Monday, December 12, 2011

Cranberry Bliss Bars

Seems like during the Christmas season, I find myself making more and more desserts! There are just so many wonderful recipes out there to try that help fill your home with Christmas cheer! :) This past weekend, I decided to fill my home with the wonderful aroma of Cranberry Bliss Bars. And they were divine. I know this recipe looks quite intimidating, with all of the different steps (cake, frosting, drizzle, etc.), but you do not have to do all of that if you do not want to. Mind you, it does make the bars look fantastic, but it is a bit of extra work, that even I didn't have time to do this weekend. I ended up just buying a pre-made cream cheese frosting instead and it still tasted great. I'm sure making the homemade frosting and drizzle would be amazing though...and one of these days when I have more time, I will definitely give it a shot.

I absolutely loved the cranberries and white chocolate together. It was delightful. And the brown sugar made the cake taste wonderful as well. It was so pretty too! The red cranberries just gave it that beautiful Christmas-y look and I loved it. I think these are going to become a tradition in my home every year! I have gone back for seconds everytime I dish one up for myself! :)

I did not make any changes to the recipe except for not making my own frosting. Everything else I followed exactly.

Mock Cranberry Bliss Bars
(adapted from My Little Mochi)

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped
6 ounces (about 3/4 cup) white chocolate chips (or chopped white chocolate)

4 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
4 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup dried cranberries, chopped

Drizzling icing:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
1-2 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium bowl, mix together the butter and brown sugar until smooth. Add eggs, vanilla, ginger, and salt. Mix well.
Gradually add flour. Mix until smooth. Stir in cranberries and white chocolate.
Pour the batter into a well-greased 9×13-inch pan. Use a spatula to evenly spread the batter in the pan.
Bake 30-40 minutes, until edges are light brown. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

Make the frosting: Mix together the cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla and lemon juice until completely smooth. Set aside the cranberries.
Make the drizzling icing: In a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, milk and vegetable shortening. Use enough milk to make a thick but drizzly consistency. I used closer to 2 tablespoons. [at first it will seem like the vegetable shortening is just going to clump things up, but if you mix the milk in first it will all whisk together smoothly].

When the cake is fully cooled, frost. Sprinkle the top with cranberries.
Put the drizzling icing into a ziploc bag and snip off a tiny bit of the corner (or use pastry bag fitted with small tip). Drizzle the icing on top in zig-zags or whatever pattern you like.
Cut into squares or triangles and enjoy.

Gluten free: use GF flour.

*I found this wonderful recipe on*

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