These bars are very easy to make and taste like a delicious combination of shortbread biscuits and berry crumble. I think this makes them very versatile; you could eat them as a snack or as a dessert! Cranberries are most popular around the Christmas period, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t eat them at other times of the year. They grow on wild shrubs in northern Europe and North America. They are incredibly good for you as they are high in nutrients and antioxidants. Because of the tart flavour of fresh cranberries, dried cranberries are perhaps more commonly used, however they are much less healthy as they contain a large amount of added sugar.
The cranberries are scattered between layers of shortbread dough, and burst open in the oven, creating a lovely ruby red layer in these bars. Cranberries have quite a tart flavour, so if that’s not for you, these bars can be made with all sorts of berries and other types of fruit. You could use fresh or frozen fruit, and these bars are great for using up any leftover fruit siting in the freezer. If using frozen fruit, do not thaw it; put it in still frozen so it doesn’t go mushy!
Shortbread is one of my favourite types of biscuits, and is so useful because you can add so much to the basic dough to create a whole host of ingredient and flavour combinations. Plus it’s really simple to make and only needs a few ingredients. Coupled with the tangy taste of cranberries, these bars are a big hit in my household, and I hope they will be in yours too!
Cranberry Shortbread Crumble Bars
- 175g butter, softened
- 60g caster sugar
- 250g flour
- 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
- 150 cranberries, fresh or frozen
- Pre-heat oven to 180c and line a square baking tin
- Cream together the butter and sugar. Stir in the vanilla extract
- Sieve in the flour and mix until it forms a crumbly dough
- Pat about 2/3 of the mixture into the bottom of the tin
- Spread the cranberries across the dough and the sprinkle the remaining 1/3 of the dough over the top
- Bake for about 40 minutes, until the edges are turning golden
- Leave in the tray for a few minutes before removing, cutting into 16 squares and cooling on a wire cooling rack