These make an excellent treat with the buttery shortbread and 'not too sweet' filling. Sure to become a new holiday tradition.
SERVINGS: 16 bars
PREP TIME: 20
COOK TIME: 40
8 ounces (2-1/4 cups) fresh cranberries
2/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons water
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 375° F with oven rack placed in the center of the oven. Butter (or spray with non-stick cooking ) a 9"x9" pan.
Cranberry Filling: In a medium sized saucepan add the cranberries, sugar and water and turn heat to medium-high; 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.
Shortbread: In a small bowl whisk the flour, cornstarch and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer cream the butter until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the brown sugar and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes. Beat in the vanilla extract. Gently mix in the flour mixture just until incorporated.
Evenly press two-thirds of the shorbread mix into the bottom of the prepared pan. Then evenly spread the cranberry filling over the shorbread base, leaving a 1/4 inch border. With the remaining shortbread mix, using your fingers, crumble it over the top of the cranberry filling. Lightly press the dough into the filling. Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Remove from the oven, place on a wire rack, and while still hot, cut into 16 squares. Allow to cool completely in pan before serving.