These Cranberry Walnut Bars are one of our family favorite food gift recipes during the holidays!
I first made these Cranberry Walnut Bars years ago as part of a basket of homemade food gifts for Pat’s work friends. (It was one of those recipes I actually cut out of the newspaper way back when!) Everyone asked for the recipe, and I knew we had a hit on our hands. One bite, and you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.
Imagine a pie filled with candied walnuts, tangy cranberries and a shortbread crust, and you have the essence of these bars. They are both rich-looking and rich-tasting, and they look so appetizing when cut into diamond shapes for a buffet.
Another reason to love them? These bars can be made ahead of time and keep well for several days on the counter.
Cranberry Walnut Bars
- 11/2 sticks unsalted butter, diced
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Cranberry Walnut topping
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 2 cups walnuts (whole, if possible)
- 2 cups fresh cranberries, rinsed
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 x 13 pan with enough parchment paper for a 2-3" overhang on the sides.
- Add butter, flour, brown sugar and salt in a medium bowl. Cut together using pastry blender (or two knives) until mixture looks like small peas. You can also grate frozen butter to achieve the same result.
- Pour shortbread into pan and pat down. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
- Combine butter, brown sugar and maple syrup in a saucepan over medium low heat. Stir until butter is melted and simmer for 1-2 minutes. Stir in walnuts and cranberries. Pour over shortbread base. Return to oven and bake until bubbly, about 20-25 minutes.
- Cool in pan before cutting bars.