Monday, December 11, 2006

Cookie Goodness

Heavenly Cranberry Bars
Here's a photo of one of the bars I made (the rest were devoured). Erika's suggestion to line the pan with foil worked perfectly, so I've updated the recipe below to include those instructions.

I'm participating in an online cookie exchange. I think that makes me both geeky and annoyingly Martha Stewart.

This is a version of the cranberry bars that a certain international coffee chain sells this time of year. The only difficult thing about this recipe is removing the bars from the pan - I think I'm going to try lining it with waxed paper this year and maybe I'll be saved the hammer/chisel method I've used in the past. And even then, they were worth the trouble. (Thanks, Erika, for this recipe!)

Heavenly Cranberry Bars

1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 3/4 cups (1 bag) white chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
1 cup toasted chopped pecans (optional)
1/4 cup candied ginger (optional but makes them really good), coarsely chopped
1/4 cup grated orange zest

White Chocolate Frosting
8oz cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 tbsp grated orange zest, divided
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
6 oz white chocolate, coarsely chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 11x15 inch jelly roll pan or rimmed baking sheet with foil. Whisk together the brown sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla in a large bowl until smooth. Whisk in the flour, baking powder, and salt until well blended. Stir in the white chocolate chips, cranberrs, nuts, ginger, and orange zest. Spread mixture evenly in the prepared pan - it will be quite stiff - and bake until golden brown, about 20 to 22 minutes. Set aside on a wire rack to cool. Cool all the way.

Make the frosting by creaming together the cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter, 1 tbsp of the orange zest, and vanilla until smooth and fluffy. Spread the mixture over the cooled base. Stir together the remaining 2 tbsp orange zest with the dried cranberries and sprinkle the mixture over the frosting. Melt the white chocolate in the microwave for one minute, stirring until smooth. Drizzle the white chocolate over the bars - a plastic baggie with one corner cut off works well - and let it sit until the chocolate is set. Cut the bars into 2-inch squares and then diagonally into triangles.

Makes 48 bars.


Jenn said...


Anonymous said...

Hi Blythe,

Try lining your pan with aluminum foil. I'm making some of these tonight--yum!


Jen said...

These were wonderful! I made them last night, and was very happily surprised at how great they taste, and look.

One thing--when I looked at this recipe elsewhere, it included 1 tsp. baking powder. I wasn't sure if your omission of that ingredient was inadvertent or intentional. In any event, thanks for sharing this great recipe!

Blythe said...

yes! I left out the baking powder! Thanks, Jen. I've fixed it.

Anonymous said...

Could someone please describe the texture of these bars...chewy...cakey...moist???? Thanks.

Blythe said...

They're heavier than a cake - more like a chocolate chip cookie bar.

Anonymous said...