Cranberry Bliss Bars

And the holiday baking continues.  Our family was recently united as my sister finished her first semester of college (!), and in a weird way, everything has gone back to how it used to be.  It feels normal yet different at the same time.  Soon we will be making all our holiday classics: sugar cookies, zucchini casserole, Chocolate Sprinkle Pretzel Bites, and Sausage Cups, but I am still enjoying trying new festive recipes.  These bars are a sweet combination of a blondie, white chocolate, and cranberries all topped with cream cheese frosting.  Yum.

Now, as I do not like coffee (not even the smell of it), I am not a frequenter of Starbucks.  I much prefer to get my caffeine drink fix from a can of Diet Coke.  But I always appreciate a baked good, and really homemade is often going to be better than any store bought treat.  These bars are pretty easy to make and a perfect way for a novice baker to dazzle at any holiday event.  Perhaps they would also go well with a warm cup of coffee on a cold morning, but this I cannot attest to.  I can let you know that they taste excellent with a can of Diet Coke.

With the big C-Day almost here, it’s crunch time, but take some time and enjoy whipping up a new recipe if you can!  Here are some I have tried and loved:

Candied Cinnamon Sugar Walnuts
Chocolate Sprinkle Pretzel Bites
Black and White Cranberry Pie
Individual Pecan Pie
Blueberry and Sour Cream Pie
Cookie Dough Truffles
Chocolate Fudge
English Toffee
Salted Caramel Bark
Chocolate Brigadeiros
Raspberry Chocolate Truffle Tart
New York Cheesecake
Orange Cranberry Cookies
Fruitcake Cookies
Hazelnut Macarons with Nutella Buttercream
Gingerbread
Fig and Strawberry Baklava
Cranberry Turtle Bars`

CRANBERRY BLISS BARS
Slightly Adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything via RecipeGirl
INGREDIENTS

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
12 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
6 ounces white chocolate chips
3/4 cup dried cranberries
12 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 ounces white chocolate, melted
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 cup dried cranberries

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350°F.   Line a 9 x 11 baking pan with aluminium foil.

In a large bowl mix flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon together.  Set aside.

Melt butter in a large bowl in the microwave.  Stir in light brown sugar and let cool for about 10 minutes.  Mix in vanilla extract and eggs.  Stir in dry ingredients until just mixed together.  Fold in white chocolate chips and dried cranberries.   Pour dough into pan and spread out evenly.  Bake for 19-21 minutes, until edges are just golden brown.  Cool completely.

In a bowl beat cream cheese for 1 minute.  Gradually add powdered sugar and beat.  Gradually add the melted white chocolate and beat until combined. Fold in orange zest. Spread frosting in even layer over bars. Sprinkle dried cranberries on top.

Chill for 30 minutes to allow frosting to set.  Using the aluminium foil, remove from pan.  Cut into small bars or triangles.  Keep refrigerated.

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