Thursday, December 30, 2010

Cranberry Shortbread Bars

As a last post for the year, an appropriate dish would be a sweet & tart squares that is specially made for the town librarians as a treat for the new years, while it is still warm. Overtime, they have been accustomed to my baking trials & assure me that they would definitely be a regular & recommend my baked goodies to other townies when & if I open up my patisserie. I consider that as a sweetest words, a support, a push from friends that boost up this aspiring baker's ego.

So here's the square all ready beautiful just as is for a short ride to the library.

Source: Lawrence, Sue. 'On Baking'. Kyle Cathie Limited. London: 1996.
Makes about 16 square bars.


Cranberry Filling:
8 ounces (2 1/4 cups) fresh cranberries
2/3 cup granulated white sugar
3 tablespoons water

Shortbread Bars:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch (corn flour)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C)
Butter or spray with a non stick cooking spray a 9 x 9 inch pan (Mine was a pie plate).

Cranberry Filling:In a medium sized saucepan, place all the ingredients. Then, over medium-high heat, cook the ingredients until boiling. Continue to boil the filling until it becomes thick and syrupy, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool while you make the shortbread.

Shortbreads: In a bowl sift the flour, cornstarch, and salt.
In a (separte bowl) electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth.
Add the sugar and beat until smooth (about 2 minutes). Beat in the vanilla extract. Gently stir in the flour mixture just until incorporated.

Evenly press two-thirds of the shortbread into the bottom of the prepared pan. Then evenly spread the cranberry filling over the shortbread base, leaving a 1/4 inch 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 in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown on top.

Remove from oven, place on a wire rack, and while still hot, cut into 16 squares if made in a square pan (or 16 wedges in a circular pan like me). Allow to cool completely in pan.

G's note:
The shortbread tasted amazingly apt for the filling. For a sweet toothed girl, the sugar needs to be incresed just a tad. So next time, 1 cup of granulated sugar should work it magic.