What is Christmas without getting your hands dirty in the kitchen and baking some lip smacking desserts for your friends and family. The festive mode is on. Even my social media pages is enjoying the festive cheer. Infact I think my Instagram is on a sugar high! Its loaded with stunning images of some amazing desserts and cookies and I can’t stop drooling over them. Boozy cakes to edible wreathes, gingerbread cookies to cookie boxes, apple pies to cranberry pies – its all there. Yes I feel the sugar overload too but its all about celebration and merry making. In the middle of this cheer, don’t miss out on baking these Cranberry Jam Shortbread Bars.
These bars is everything you would want in your dessert – sweet, tart, earthy and super easy to make. The homemade Cranberry Jam lends a freshness to the whole dessert. Buttery, crumbly, soft and delicious is all what this dessert is about. Perfect for a get together this Christmas. Make sure to make a double batch, because its a guarantee that one batch will not be sufficient. Just when the cookies and pies were getting commonplace, bake these holiday special Cranberry Jam Shortbread Bars.
INGREDIENTS: (Makes 9 bars)
For the shortbread bars:
- 260 grams whole wheat flour
- 220 grams unsalted butter, room temperature + extra for brushing the mould
- 80 grams light brown granulated sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg powder (optional)
- pinch of salt
- 200 gms of cranberries, fresh or frozen
- 120 gms granulated white sugar
- 3 – 4 tbsp water
- 1 tsp lemon juice (optional)
For Cranberry Jam:
- Wash the cranberries properly. Take the cranberries in a saucepan along with sugar ad water and let it cook on low-medium heat.
- Keep stirring it occasionally. Once the berries have softened by 60%, take a potato masher and gently mash the entire mixture.
- Let the berries cook more and it will soften completely and start to thicken.
- Remove the mixture from the heat, stir in lemon juice if needed and allow the mixture to cool.
- Once cooled transfer it into a clean, moisture free glass container. Keep it in the fridge until consumption.
For Shortbread bars:
- Preheat your oven to 170 C for atleast 15 minutes and butter the baking pan and keep aside. (I used an 8 inch baking tin)
- Meanwhile beat the butter until smooth and pale. Add granulated white sugar and beat for 40 – 50 seconds until creamy.
- Now add vanilla extract and beat it for 20 – 30 seconds.
- Add whole wheat flour, salt and nutmeg powder and beat on low speed until it just comes together. Make sure the clumps are still there and it doesn’t form a proper dough.
- Transfer 2/3 of the dough to the baking tray and press down evenly. Now using a fork prick the bars and allow it to bake for 15 minutes or until the sides are slightly brown.
- Once done, allow it to cool slightly and evenly spread the cooled down cranberry jam leaving some gap on the edges.
- Crumble the remaining shortbread dough on top of the jam evenly and gently press the dough down.
- Allow this to bake for 22 – 25 minutes or until the crumble is golden brown on top.
- Once done allow it to cool on the wire rack. While it is sightly warm, cut it into 9 bars of equal sizes. Once it cools down completely, remove it from the baking tray and eat!