These low carb Cranberry Shortbread Streusel Bars boast a crunchy, buttery crust, topped with a sweet and tart cranberry layer and a toasty pecan streusel topping. Perfect for breakfast or a sweet treat, these will be your new favorite cranberry bars!
Recently a fellow low carb blogger put out a request for cranberry themed recipes for an upcoming roundup post, and I realized that I didn’t have very many to offer.
There were a couple of main dishes – like these festive turkey meatballs with cranberry glaze, and my cranberry apricot glazed ham, but no baked goods or treats of any kind that celebrated the beautiful and complex cranberry!
So I set out to remedy the problem last week and got to baking these incredibly tasty cranberry shortbread streusel bars. (Also a delicious low carb cranberry themed coffee cake which I’ll post later this week…)
This is the kind of easy low carb cookie recipe that I just love, since I’m not about spending hours fussing over impossibly pretty baked goods that will be devoured in minutes anyway.
The shortbread crust is similar to the one I use for my popular low carb Raspberry Linzer Cookie Bars, and is pressed into the pan with no rolling required. Meanwhile the cranberries are simmered on the stove until popped and thickened, then cooled slightly and spread over the partially baked crust.
A toasty layer of lightly cinnamon flavored streusel and chopped pecans adorns the top and pulls it all together into the most satisfying cookie bar I’ve eaten in AGES.
These fantastic keto cranberry shortbread streusel bars go from start to finish in less than an hour, with very little hands on time required – so you can definitely get lots of other cooking, cleaning, or Netflix binge-watching done during the process!
In addition, these cookie bars freeze really well – aaaand I personally recommend going the freezing route so that you don’t eat them all in less than 24 hours.
Not that I’d know from experience or anything.
Ok, maybe… ?
Cranberry Shortbread Streusel Bars Recipe Notes:
I used Cointreau in my cranberry jelly, which is an orange flavored liqueur. You can substitute Grand Marnier or Triple Sec, or if you prefer to leave out the alcohol (it cooks off anyway, leaving just the flavor behind), you can sub 1/2 tsp orange extract or omit it altogether!
Xanthan gum is hard to get here in Belize, so I used arrowroot powder to thicken my cranberry jelly enough to set. You can use an equal amount of xanthan or guar gum to get the same results. If you omit it, the recipe will still work but the cranberry layer will be a little gooier – not necessarily a bad thing!
I just know you guys are going to enjoy these cranberry shortbread streusel bars as much as we did, so please make them soon and report back to let us know how it went!
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- 6 Tbsp butter, melted
- 2 cups
- 1/2 cup erythritol granulated sweetener
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1/2 cup erythritol granulated sweetener
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 Tbsp Cointreau orange liquor (optional)
- 1/4 tsp arrowroot powder (or xanthan or guar gum)
- 1/3 crust mix (from above)
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- Combine all of the crust ingredients in a medium sized bowl and mix well with a fork.
- Remove approximately 1/3 of the crust mix and set aside for the streusel topping.
- Press the remaining 2/3 of the crust mix into an 8×8 baking pan, preferably lined with parchment or foil for easier removal after baking.
- Bake in a 350 degree (F) preheated oven for 5 minutes.
- Remove and set aside.
- In a small saucepan, combine the cranberries, sweetener, water, Cointreau, and arrowroot powder and stir well.
- Bring to a boil and then simmer on low heat for 10 minutes.
- Stir and pop all of the cranberries that remained whole after cooking.
- Remove from heat and cool for about five minutes, or until no longer steaming.
- Spread the cranberry filling evenly over the partially baked shortbread crust.
- Add the cinnamon and chopped pecans to the 1/3 crust mix you set aside earlier.
- Work with your fingers until clusters are formed.
- Sprinkle the streusel evenly over the cranberry layer.
- Bake the bars at 350 degrees (F) for 30 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and cool before slicing.