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Cranberry Turtle Bars

Cranberry Turtle Bars

I am a huge fan of chocolate turtles! It is really difficult to resist those tiny turtles made with caramel and pecans all wrapped up in chocolate and during the holidays I often go through a few boxes of them. When I came across this recipe for cranberry turtle bars on No Fear Entertaining last year I knew that I would have to make them! You really can't go wrong with buttery shortbread topped with caramel, pecans and chocolate and I was really intrigued by the idea of throwing those tart little cranberries into the mix as well. Unfortunately I misplaced the bookmark and did not end up finding it until there were no cranberries left and I have been patiently awaiting their return. Now that the cranberries are back I finally got the chance to make them and they were well worth the wait!

This recipe can seem a little intimidating given that it includes making a caramel sauce but if you have a candy thermometer it is actually quite easy. I was really looking forward to trying this recipe out because of the caramel sauce and the way that the fresh cranberries are thrown right into the caramel as it cooks. Up until now I had only tried adding simple things like vanilla extract or salt to caramel and I was interested to see how the fresh cranberries would work.

The cranberry turtle bars turned out even better than I had hoped for! The shortbread was nice and light and buttery and good! The cranberry caramel sauce was definitely the star of the show however with its amazing crimson colour. I was really pleased with the way the cranberries flavour and colour infused the caramel sauce and it had the perfect consistency being neither too runny nor too chewy. Of course the pecans and chocolate finished everything off nicely! I did not think that you could improve of chocolate turtles but adding cranberries to the mix did just that! With the success of adding cranberries to a caramel sauce I am now thinking about what else can be added to caramel!

Cranberry Turtle Bars

Shortbread bars covered in a cranberry caramel and drizzled with chocolate.


Servings: makes 12-24 bars

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Printable Recipe
Ingredients
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries, coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cups pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
  • 2 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped
Directions
  1. Place the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor and blend.
  2. Add the butter and process until it forms pea sized lumps.
  3. Sprinkle the mixture into a 10x15 inch baking pan that has been lined with foil and greased, and press the mixture down.
  4. Bake in a preheated 350F oven until golden brown, about 15-17 minutes then set aside to cool.
  5. Melt the butter in a large saucepan.
  6. Mix in the sugar, corn syrup and salt and bring to a boil.
  7. Simmer until the mixture turns a nice golden amber in colour and reaches 245F on a candy thermometer.
  8. Mix in the cranberries and return to 245F.
  9. Remove from heat and mix in the vanilla and pecans.
  10. Quickly spread the mixture over the shortbread and the let it cool completely.
  11. Melt the chocolate, place it in a small plastic bag, cut a small piece out of the corner and pipe the chocolate onto the bars.

Similar Recipes:
Chocolate Turtle Cookies
Pumpkin Caramel Cheesecake Turtle Bread
Meyer Lemon Bars
Blueberry Caramel Sauce

39 comments:

Catherine said...

Oh YUM!!! I will be trying these for sure! :-)

Katie said...

These look amazing! I am adding this recipe to my list for Thankgiving!

Healthy Mamma said...

What a fun Fall Treat! I've adore fresh cranberries and can't get enough of them. This looks good enough to be worth the calories. ;-)

vanillasugar said...

now this is a good way to kick up chocolate candy. love it.

Lora said...

These are fantastic!

The Urban Baker said...

turtle + cranberry, now that's a winning combo! Plus...it's made in a large jelly roll pan. oh how I love feeding a crowd!

Velva said...

I have never been able to resist those tiny turtles. No doubt, that I would not be able to resist these cranberry turtles. Very nice.

Laura Keller said...

These look delicious! I love that they're made with fresh cranberries and a homemade caramel sauce... Can't wait to try these soon!

Carla said...

Oh my, these do look yummy. I will be making these for the holidays. Thank you!

matt gordon said...

this is an excellent recipe to try in this autumn weather. do you have a photo studio setup at your place? the pictures are first rate.

the blissful baker said...

these are so unique, and they look scrumptious! i love the bright color the cranberries give these bars. lovely!

Nina Timm said...

Kevin, why oh why are you torturing me so!!! Love turtle bars!!!

Ravenous Rowie said...

Those bars look so amazingly good! A nice Fall treat!

ๆ„› - ใกใ‚ƒใ‚“ said...

That looks good :) I always wanted to prepare something with cranberry. This seems like a good idea!

jose manuel said...

Que aspecto tan terroficamente rico, excelente.

Saludos

Marisa said...

Looks wonderfully festive! With a batch of these to hand I'll be ready for Christmas, that's for sure.

LimeCake said...

i don't think i've ever had a turtle bar. these look delicious!

Joanne said...

I love chocolate turtles as well, but cranberry sounds even better!

Sophie said...

Waw!! You take these bars to a whole other level!! they look amazing & must be great as food gifts too!

Moon Cat said...

Oh my gosh, these look heavenly! I think they will make a great fall dessert. Thanks for sharing, Kevin!

Mo Diva said...

Im a big fan!

those look wonderful. Im intimidated by them tho lol. I will gladly devour them though

Judy@nofearentertaining said...

So glad you tried the recipe! It was one of my favorites from last year. I probably made it a dozen times to giveaway as well!!!

Juds2U said...

As much as the yummy recipe, I love the bubbly food babbling that accompanies it! You indulge your long-time hobby with the excitement and freshness of a newbie! We should all strive to keep our passions fresh!!

jenny said...

This looks so good! I would love to try to adapt it to lose the gluten. Any ideas?

RamblingTart said...

Wow, Kevin, these take one of my favorite things right over the top! I love the bright colors and oh, the taste must be exquisite. :-)

mindy said...

These sound so good. I have an obsession with Turtles so these are right up my alley.

baby cribs said...

This is a must try! I would love to make some for the Halloween for the kids!

Kevin said...

matt gordon: I am currently using a single off camera flash that is mounted on a stand with an umbrella.

jenny: The flour in the short bread should be all that you need to replace to make this gluten free. A gluten free flour such as rice flour should do the trick.

Nicisme said...

What a beautiful and colourful post. These turtle bars look fabulous, I must give them a go.

be_beam said...

I love a turtle bar.But these look so.ooo delicious!

The Urban Baker said...

I made these for an open house and EVERYONE went crazy. These are crazy. It's candy on steroids!!!

Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes] said...

These look amazing! Just need to find some cranberries :(

Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes] said...

Oh these look delicious. If only I could find some cranberries here :(

Anonymous said...

these look epic

Jill's Comfort Zone said...

This sounds really Yummy!!!

Deanna said...

This looks amazing! I'm throwing a festive fall party next month, and these might have to be on the menu :)

Anonymous said...

Can these be frozen? How long do they keep for gift giving purposes?

Kevin said...

Anonymous: Yes these can be frozen, otherwise they should keep for at least 3-4 weeks. Enjoy!

Perseverance said...

Your site and recipes are amazing! These squares are for this week-end and now I am scanning your site for Hor's d'oeuvres for Christmas time. I love the artichoke dip on bread idea.

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