Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Cranberry Shortbread Bars

As I was reading Heaven Around the Corner this week (to be reviewed tomorrow), I kept coming across references to cranberries. Okay, okay, there were only two references - but cranberries are a little out of the ordinary for The Great Betty. One scene has our hearty protagonists chowing down on toast spread with cranberry jam. Soon after that a meal finishes up with a cranberry tart.

I don't happen to have any cranberry jam laying around...and cranberry tarts don't really sound that appetizing to me (it would fall under the same category as blueberry pie - blueberries are a lovely fruit, but too much of a good thing, is too much) ANYWAY, I found a recipe online at joyof baking.com for Cranberry Shortbread Bars. They are similar to another bar cookie recipe (or would that be "bar biscuit"?? Hmm...that doesn't sound right...) that I make on a regular basis, instead of cranberry filling, my recipe uses jam.

The only exotic ingredient is the cranberries...and I happened to have a bag of frozen cranberries left over from the holidays - pretty much screaming to be used. All the other ingredients were basic pantry staples: sugar, flour, cornstarch, salt, butter, brown sugar and vanilla. That's it. I love recipes that use stuff I already have. The only problem...I won't be able to make these again until cranberries are back in season. (If you're in the same fix as me, you could substitute your favorite jam for the cranberry mixture).

Verdict: Super easy to make. My stupid oven takes about 15 minutes to preheat - I made the recipe from scratch in a little less than that amount of time.When I asked Alex van der Stevejinck for his reaction, he said, and I quote, "They were good. I think I'll have another one." I agree.