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Cranberry Walnut Shortbread Bars

by Suzie Bellomo on November 30, 2022
Cranberry Walnut Shortbread Bars

We made these Cranberry Walnut Shortbread Bars with our Il Fusti Blood Orange Olive Oil not knowing what to expect… well, they were the perfect baked good to make us feel the warm and cozy holiday spirit. The Blood Orange Olive Oil added layers of zest, fruitiness, and tartness. You might want to make a double batch - these things disappear crazy fast. 


For Crust:

  • 2 1/2 c. (10 ounces) walnuts
  • 3 c. all-purpose flour spooned and leveled
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 12 tbsp. Il Fusti Blood Orange Olive Oil
  • 1/2 c. confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

For Topping:

  • 1 tsp. whole cloves
  • 1 tsp. whole allspice
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 2 (1-ounce) envelopes of unflavored gelatin
  • 6 c. fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 2 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 c. red currant jelly
  • 1/4 c. Campari
  • Sweetened whipped cream and candied cranberries, for garnish, optional


Make crust

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350°F. 

Step 2: Pulse walnuts in a food processor until finely chopped, 12 to 15 times. 

Step 3: Add flour and salt, and pulse to combine, 5 to 6 times. 

Step 4: Mix Blood Orange Olive Oil and confectioners’ sugar for 1 to 2 minutes. 

Step 5: Beat in vanilla. 

Step 6: Beat in dry ingredients just until combined. 

Step 7: Press on bottom of a 9-by-13-inch pan. 

Step 8: Bake until brown, 28 to 30 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. 


Make topping

Step 1: Wrap cloves, allspice, and cinnamon in a small piece of cheesecloth and tie with twine to seal. 

Step 2: Sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup of cool water in a bowl. 

Step 3: Cook cranberries, granulated sugar, jelly, Campari, and spice sachet in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until cranberries are soft, 15 to 20 minutes; cool slightly. 

Step 4: Discard the sachet and transfer the cranberry mixture to a blender. Blend just until no whole cranberries remain, about 30 seconds. 

Step 5: Add gelatin mixture and blend until combined, about 5 seconds. Immediately pour over crust. 

Final Step: Chill for 12 hours or up to 1 day. Slice into 16 bars and top with whipped cream and candied cranberries, if desired.

This recipe was adapted and sourced directly from


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