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Cranberry Shortbread Bars

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword cranberries, shortbread bars
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes


For the filling:

  • 3 cups (or one 340-gram package) fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 2/3 cup (166 grams) granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons water

For the shortbread:

  • 2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour, white whole wheat flour or 2 cups (276 grams) Bob's Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten-free Baking Flour for a gluten-free version
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (225 grams) unsalted butter softened
  • 1/3 cup (67 grams) light brown sugar packed
  • 1 teaspoon almond or vanilla extract


  • For the filling, add ingredients to a medium-sized pot and place over medium-high heat.  Bring to a boil, then cook until thick and syrupy, about 5-10 minutes.  Set aside and let cool 10 minutes before continuing to the next step (the filling should cool at least 20 minutes total before pouring on the unbaked crust).
  • Preheat oven to 375 °F (190 °C).
  • For the shortbread, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the extract and then mix in flour, cornstarch and salt.
  • Add 2/3 of the dough to an 8x8 pan and spread out evenly, pressing the dough into one even layer. 
  • Add the cranberry mixture and spread evenly, then crumble the remaining shortbread over the cranberry mixture.  Lightly press down so none of the shortbread crumbles are too tall as they will brown more than the rest. 
  •  Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, until golden. Cool before slicing.
  • Store in a covered container at room temperature for up to 5 days. It can also be refrigerated for a week.