Cranberry Curd and Hazelnut Shortbread Bars on a white marble board lined with parchment paper.

Cranberry Curd and Hazelnut Shortbread Bars

Cranberry Curd and Hazelnut Shortbread Bars are perfect for the holidays! These shortbread bars layer sweet and tangy cranberry curd with a hazelnut shortbread for an easy recipe perfect for a cookie exchange, or simply savored with a cup of hot coffee or tea!

Cranberry Curd and Hazelnut Shortbread Bars on a white marble board lined with parchment paper.
Cranberry Curd and Hazelnut Shortbread Bars

Cranberry Curd and Hazelnut Shortbread Bars are perfect for the holidays! These shortbread bars layer sweet and tangy cranberry curd with a hazelnut shortbread for an easy recipe perfect for a cookie exchange, or simply savored with a cup of hot coffee or tea!

Note: This post first appeared on December 11, 2011, as part of the Simple Sundays series here on Kitchen Confidante. The recipe has been updated from the archives with updated content and photographs, as well as improved kitchen notes and recipe annotation. I hope you enjoy this favorite from my kitchen.

A stack of Cranberry Curd and Hazelnut Shortbread Bars on a white marble board.

The holidays can be a hectic time when we find ourselves pulled in so many directions, and year after year, I find myself vowing at the end of it all to make sure the next holiday season is spent making more meaningful decisions. When I first shared this recipe in 2011, I found myself like many of you do, with so many to-dos to tackle in the holiday rush.

Back then, it was deciding between writing for work and watching my daughter at her class Writer’s Celebration. Between photographing these cranberry shortbread bars for the blog or my children for our family’s Christmas Card. Between taking my husband up on his offer to take the children to see Arthur Christmas or joining them for quality time with the entire family.

Looking back, I’m so glad I made the right choices — they may seem easy decisions now and for outsiders looking in, but I know that you’ve been there, too.

I remember seeing the pride on my daughter’s face as she presented her best pieces, chock full of colorful adjectives and action verbs, and even some similes thrown in for good measure. The natural light was perfect the afternoon I took my kids for a little photoshoot – and they melted my heart as they hugged each other and hammed it up for my camera. And I remember sitting next to my husband and sharing a sinful bucket of salty, buttery popcorn. My son passed me Red Vines and my daughter held my hand as we laughed.

I hope you take a moment for yourself. Take a moment to watch a good movie. Take a moment to bake these Cranberry Curd and Hazelnut Shortbread Bars. Take the time to lick the spoon after you spread the cranberry curd. Take a moment in this mad, crazy holiday season to spend time with the ones you love.

Cranberry curd in a glass bowl with hazelnut shortbread crust in a pan in the background.

HOW TO MAKE CRANBERRY CURD AND HAZELNUT SHORTBREAD BARS

The beauty of these shortbread bars is that the components can be made in advance, and in steps, perfect for squeezing between all the holiday madness. I know you’ll love this simple recipe!

 

  1. Start by making cranberry curd. My cranberry curd recipe takes less than 15 minutes and can be made a couple of days in advance (just make sure you don’t eat it all before making these bars!). Step by step instructions for how to make Cranberry Curd and Hazelnut Shortbread Bars.
  2. Make the hazelnut shortbread dough. It takes just a few minutes to whip the butter and sugar and beat in the flour and spices to make a crumbly dough. Set aside about 1/2 a cup of the dough for the topping, and press the remaining dough into a baking pan. Chill the pan and reserved dough in the refrigerator until ready to bake (you can also freeze this if you’re planning ahead).
  3. When you’re ready to bake, spread the chilled cranberry curd over the chilled dough in an even layer.Step by step instructions for how to make Cranberry Curd and Hazelnut Shortbread Bars.
  4. Sprinkle the remaining dough and hazelnuts over the curd, crumbling the dough with your fingertips if the dough has chilled into large chunks. Bake in a 350°F oven for about 35 minutes.
  5. Remove the bars from the oven and allow it to cool completely in the pan until it reaches room temperature. Refrigerate the bars for at least an hour (ideally, 3 hours or more), before slicing. This makes 16 small bars or 9 larger bars.Step by step instructions for how to make Cranberry Curd and Hazelnut Shortbread Bars. 

MORE CRANBERRY DESSERTS TO TRY

Cranberry Curd
Maple Glazed Cranberry Bread
Cranberry Curd Parfaits
Fresh Cranberry Tea Cake
Cranberry Sauce Cornbread Muffins

MORE HOLIDAY RECIPES AND INSPIRATION

Recipes for a Last-Minute Holiday
Lemon Spritz Cookies + A Holiday Baking Party
Cranberry Wine Galette + Holiday Entertaining Do’s & Don’ts
Mulled Wine
Coconut Hazelnut Eggnog
Coconut Hazelnut Eggnog French Toast
Gingerbread French Toast

Note: This post first appeared on December 11, 2011. The recipe has been updated from the archives with updated content and photographs, as well as improved kitchen notes and recipe annotation. I hope you enjoy this favorite from my kitchen.

Cranberry Curd and Hazelnut Shortbread Bars on a white marble board lined with parchment paper.

Cranberry Curd and Hazelnut Shortbread Bars

Cranberry Curd and Hazelnut Shortbread Bars are perfect for the holidays! These shortbread bars layer sweet and tangy cranberry curd with a hazelnut shortbread for a simple recipe perfect for a cookie exchange, or simply for enjoying the season with a cup of hot coffee or tea!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Chilling Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 50 minutes
Servings 16 small bars
Calories 170kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 8 tablespoons butter room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup crushed hazelnuts
  • 1 cup Cranberry Curd see my recipe here
  • 2 tablespoons crushed hazelnuts for garnish

Instructions

  • Line an 8"x8" square cake or brownie pan with cooking spray and parchment paper. Set aside.
  • Whisk together the flour, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
  • Beat the butter, sugar, and vanilla until light and creamy with a hand mixer or using a stand mixer. Stir in the flour, followed by the hazelnuts until it comes together. The dough is ready when it is a crumbly texture that comes together when pressed with your fingertips.
  • Set aside 1/2 cup of the crumbly dough and set aside for the topping. Scatter the remaining dough into the baking pan, pressing very lightly with your hands until the surface is covered evenly, with no gaping holes. Refrigerate the pan and reserved dough for at least an hour or overnight until ready to bake.
  • When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F with a rack positioned in the center of the oven.
  • Spread the cranberry curd over the chilled shortbread dough in an even layer. Sprinkle the remaining dough over the cranberry curd, crumbling the dough with your fingertips if the dough has chilled into large chunks. Sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons crushed hazelnuts to garnish, filling in the gaps that aren’t covered by the crumbled dough.
  • Bake the bars for about 35 minutes or until the top crust is golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely, then chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour or until ready to serve. Slice and serve. Store any remaining bars in the refrigerator.

Notes

Shortbread crust adapted from Art Smith's Pecan Shortbread Cookies, Back to the Table: The Reunion of Food and Family. Method adapted from Raspberry Shortbread Bars, Food & Wine.

CRANBERRY SHORTBREAD BAR TIPS

  • Make ahead: This shortbread bar recipe is really quite simple to put together, and the beauty of it is that the components can be made ahead of time.
    • If you are making my cranberry curd, I recommend making this at least a day in advance to really allow the curd to cool completely and chill in the refrigerator.
    • The shortbread dough can also be made 1-2 days in advance, in fact, chilling the dough overnight is ideal! You can also wrap the prepped dough in the pan and freeze until ready to use.
  • Give it time to chill: Once the bars are made, allow the bars to cool completely at room temperature, then chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour before slicing. For perfect slices, I prefer to chill it for at least three hours before slicing.
  • Portions: This makes 16 small bars, or 9 generously portioned bars.
  • Storage: Store the bars in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 170kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 93mg | Potassium: 42mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 175IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe?I'd love to see! Tag @kitchconfidante on Instagram and hashtag it #kitchenconfidante

Comments






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  1. Adrienne

    I will for sure be making these this xmas! (Or at least forcing my sister to do it for me!)

    Quick question though…

    It says: “Stir in the flour, followed by the pecans…” I didn’t see pecans in the ingredients list, did I miss something? Or is it just that it is supposed to say hazelnuts instead? hehe

    I’m a horrid cook/baker most of the time that’s why I’m asking this, probably silly, question. Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful abilities and recipes with us!

    Reply
  2. Cooking Rookie

    They look absolutely amazing! And they must taste even better – hazelnuts, curd, cranberries, what else can you ask for? I am going to write down that cranberry curd recipe to try it this weekend :-)

    Reply
  3. Magic of Spice

    Such a great post Liren, it can be difficult at times to do so much. These shortbread bars look wonderful, and I hope you are enjoying the Season!

    Reply
  4. Betty Ann @Mango_Queen

    I love hazelnuts & I really love this recipe! Enjoyed the photos and post, too, Liren. Thanks for sharing. I wish you lived closer (sigh!)…your goodies are unbearably delish !

    Reply
  5. Jamie

    What a simply lovely, heartwarming post. Beautiful sentiments flowing from your proverbial pen. Perfect. And Happy Holidays to you and yours.

    Reply
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