Sunday, November 14, 2010

Cranberry Bliss Bars

Just looking at these blissful little bar cookies puts a smile on my face.  

I was feeling a bit blue, one warm December day in San Diego, when I stumbled upon these lightly spiced bar cookies in a Starbucks.  Their red-and-white color scheme caught my eye, and reminded me of Christmas.  I thought they were so festive and pretty, and was surprised that they tasted as good as they looked.  Apparently, I wasn't the only one that liked them.  I found this mock-recipe in the San Diego Union Tribune, a few years later.  I make them every year now, and they never fail to lift my spirits. 

1 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
4 eggs
2 tsps orange extract
2 1/2 cups unbleached flour
2 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
3/4 cup dried cranberries
3/4 cup white chocolate chips

6 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, softened
4 cups confectioners sugar
1 tsp orange extract

1/3 cup dried cranberries, chopped
1/3 cup white chocolate chips
grated orange peel

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a jelly-roll pan (15 x10) with parchment paper.  Coat with cooking spray.

In a bowl, combine butter, sugars, eggs, and orange extract.  Cream well.  Add the dry ingredients, and stir to combine (don't over-mix).  Fold in the cranberries and white chocolate chips.  Spoon batter evenly, into the prepared pan.  Bake for 15- 17 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

In large bowl, beat cream cheese, butter, sugar and orange oil for frosting.  If needed, add a few drops of milk to thin.  Spread completely over the cooled bars.

Sprinkle garnish evenly over the frosted cookie, and cut into squares (about 40).  These freeze well.

1 comment:

  1. I have recently become HOOKED on these and am trying this recipe soon! no more spending 2.35 per bar at Star$$$s! Thanks for this!