Happy Accidents…

I love seasonal foods.  A lot. (As evidenced by my repeated use of butternut squash in recent posts.)  We’re finally past Halloween, and unlike in the retail world – in the foodie world, Thanksgiving gets it’s due respect.  Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce…mmmm…

This past week, I decided to do a twist on a favorite.  Rather than the classic lemon bars, I wanted to try my hand at cranberry bars. Off I went to find this three layer lemon bar recipe.  As I whipped them up, I anticipated a classic lemon bar, with a thin bonus layer of cheese cake-like filling between the shortbread and the cranberry curd.

When I pulled it out of the oven however, the cream cheese layer had magically risen to the top, puffed up, and turned this lemon bar look-a-like into a tangy, delicious cheesecake bar.

Here’s to happy accidents and seasonal foods – may there be many more to come.

Cranberry Cheesecake Bars

For the short bread:

  • 1 stick salted butter
  • 1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup flour

For the cheese cake

  • 8 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 1-1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 large egg

For the cranberry layer

  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup 100% cranberry juice
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. To make shortbread: cream butter and sugar in medium bowl with electric mixer set on high speed.
  3. Add vanilla and mix until combined.
  4. Add flour and mix at low speed until fully incorporated then press dough evenly into bottom of square baking pan.
  5. Refrigerate until firm.
  6. Prick shortbread crust with fork and bake for 30 minutes.
  7. Cool on rack to room temperature.
  8. Prepare cream cheese filling while crust is baking.
  9. Beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth in medium bowl with electric mixer set on high speed.
  10. Add egg and beat on medium speed until light and smooth.
  11. Cover bowl tightly and refrigerate.
  12. Blend egg yolks with the cornstarch and sugar in medium non-aluminum saucepan.
  13. Place over low heat and slowly whisk in cranberry juice.
  14. Increase heat to medium low and cook stirring constantly until mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  15. Remove from heat.
  16. Add butter and cool for 10 minutes.
  17. Spread chilled cream cheese filling evenly over cooled shortbread crust with spatula.
  18. Spread cranberry curd evenly over cream cheese filling.
  19. Place pan in center of oven and bake 40 minutes.
  20. Cool to room temperature on rack.
  21. Chill in refrigerator 1 hour before cutting into bars.



One Response to “Happy Accidents…”

  1. Kelli Jones Says:

    Love this, totally goin to try it for the family :)

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