :-)

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  14. cranberry bars with fresh cranberry and orange zest. THat sounds so sunshiney. These will definitely brighten my days!

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