These Cranberry Coconut Bars combine a buttery shortbread base, cranberry sauce and toasted coconut to make a festive, delicious treat!
Hiya everyone, hope your week is going well. Today I’m bringing you these Cranberry Coconut Bars. They are just perfect for easing us into this festive period!
I combined buttery shortbread, cranberry sauce and toasted desiccated coconut to make these insanely delicious, addictive bars!
They’re perfect for a treat on the go, for the kids, for the adults. They’re easy to make and are bound to disappear quickly!
Can I share some good news with you? I haven’t said the word good with news for months as this year has been quite the rollercoaster.
However… on Monday we completed on the sale of Hubby’s old house!!! FINALLY!
It’s taken 11 months to get this far after our fraudster first buyer. We sold quickly after putting it back on the market in August, but it’s taken this long to do all the paperwork. But it’s done, we have the money and now we can sit on the money and wait for the perfect house to come up for us to buy.
Since we’re entering the festive period, it’s highly unlikely we’ll find anything before the new year, but we are in a good position, because as soon as we find somewhere we can proceed as we’re no chain.
This whole journey has taught me that location really does matter though. We have probably looked at 50 houses, all within 30-40 mins of Reading. But… we really want to be in this little village we first found last October.
The first house we looked at was there, we fell in love, that house went, so we then found the house we tried to buy (the one which fell through in the summer) and it was a few miles away from this village. After that we broadened our horizons and looked everywhere.
Something was always missing and we couldn’t put our finger on it. On paper some of the houses were perfect, but it was missing something.
A couple of months ago, we looked at another house in that village and there was that feeling for both of us. So it might take longer, but we really want to live there, so we’re going to have to be patient.
Both of us did not expect to be spending another Christmas here, but oh well, we’re going to make sure it’s a good one after this year! Starting off with these Cranberry Coconut Bars because, for me, shortbread is synonymous with Christmas. As are cranberries. The coconut just adds a tropical twist. You can sprinkle the desiccated coconut on the top without toasting it, but toasting it adds a lovely nuttiness to it.
I think Cranberry Coconut is such a delicious flavour combination, it’s a perfect mix between nutty, tropical and tart cranberries. I like to add a little sugar to my cranberry sauce, just to take the tartness down a little and make it more balanced. It doesn’t make the cranberry sauce really sweet, it just helps it marry together with the shortbread and coconut.
I have so much Christmas content coming in the next few weeks, gift guides, recipes, beauty posts, so I do hope you’ll enjoy everything I have planned!
Cranberry Coconut Bars
- For the shortbread base:
- 1 1/2 sticks (170g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/3 cup (66g) caster/white sugar
- 2 cups (280g) plain/all-purpose flour
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp milk
- For the cranberry layer:
- 12 oz (340g) cranberry sauce, whole or smooth, up to you. I used whole.
- 3 tbsp caster/white sugar
- For the topping:
- 2/3 cup (60g) desiccated coconut
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F and spray an 8×8 inch square pan with cooking spray. Place a strip of grease proof paper across one way, leaving overhang for you to lift the bars out. Then place another strip across the pan the oppposite way with overhang.
- Make the shortbread first: place the butter, sugar, flour, salt and vanilla into a large bowl, or the bowl of your stand mixer and mix on high until you have a coarse breadcrumb texture. Then add in 1tbsp of milk and mix on medium speed until the mixture comes together into one large lump.
- Tip the shortbread into your prepared pan and press into an even layer. Place in the oven for 15-17 minutes, until the shortbread is risen and puffy.
- When the shortbread is puffy, remove from the oven while you make the cranberry topping. Place the cranberry sauce into a small bowl and microwave for 45 seconds. Mix the sugar into the cranberry sauce and then pour the mixture over the hot shortbread. Spread over the shortbread, then place in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the cranberry sauce is bubbling all over and an inserted skewer into the centre comes out clean.
- Take the bars out of the oven and make the coconut topping. Place the desiccated coconut into a dry frying pan over a low heat. Stir frequently until the coconut becomes golden, then sprinkle on top of the cranberry sauce.
- Leave the Cranberry Coconut Bars to cool completely before lifting out and transferring to a cuttnig board. Slice into 9-12 bars and dig in!
- Cranberry Coconut Bars will keep in an airtight container, at room temperature, for 4 days.