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
  • 3 small bars white chocolate
  • 1/4 tsp shortening
  • 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.

Post Linked Up to I'm Lovin It Fridays

Let's see what wonderful treats the other bakers are baking this week:


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

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

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

  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!

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

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

  7. Oh my golly! These look amazing!

  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! ;)

  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.

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

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

  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!

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

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


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