Sunday, November 14, 2010
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
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.