Shortbread Bars: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place the
oven rack in the center of the oven. Butter (or spray with a non stick cooking spray) a
9 inch (23 cm) square baking pan.
Filling: Put the cranberries, sugar, and water in a medium sized saucepan.
Place over medium high heat and, stirring
occasionally, bring just to a boil. Continue to
until the cranberries soften and the juices becomes thick and syrupy, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool while you make
Shortbreads: In a separate
bowl whisk the flour with the salt.
In the bowl of your electric stand mixer, fitted with the paddle
attachment (or with a hand mixer), beat
the butter until smooth. Add the sugar and vanilla extract and beat, on medium
low speed, until creamy and smooth. Add the flour
mixture and beat just until incorporated and you have clumps of batter (not a
solid ball of dough).
Evenly press about
two-thirds (370 grams) of the shortbread onto the bottom of the prepared pan. Lightly
prick with the tines of a fork. Bake the shortbread about 17 - 18 minutes or
until lightly brown. Remove from oven and
evenly spread the cranberry filling over the shortbread base, leaving a 1/4 inch
(.5 cm) border.
With the remaining
shortbread dough, using your fingers, crumble it over the top of the
cranberry filling. Then lightly press the dough into the filling.
Bake for about
25 - 30 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Remove
from oven, place on a wire rack, and while still warm, cut into 16 squares. Allow to cool completely in pan.
The bars can be covered and stored in the refrigerator for about five days, or
they can be frozen.
Makes about 16
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