December 9, 2012

Holiday Cranberry Bars

Hey there gorgeous. 

I know, it's been too long but trust me, there is a whole lot more where this came from. Holiday baking! It really may be my favorite thing of all time. This concoction encompasses everything that I love about this time of year.  Festive colors with a fruit of the season (cranberries!) and a white cream cheese frosting resembling the snow on the ground...all on a bed of blondie bar goodness.

Wait, but what's on top? (aside from a little fuzzy smear on my camera lens)

That would be white chocolate drizzle. It's a holiday favorite of mine and I can't wait to start baking up a storm. 

Oh hello blondie cross section photography. Who needs santa when you've got views like this?

Holiday Cranberry Bars
Blondies adapted from simplyrecipes

For the blondies:
1 cup of butter, melted
2 cups of tightly packed dark brown sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons of vanilla
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 cups of all purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Mix together the butter and brown sugar and then add in your eggs and vanilla. Sift in your baking powder, baking soda, salt, and flour. Mix until well combined and bake in a 9x13 inch pan for about 30-35 minutes until the whole pan is a gorgeous sheet of caramel baked goodness. You can always adjust the size of the pan and the baking time to make thicker or thinner blondies too. Let cool till room temperature and in the meantime...prepare your frosting!

For the cream cheese frosting:
8 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat together your butter and cream cheese. Add in the powdered sugar one cup at a time until all incorporated. Throw in some vanilla and then spread evenly all over the blondies. Spatulas smoothing out frosting over a pan of blondies? Now that's the stuff the holidays are made out of!

For the white chocolate drizzle and holiday topping!
1/4 cup white chocolate chips
1 1/2 cup (or thereabouts) of dried cranberries

In a microwave safe bowl, melt your white chocolate chips in increments of 30 seconds in the microwave until completely melted (about 1 minute, 30 seconds). Don't over microwave as these chips are a tendency to glob together and become a mess so I'd err on the side of caution over zapping these cuties like crazy. Plop your melted mixture into the corner of a ziploc baggy and cut off the corner for a makeshift frosting bag!

Toss your cranberries on top of your cream cheese as you so desire (it looks so pretty!) and then get ready to drizzle your chocolate in any pattern your please right over your berries.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do! Let the holiday baking begin!

P.S. I recommend storing them in the fridge to allow for best cream cheese frosting consistency.