Cranberry Streusel Shortbread Bars

I tasted these bar cookies at a fundraiser a few weeks ago thanks to my friend Alison, who donated her significant baking talents to the dessert table that night. The original recipe is from Fine Cooking (December 2006), but if you don’t have a subscription you can find it reprinted in its entirety on

I followed the recipe exactly except I subbed an equal amount of Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks instead of butter. This was solely to make the dessert pareve — the bars will be served after our Thanksgiving dinner. I did do a small taste test (just to make sure they turned out OK!) and while they’re not as good as a butter version, they are still yummy and definitely Thanksgiving-worthy. I think the Earth Balance also gives a bit of a greasy appearance and feel to the topping, which isn’t desirable but is an OK trade-off for me to make them go with a meat meal. Still, butter is better.

The recipe is a bit fussy in that it has several steps (make and chill dough, bake once, then add filling and streusel, bake again) but they’re easy to accomplish. Hopefully the rest of my Thanksgiving guests will enjoy them, too.

3 thoughts on “Cranberry Streusel Shortbread Bars

  1. Those look very scrumptious! My family (immediate and extended) would gobble them right up! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, Dara!! 🙂

  2. I actually took this recipe off your blog and forwarded it to my mom who made it for our Thanksgiving tomorrow! It is absolutely delicious! And it even tasted like she added lemon zest but she didn’t…I think this would work with many types of fruit like peaches or blueberries…any cobbler-type dessert idea. Thanks Dara!

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