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Cranberry Shortbread Bars

Look at the lovely confection our Test Kitchen came up with when it combined cranberries, coconut and white chocolate! Colorful and tasty, these bars and a glass of milk make the perfect treat after a dusty afternoon of raking leaves. TIP: Wrapped in colored cellophane and ribbons, Cranberry Shortbread Bars are pretty enough to double as quick holiday gifts, don’t you think?
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. Bake: 30 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    2 dozen


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 package (12 ounces) fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 cup unsweetened apple juice
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 ounces white baking chocolate, melted


  • Preheat oven to 425°. In a large bowl, cream butter and confectioners' sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg. Combine flour, coconut and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Set aside 1 cup for topping. Spread remaining mixture into a greased 13x9-in. baking dish. Bake 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine sugars and cornstarch. Stir in cranberries and apple juice. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cook and stir 5 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat; stir in walnuts.
  • Spread over crust. Sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture. Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly. Cool on a wire rack. Drizzle with white chocolate. Cut into bars.
Nutrition Facts
1 each: 205 calories, 12g fat (6g saturated fat), 30mg cholesterol, 101mg sodium, 23g carbohydrate (15g sugars, 1g fiber), 3g protein.

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Average Rating:
  • katlaydee3
    Apr 12, 2015

    Delicious! I made exactly as written and served them for dessert for a family dinner.

  • JessBella6
    Aug 25, 2013

    If I was going to make these again, I would not include the nuts. Otherwise, these were easy and tasty!

  • whitelilies
    Dec 3, 2011

    The crust burned on these bars, and the filling baked quicker than the amount of time listed on the recipe and got overdone around the edges. I used a metal cake pan. Perhaps using a glass casserole dish would prevent burning. Any suggestions?

  • klparkinson
    Dec 22, 2010

    excellent bar in presentation as well as taste! I did make a few adjustments- instead of 1 cup of walnuts, I used 1/2 cup and added 1 tsp. ground cinnamon to the sugar-applesauce mixture to cook on the stovetop. I also reduced the oven temp. to 400 degrees. These are delicious!

  • dmccartin
    Nov 28, 2010

    Just the right amount of sweet / tart. These were so good, I skipped the walnuts for taste preference, but they weren't really needed.