Cranberry Curd Bars with Walnut-Shortbread Crust

Whenever I see those first bags of fresh cranberries popping up in stores I can’t help but get excited. I instinctively buy a bag, never knowing what I’ll do with them..and over the years it’s forced me to try something new. There’s been the obvious culprit – homemade cranberry sauce. But also a refreshing cranberry sorbet, these killer cranberry brown butter shortbread bars, and these delicious cranberry-orange muffins. So in keeping with tradition, here is another cranberry favorite…

My old friend from high school, Becky,  had tagged me in a post from TheKitchn about these cranberry curd bars. They had a walnut shortbread crust, which I found most intriguing – so I was pretty sure that I was going to make them. Then my good friend Shawnda mentioned something about it, and posted these, giving me the swift-kick-in-the-butt I needed to get into the kitchen and make my own.

I think these are probably my favorite cranberry confection that I’ve made to date. The walnuts in the shortbread crust add such an unexpected richness and complexity of flavor. And the cranberry curd is tart and fresh, but has plenty of sweetness to balance it all out. Will probably be making these again before the cranberries are all gone, maybe trying a little orange juice instead of lemon. A new family favorite for sure!