Apparently there is a seasonal cookie bar called “Cranberry Bliss Bars” available at Starbucks at this time of year. I wouldn’t know because I don’t frequent Starbucks, but I do know a good cranberry-orange white chocolate blondie when I see one. And this is it!This is a basic blondie dressed up for the holidays. I’ve taken a simple, one bowl recipe and adapted it so that you will spend more time on the embellishments than mixing the actual cookie dough. Add dried cranberries, white chocolate chips, and orange zest to your blondie batter. Bake it, cool it, and top it with an orange-flavored cream cheese frosting. Decorate the top of your bars with additional chopped cranberries, a little sprinkle of colored sugar, and a drizzle of melted white chocolate. Voila…a pretty little addition to the sweets tray at any holiday gathering. Don’t go to the coffee shop; just go to your kitchen and make these. Then, share them with all your family and friends. Happy baking!
Cranberry-Orange and White Chocolate Blondies
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 heaped teaspoon white miso*
- 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1 egg
- Finely grated zest of one large orange , divided
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/3 cup best quality white chocolate chips
- 3 ounces cream cheese , at room temperature
- 1 ounce softened unsalted butter
- Pinch of salt
- 2 teaspoons orange liqueur , such as Cointreau
- 1 cup confectioner's sugar , sifted
- Additional dried cranberries , coarsely chopped
- Green sanding sugar or sprinkles (optional)
- 2 ounces best quality white chocolate , melted
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter and flour an 8x8-inch baking dish. Line with a sheet of parchment paper, allowing some to extend over the ends of the pan, to facilitate lifting the bars out of the pan when done. In a large mixing bowl,combine the melted butter and miso paste (*the miso paste replaces salt in the recipe, giving great balance to this sweet batter). Whisk to combine, then add the brown sugar. Stir together. Add the egg, half of the grated orange zest, and the vanilla paste. Mix well to combine.
Add the flour and baking powder and stir to make a thick batter. Gently mix in the cranberries and white chocolate chips. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan and bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 22 minutes. Allow to cool on a wire rack, then remove from the pan and place on your work surface.
In a medium bowl, beat together the cream cheese, butter, salt, remaining orange zest and orange liqueur until smooth. Add the sifted confectioner's sugar and mix to make a spreadable frosting. Frost the top of the blondies, swirling the frosting decoratively. Sprinkle with the chopped cranberries and sanding sugar, if using. Drizzle the melted white chocolate over the bars. Chill until set, then cut into triangle-shaped bars with a sharp knife. Store, tightly covered, at room temperature, for 2 to 3 days (if they last that long).
From a basic blondie recipe at “Simply Recipes”.