Shortcut Cranberry Bars

These little squares of deliciousness were inspired by something I tried in heaven Williams Sonoma. I mean, buttery, tart and crunchy? I’m dead! The cranberry relish is a little something I came up with for Thanksgiving, so it can stand all on it’s own!

You will need:

  • 1 yellow box cake mix, divided
  • 8 melted tablespoons of butter
  • 4 TBS cold butter
  • 3 eggs

For the cranberry relish mixture:

  • 12 oz frozen cranberries
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 TBS cornstarch
  • 2/3 cups brown sugar
  • 1 orange

For the streusel topping:

  • 2/3 cups brown sugar
  • 1 TBS flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup pecans or walnuts
  • confectioner’s sugar (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350. Lightly coat a 9×13 with cooking spray.

Step 1: Make the crust! Pour the contents of the box mix into a large mixing bowl and scoop out 1 cup set aside. (For some reason I always want to forget this step, oy, don’t be like me!) Combine the 8 TBS melted butter with the remaining cake mix and the egg. Press evenly into a greased 9×13 baking dish and set aside.

Step 2: Make the relish! pour a 12 oz bag of cranberries into a saucepan and add 2/3 cup brown sugar. Turn on medium heat. Stir to coat. Add in the zest and half of the juice of one orange. Throw in a diced, peeled Granny Smith apple if you like! Make a slurry by combining half a cup of pineapple juice and a TBS of cornstarch and whisking it together until it’s smooth. Add into the cranberries and orange mixture and stir until the cranberries are bursting and the sauce has thickened. Turn off the heat and set aside. (Now is a good time to jump to step 3!)

When the cranberries have completely cooled and thickened, stir in the two eggs and two tablespoons of milk and spread evenly over the top of the crust.

Step 3: For the streusel topping, combine the reserved cup of cake mix with 1/4 cup of brown sugar, the TBS flour and cinnamon. Using your fingers, a fork, or a pastry cutter, work in the cold butter until the butter is broken up and evenly distributed in the mixture. Stir in the nuts, and then sprinkle the topping all over the cranberries. Bake for 35-40 minutes at 350. Let cool and cut into squares and dust with powdered sugar if desired!


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