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Butter, sugar, flour, cranberry sauce and granola. Just five ingredients. That’s all you need to make these incredibly satisfying cranberry shortbread streusel bars. I’ve always loved desserts like these, but I still can’t believe how simple they were to make. The secret to their simplicity is the granola. Using the granola in this recipe allows you to use less ingredients without losing flavor.
I used Quaker® Simply Granola Oats, Honey & Almonds from Walmart in this recipe. There are subtle hints of honey and almonds in the granola streusel topping that really create an amazing flavor profile. I also used leftover cranberry sauce from Thanksgiving that I had in the freezer. I forgot to bring it to Thanksgiving dinner, and I even forgot it when I went to my parents to have leftovers. I couldn’t think of a better way to use it though. The tartness of the cranberries went so well with the sweet, nutty flavor of the streusel.
I think these cranberry shortbread streusel bars are going to be sticking around in our house. Maybe we’ll even start a new tradition and make them every year. I know how important traditions can be this time of year, how they can really bring family an friends together, and I think food plays a really big part in that.
My homemade cranberry sauce had a bit of cinnamon in it, but if you’re using store bought sauce – which you should totally do because it saves time – you might want to add about 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon to spice the bars up a bit. There’s just something really festive about the combination of cinnamon and cranberry, but it’s totally up to you.
5 Ingredient Cranberry Shortbread Streusel Bars
Yield 12 bars
For the shortbread:
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened (1 1/2 sticks)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour + extra for flouring pan
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
For the streusel:
- 1/2 cup granola
- 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup whole berry cranberry sauce
- Preheat oven to 375˚F.
- In a food processor, blend shortbread ingredients until large crumbs/balls form. Remove from bowl and press into an 8-inch baking dish. Top with cranberry sauce.
- In food processor, combine flour, sugar and butter for streusel topping. Blend until a small crumb forms. Add granola and process until granola is incorporated into crumb. Crumble evenly over cranberry sauce.
- Bake for 40 - 45 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely (at least 20 minutes) before removing from pan and slicing.