Iain Bagwell
Active Time
20 Mins
Total Time
2 Hours
Yield
Serves 24 (serving size: 1 bar)

Explosions of cranberry flavor in a tender shortbread bar, these Christmas cookies are a festive dessert that will wow guests. The shortbread dough can be frozen and stored in the freezer for up to one week. The filling can also be made a week ahead of time, ensuring simple prep. Freeze the shortbread dough, and then grate it in a food processor to get the most tender crust.

How to Make It

Step 1

Bring cranberries, water, and 1/4 cup of the sugar to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high. Cook, stirring and smashing berries occasionally, until mixture thickens, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat, and cool completely.

Step 2

Beat butter, salt, and remaining 3/4 cup sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add egg yolks and vanilla; beat on low speed until combined. Add flour to butter mixture; beat on low speed until combined.

Step 3

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface; knead until dough comes together, 3 to 4 times. Shape into a 14-inch-long log. Cover with plastic wrap, and freeze at least 1 hour or overnight.

Step 4

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, allowing paper to extend past edges of pan. Grease paper.

Step 5

Remove plastic wrap from dough log; cut in half crosswise, and cut each piece in half lengthwise. Feed dough log quarters through the chute of a food processor fitted with a shredding blade. Press half of grated dough into the bottom of prepared pan. Spread cranberry mixture over 1 dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Top with remaining half of grated dough, pressing to seal edges.

Step 6

Bake in preheated oven until firm and golden brown, 33 to 35 minutes. Cool in pan. Lift cranberry shortbread from pan using parchment as handles; cut into rectangles; then cut into triangles.