Cranberries are another baking favorite of mine. The problem with cranberries though.... they are seasonal and one can have the MOST difficult time finding them at any time of the year other than Thanksgiving. This year I got smart. When those deals hit the stores selling cranberries 2 bags for $3, I stocked up and froze them!! Now I can make cranberry whatever, whenever!! (Let me take a moment to congratulate myself on that spectacular move.............. Ok, done.)
I discovered this particular recipe at "JoyofBaking.com" and made a few alterations (I am me after all.) The result was a gorgeous and delicious shortbread; the perfect accompaniment to a nice hot cup of tea or coffee. Seriously, the beauty of cranberries once baked is undeniable. That deep, rich red is simply divine!
Once again, I have decided that almost any berry will work here, but the tartness of the cranberry really rounds out the sweet flavor and dryer texture of the shortbread. It was delectable and enjoyed by all.
If you are looking for a great brunch, tea or dessert item that looks as good as it as it tastes, you've found it here!
Cranberry Shortbread Bars
**For the Cranberry Filling:
2 1/2 cups fresh (or frozen!!) cranberries
3/4 cup of granulated white sugar
1/8 tsp. ground ginger
3 Tbsp. water
**For the Shortbread
2 cups flour (I used white whole wheat)
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup brown sugar - packed
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9X9 inch pan
In a medium sized saucepan, combine all the ingredients for you cranberry filling (cranberries, white sugar, ginger & water).
Cook over high heat until boiling. Continue to boil until cranberries become thick. This should take about 5-7 minutes.
Remove cranberries from heat and let cool.
Cream the butter with a mixer until smooth. Add the brown sugar and again beat until smooth. Beat in the vanilla extract.
In a separate bowl combine flour, cornstarch and salt.
Add the flour mixture to the butter and sugar mixture, combine gently until the flour is just incorporated.
Press 2/3 of the shortbread mixture into the bottom of the greased pan. Then spread the cranberry fillin over the shortbread.
Crumble the remainder of the shortbread dough over the cranberry filling using your fingers. Then lightly press the dough into the filling.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown on top and remove to wire rack to cool.
Click here for printable recipe