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Good morning! Happy February and a happy Tuesday to you. Did you enjoy the Super Bowl? I didn’t watch the entire game but my husband did and he was elated at the KC Chief’s win.
For game day I made a few treats and these cranberry bars were part of the celebration. Bar cookies are great recipes to have, especially ones that are as easy as this. The crust and the streusel are made using the same dough, you simply mix once and use twice, add the filling and voila, a delicious, tart, but sweet dessert.
Brown Butter Cranberry Streusel Shortbread Bars
adapted from Fine Cooking
Crust and Streusel
1 cup plus 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup sugar, divided
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large egg yolks
3 cups plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
12 oz fresh or frozen cranberries
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/4 cup water
Line a 13×9-inch metal baking pan with foil, leaving an overhang so you can lift the bars out after baking. Spray the pan and foil with nonstick cooking spray.
Add the butter to a medium saucepan set over medium-low heat. Melt the butter, swirling the pan frequently. Once the butter has melted, it will start to bubble and foam. Continue to cook (continuing to swirl the pan) until the butter turns brown and smells nutty . Be patient and it watch carefully, it can go from brown to burned quickly. Turn off the heat under the pan, and let the butter cool until lukewarm.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the butter, 3/4 cup of the sugar, and the salt. Beat in the egg yolks. Use a rubber spatula to stir in the flour until completely incorporated. The dough will be thick and stiff. Transfer about 2 cups to the prepared pan and press into an even layer in the bottom of the pan. Prick the dough all over with a fork, then chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, or until firm.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 325 F.
Bake the crust for about 20 minutes, or until it begins to set, but has not yet started to brown around the edges.
Combine the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar with the reserved dough. Use your fingers to mix until crumbly.
Combine the cranberries, sugar, orange zest and water in a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-high, and continue boiling until the mixture is thick and syrupy, this will take about 5-8 minutes. Turn off the heat, and let cool for 5-10 minutes.
Spread the cranberry mixture in an even layer over the hot crust. Sprinkle the streusel over the top. Increase the oven temperature to 350 F, and bake on a rack placed in the top of the oven for about 25 minutes, or until the streusel is golden.
Transfer the pan to a wire rack and cool for at least 1 hour. Once cool, use the foil handles to lift the bars out. Place on a cutting board, and cut into squares before serving. Store for up to a week in an airtight container at room temperature.
Have a great day.