These bars start out with a tender-crunchy base, kind of like a shortbread crust. That’s baked, and then topped with cranberry sauce, then a meringue is spread over the top of that and it all goes back into the oven. The end result is delicately crisp, sweet, and just tart enough.
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These bars start out with a tender-crunchy base, topped with cranberry sauce, then a meringue on top. The end result is delicately crisp, sweet, and just tart enough.
Ingredients for Crust:
- 1 and 1/4 cups All Purpose flour
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup of unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat an 8" x 8" square pan with vegetable spray.
To make the crust:
- Whisk together the flour and salt in a bowl. In the large bowl of your mixer, on medium-high speed, beat the butter for a few minutes, until it's creamy. Gradually add in the sugar, beating now on high speed, until the mixture is light and fluffy; this may take several minutes. Add in the vanilla. In thirds, pour in the dry ingredients gradually, beating just until blended.
- Pat the crust firmly and evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes, or in the freezer for about 15 minutes, before baking.
- Bake until dry to the touch and light golden brown, with darker golden areas around the edges--about 30 to 40 minutes. Don't turn off the oven when you take the pan out.
- Cool the pan on a rack for five minutes, then spread the cranberry sauce over it.
Make the meringue topping:
- In a smaller mixer bowl, using the whip attachment, whip the egg whites on high speed until foamy. Add in the cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form. Then, gradually add in the sugar, beating on high until stiff--but not dry--peaks form. Add in the vanilla.
- Spread the meringue evenly over the cranberry filling, using the back of a spoon to push it out to the edges. Make some cute swirls in the top of the meringue. Put the pan back into the oven, and bake for about 25 minutes, until the meringue is just very lightly browned. Cool the bars on a cooling rack.
Recipe and Photo: Jane’s Sweets