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Cranberry Curd Bars with Walnut Shortbread Crust

The hardest part about making these bars might be refraining from eating the vibrant-hued cranberry curd straight from the bowl.





  • 1 c walnuts
  • 1 c flour
  • 1/2 c confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 3/4 t salt
  • 1 c butter
  • 12 oz cranberries
  • 1/2 c water
  • 1 c granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 T lemon juice

Cranberry Curd Bars with Walnut Shortbread Crust Directions

  1. Line a 9x13” baking pan with parchment.
  2. Place the walnuts in the bowl of a food processor, and pulse until coarsely ground (see note). Add the flour, confectioners’ sugar, cinnamon, and ½ teaspoon of salt, and pulse to finely grind. Add ½ cup of the cubed butter, and pulse just until it comes together. If you scoop some of the mixture into your hand and press it, it should hold together.
  3. Press the shortbread dough into the parchment-lined pan, pressing it down in an even layer. Place in the freezer, and freeze for at least 30 minutes, and up to 1 hour.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Bake the shortbread crust for 20-25 minutes, until the edges begin to turn golden. Remove from oven and set aside.
  5. Combine the cranberries and water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, until the cranberries have popped and turned soft. Set a fine-mesh strainer over a medium bowl, and use a spatula to press the cranberries through the strainer. Allow the cranberry purée to cool, discard the cranberry skins, and clean the strainer.
  6. When the cranberry purée has cooled to room temperature, fold in the granulated sugar, eggs, egg yolks, lemon juice, and remaining ¼ teaspoon of salt. Stir until evenly combined.
  7. Transfer the cranberry mixture to the saucepan, and heat over a medium flame. Stir constantly, scraping the bottom and corners of the pot. Cook 10-12 minutes, until the curd starts to thicken and coats the back of a spoon. It should read 150˚F on an instant-read thermometer. Remove from heat, and stir in the remaining ½ cup of cubed butter. Stir until melted.
  8. Set the fine-mesh strainer over a clean bowl, then strain the cranberry curd. Pour the warm cranberry curd onto the walnut shortbread crust. Bake at 350˚F for 10-15 minutes, until the curd has just set, but still wiggles in the center. Cool completely. Just before serving, dust with powdered sugar, then use a sharp knife to slice into squares.
  9. Keep refrigerated.

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