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Cranberry Almond Shortbread Bars

Cranberry Almond Shortbread Bars

Servings 18
Author Turnip the Oven

Ingredients

For the crust and topping

  • 1 1/4 cups unsalted butter 2 1/4 sticks, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 cup granulated sugar divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour or 2 1/2 cups flour and 1 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 cup chopped slivered almonds

For the filling

  • 1 package fresh or frozen cranberries 12-ounce
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract optional

Instructions

  1. Line a 13-x-9-inch baking pan with foil, letting the edges extend up all the sides (I used two sheets of foil to do this). In a medium bowl, stir together the butter, 3/4 cup of sugar, salt, egg yolks, and flour. Transfer 2 heaping cups of dough to the prepared pan and pat into an even layer to make a bottom crust. Prick all over with a fork. Transfer to the freezer and freeze for 15 minutes.
  2. Position one rack in the center of the oven and another in the top third. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Bake the dough in the center of the oven until it is set but not yet brown, about 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the topping and filling. To make the topping, Add the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and the chopped slivered almonds to the reserved dough. Work the mixture together with clean fingers until it forms moist clumps. Set aside.
  4. To prepare the filling, combine the cranberries, sugar, 1/4 cup water, cinnamon stick, and almond extract (if using) in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat and boil until the liquid is thick an syrupy, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool for 5 minutes.
  5. Spread the cranberry mixture over the hot crust. Scatter the topping over the cranberries. Increase the oven temperature to 350°F. Bake the bars in the top third of the oven until the topping is lightly golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool completely in the pan, then lift out using the foil as handles. Cut into bars. Store the bars in an airtight container for up to one week, or freeze them for up to three months.