Thanksgiving Dessert : Cranberry Shortbread Bars
I was so enchanted by yesterday’s post on The Kitchn for Cranberry Curd Bars that I *had to* attempt a veganized version. Check out that post and just try to tell me those pictures are not magical. Makes me want to dance The Nutcracker or something. Great dessert for Thanksgiving, even better for Christmas.
The challenge though would be the 8 eggs in the recipe. When you get into numbers like that, you just have to know that what you come up with is going to be a variation on a theme and not an exact replica.
*I used too much shortbread, so I am halving my recipe here, which is coincidentally super similar to The Kitchn recipe.
*I didn’t do the jelly technique for the cranberry like the original recipe. Too time consuming for an 8 month pregnant mom of 2 and to be honest, I could use the fiber.
*Have you seen the price of walnuts lately? Ridiculous. Used to be one of the cheaper nuts, now it is way high. I don’t know if this is a seasonal hike or what, but I used almonds and my shortbread is no worse for the crunch.
*Coconut oil. I would have used Earth Balance Buttery Sticks but I only buy it for specific projects and I did that this weekend and now it is all gone. This is not the first time I’ve used coconut oil for vegan baking (cookies and pie crusts) and it works just fine in my opinion. And, I think if you buy it in larger quantities, it is most likely cheaper than the Buttery Sticks. But it doesn’t taste buttery, so your call.
*I don’t refrigerate the crust before baking. What’s that about anyway?
Okay. On to the specifics.
9 x 13 baking pan (I love parchment paper but didn’t use any with this recipe)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
1 c flour
1 c ground nuts (walnuts, almonds, pecans, etc.)
1/2 c coconut oil
1 tspn lemon juice
1/2 tspn salt
Combine in food processor (make sure nuts ground first). Press into baking pan and bake for 20-25 minutes.
While the crust is in the oven, make your cranberry topping, which will not be like curd.
3 cups fresh cranberries, minced in food processor
1 cup sugar
2 TBSP lemon juice
1/4 tspn cardamon
1/2 tspn cinnamon
1 can (13.6 oz) coconut milk
1/4 cup arrowroot powder (or cornstarch)
Combine ingredients in a wide bottomed pot with tallish sides. Cook over medium heat, whisking more frequently as cooking progresses–approximately 15 minutes total. Cooking is done when cranberry concoction is bubbling, spitting at you and pulling away from bottom of pan.
When shortbread is done baking in oven, gently spread cranberry mixture on top. Return to oven for approximately 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven, cool. When cooled, refrigerate and then cut.
Garnish with powdered sugar, which will melt into cranberry, creating sweet glaze.
To be cut...