I wanted to post a dessert idea that would be perfect for Thanksgiving or Christmas and even better you can make these ahead of time.
These are Cranberry Bliss Bars- very similar to what you can get this time of year at Starbucks. I love these for gifts and I actually just made these for a cookie exchange. There are so many heavy chocolate, pecan, cheesecake and fudge dishes this time of year these bars always stand out. The zip of orange makes them refreshingly tangy and they really look beautiful on display.
I hope you give these a chance for the holidays because they are one of my favorites!
This recipe comes from Taste of Home magazine and I have a few little tips I have learned along the way that you can see at the bottom.
- ¾ Butter Cubed
- 1½ Cups Brown Sugar
- 2 Eggs
- ¾ tea vanilla
- 2¼ cup Flour
- 1½ tea baking powder
- ¼ tea salt
- ⅛ tea cinnamon
- ½ cup Dried Cranberries
- 6oz White Baking Chocolate, chopped
- 8oz softened cream cheese
- 1 cup confectioners sugar
- 1 tbl grated orange peel
- 6oz white baking chocolate, melted
- ½ cup dried cranberries chopped
- To make the bars:
- Melt butter in the microwave, stir in brown sugar.
- In a large bowl cool to room temp.
- Beat in eggs and vanilla.
- Combine flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
- Gradually add the dry ingredients to wet.
- Stir in cranberries and white chocolate.
- Spray a 13x9 in baking dish with cooking spray and add a thin layer of mixture.
- Bake at 350° for 18 min or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- For the Frosting:
- Beat cream cheese, confectioners sugar and orange peel until smooth.
- Add 3oz of white chocolate (melted) and stir well.
- Frost the cooled bars and sprinkle with chopped cranberries.
- Add the remaining 3oz of melted white chocolate to a pastry bag or Ziploc bag and drizzle over the top.
Here are a few tips that I have learned:
1. The orange peel adds a ton to the flavor so I don’t like to skip that step. You could substitute lemon if you prefer.
2. I use white chocolate chips in the bar recipe- either chips or bar white chocolate is fine.
3. This recipe makes a lot of dough. I prefer not to make the bars too thick because they are on the rich side and a little dense. I add about 1/2 inch of dough and the recipe will make almost one 13×9 pan and a 9×9 pan. The baked bars without the frosting are really delicious and if you drizzle a little white chocolate on top- these would be yummy by themselves.
4. For the frosting, I like to use Almond Bark instead of white chocolate. It melts really nicely and you don’t have to worry about it seizing up. Almond bark can be found in the baking aisles at most stores.
The bars are almost like a cookie so you can make the bars ahead of time and frost on the day you serve.
And these are really cute all packaged up as a gift!
And if you like this recipe, you might also like these:
Copycat Starbucks Hot Chocolate Recipe– absolutely delicious!