Sunday, November 21, 2010

Cranberry Bars

These cranberry bars would make a welcome addition to any Thanksgiving dessert table or Christmas gift. I love the bright red color and the shortbread crust.

Cranberry Bars
3/4 cup butter, cut into cubes
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
3 cups fresh cranberries
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup raspberry jam
Zest of 1 lemon
Powdered sugar

Butter a 9" square pan so that it is well-greased. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine butter, flour, salt, and 1/2 cup sugar in a food processor. Pulse to blend until clumps start to form. If you don't have a food processor, use a pastry blender or cut it together with knives. Press mixture into the bottom of greased pan. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until crust is very lightly golden brown on the edges.

While crust is cooking, combine cranberries, water, and 2/3 cup sugar in a medium saucepan. Cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes or until all cranberries have burst.

In a separate bowl, combine jam and lemon zest. Pour cranberry mixture through a sieve (to remove skins) into this bowl. Stir to combine. Pour over hot crust and bake for an additional 20 minutes or until mixture begins to "set." Cranberries will set more as they cool.

When cool, cut into squares. Sprinkle powdered sugar on top, if desired, immediately before serving.