In a sauce pan, dissolve cornstarch into cold cranberry juice. Add sugar, cranberries and orange zest, then cook on high, stirring until bubbly (approx. 6 min). Reduce heat and simmer 20 min, until thickened. Set aside.
Combine all ingredients and set aside.
Brown Sugar-Shortbread Crust
In a mixer, with paddle attachment, cream butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy (approx. 4 min). Turn off mixer from time to time and, using a rubber spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure ingredients are well blended. Incorporate dry ingredients. Add water to make dough easier to handle, if dough is dry and crumbly. Do not overwork.
On a floured surface, roll out dough to 1/3” thickness. Cut 12, 4” rounds with a cookie cutter or the mouth of a glass. If needed, gather excess dough and roll again. Press rounds into a small 12-muffin tin (1/3 c muffin size) to form the tart crusts. Fill each crust with cranberry filling and top with nut mixture.
Bake at 375 approx. 20 min. Cool completely, remove from muffin tin and garnish with powdered sugar, if desired.
Traditionally served with cultured sour cream.