Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Holiday Treats


I have some sweet treats for you this week! 
First, Cranberry Bliss Bars
They are perfection!  They just so happen to contain some of my favorite ingredients: white chocolate, dried cranberries, and cream cheese frosting! 


The bars consist of a blondie cake base, topped with cream cheese frosting, dried cranberries and white orange drizzle.  Have you tried one at Starbucks?  I've had one and that was inspiration enough. :)

Cranberry Bliss Bars
Yield: 2 1/2 dozen bars
recipe adapted slightly from http://www.recipegirl.com/2011/11/14/cranberry-bliss-bars/
Prep Time: 35 min
Cook Time: 20 min + cooling time

Ingredients:
BLONDIE LAYER:
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) salted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup dried cranberries
6 ounces white chocolate chips

FROSTING:
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
6 ounces white baking chocolate, melted
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 tablespoon grated orange zest

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 13x9-inch baking dish with nonstick spray.
2. Prepare the blondie layer: In a medium bowl, melt butter in the microwave; stir in brown sugar. Scrape the butter and sugar into a large bowl and let cool to room temperature. Use an electric mixer to beat in the eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon; gradually add the dry mixture to the butter mixture. Stir in the cranberries and chocolate chips (the batter will be thick).
3. Spread the blondie batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 18-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (do not over bake). Cool completely on a wire rack.
4. Prepare the frosting: In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar until well-blended. Gradually add half of the melted white chocolate and grated orange zest; beat until blended. Frost bars. Sprinkle with cranberries. Drizzle with remaining melted white chocolate. Cut into bars- square or triangle-shaped. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. 
Oh, and isn't this the cutest Christmas video ever? I guess the cute family does the video in lieu of Christmas cards. Wouldn't it be so fun to do?  OK, not gonna happen, but fun to watch. :)
 http://vimeo.com/32954901
Be back!

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