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Cranberry Shortbread Bars

  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 mins
  • Yield: 24 1x



Crust and Streusel

  • 2 sticks, plus 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 3 cups plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour


  • 1 12 ounce bag fresh cranberries, rinsed, dried, and picked over
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup water


  1. Make the crust. Line a 9 by 13 inch pan with parchment going up the sides of the pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together butter, ¾ cup sugar, and salt until combined. Stir in the egg yolks. Stir in the flour until a dough is formed with no crumbs of flour left. Place 2 cups of the dough in the prepared pan and press into the pan, forming an even layer. Prick the dough with a fork several times. Refrigerate pan for 30 mintues. Place the remaining dough in the refrigerator as well.
  3. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Bake the chilled dough for about 20 minutes, until it is mostly set, though not brown.
  4. While the crust is baking, make the filling and streusel. For the filling, place the cranberries, sugar, and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Continue to boil the mixture until it has thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool for about 10 minutes. The mixture will thicken more.
  5. For the streusel, remove the remainder of the dough from the refrigerator and add the remaining ¼ cup sugar. Mix it in with your fingers until the dough is just crumbly but not sandy.
  6. Increase the oven temperature to 350 degrees F once you have removed the crust from the oven. Pour the cranberries over the hot crust after it comes out of the oven. It is okay if it has cooled for a few minutes. Spread them evenly over the crust. Sprinkle the streusel over the cranberries. It should cover the cranberries almost entirely. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the streusel is light brown. I like the streusel to remain quite light and soft, but if you prefer it to be browner and crunchier bake it a couple extra minutes.
  7. Cool completely in pan before cutting into bars. May be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days, or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil, and placed in a zipper bag for up to 4 months. Thaw at room temperature for a couple hours or in a 350 degree F oven for about 15 minutes.


Recipe adapted from Nicole Rees, courtesy Fine Cooking

  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 50 mins