These Cranberry Bars are a simple, easy dessert that taste amazing! They’ve got a delicate, buttery, orange scented shortbread crust with a sweet, tangy cranberry filling.
I love baking, but I also like keeping things simple. To be honest, I haven’t always been much of a baker. Cooking just seems to come naturally. A little bit of this, a little bit of that. The science of baking, well…if you want things to turn out as they should, requires measuring cups, spoons and even a scale. A little bit of this and a little bit of that just doesn’t work with baking. It took me nearly 40 years to figure that out.
So, this past summer, when my dear friend, Jen posted these Blueberry Bars, I knew I had to try them. I loved how simple and easy they were, but the bottom line…they tasted ahhhmazing! I love the balance of its sweet delicate shortbread crumb against the tangy fruit filling. These bars have been such a hit in our house, that I keep thinking of ways to adapt the recipe.
One of the flavor combinations I love best this time of year is tart cranberries paired with orange. They work really nicely with Jen’s perfect shortbread crust and the bright red color of the cranberries makes them really festive!
If you’re like me, and you love easy, simple baking, bookmark this great recipe and give it a try with other seasonal fruits and flavors. I’d love to hear what you do with it!
Wishing you all, the happiest and healthiest of holidays! xo
- 1 1/2 cups (198g) all-purpose flour See Notes to make this gluten-free
- zest of one mandarin orange
- 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar or coconut sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon aluminum free baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup butter, cold and cubed
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar or coconut sugar
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon mandarin orange juice
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 1/4 cups fresh cranberries, rinsed and sorted
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Line an 8x8 inch pan with parchment paper, overlapping the sides to easily remove the bars once they are done.In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, orange zest, sugar, baking powder and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter and the egg until coarse crumbs are formed. Press half of the dough evenly into the bottom of your prepared baking pan. Set the remaining dough aside. In another medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, orange juice and vanilla. Add the cranberries and toss with a large spoon or spatula to combine and coat the berries.Pour the cranberry mixture over the crust in the baking pan, keeping a few aside to scatter on top. Crumble the remaining dough evenly over the filling. Scatter the extra cranberries on top. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden and just a bit bubbly.Cool completely before cutting into squares. Store in the refrigerator for about five days.
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