Recipes

Chocolate Cranberry Shortbread Bars

The jewel tones of the cranberry topping and the lusciousness of the chocolate custard are sure to dazzle holiday guests.

Serves:
24
Prep Time:
45 min
Cook Time:
25 min

Ingredients

Nutrition Facts

Shortbread Crust

  • 2 cups (500 mL) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (250 mL) cold butter, cubed
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) icing sugar
  • 1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) salt

Chocolate Custard

  • 3 cups (750 mL) milk
  • 3/4 cup (175 mL) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp (1.25 mL) salt
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 8 oz (230 g) semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) butter

Cranberry Topping

  • 2/3 cup (170 mL) water, divided
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) unflavoured gelatin
  • 5 cups (1.25 L) fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 cup (250 mL) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) shelled pistachios, chopped

Instructions

Shortbread Crust

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Combine flour, butter, sugar and salt in food processor; pulse until crumbly.
  2. Firmly press dough into 9 x 13-inch (3 L) baking pan lined with foil that hangs over the edges. Bake for 25 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges; cool slightly.

Chocolate Custard

  1. Stir milk with sugar, cornstarch, cocoa powder and salt in medium saucepan until combined. Cook set over medium heat, stirring constantly, for 7 minutes or until thickened.
  2. Whisk some of the hot mixture into the egg yolks, while whisking vigorously. Pour egg mixture back into saucepan with remaining milk mixture. Cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute.
  3. Remove from heat; stir in chocolate and butter until smooth. Pour over baked crust; smooth top. Set aside.

Cranberry Topping

  1. Place half the water in small bowl and sprinkle gelatin over top; set aside for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, combine cranberries, sugar and remaining water in medium saucepan set over medium heat. Bring to a boil and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes or just until cranberries are softened but still whole.
  2. Strain cranberry mixture. Stir hot syrup with gelatin mixture until smooth; stir cranberries back into syrup. Cool for 20 minutes.
  3. Spread cranberry mixture over chocolate. Sprinkle pistachios over top. Chill for at least 6 hours or overnight. Use foil to carefully transfer the tart from pan to a cutting board. Cut into 24 portions.

Notes

Get ahead of the game by preparing the bars up to 3 days in advance and store, covered, in the refrigerator.