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Rabu, 28 November 2012

Cranbery Bliss Bars

Cranbery Bliss Bars
• Monday, November 26th, 2012
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How do you do Christmas?  Do you jump right in, as soon as the Thanksgiving leftovers are packed into the fridge?  Do you deck the halls as soon as you hear the first of many Christmas carols on the radio?  Do you protest and wait until the calendar reads December 1?  Do you prefer to go The Grinch route and reject all things holiday?

Copycat Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars (12) 
 
Normally, I am a feet-first, tree is up, let’s blast Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas” kind of gal.  But this year, as soon as I cleared the house of fall décor and swapped out the front door wreath, I panicked.  I realized that I am completely over all the festive but cheesy Christmas décor we’ve accumulated over the past three years in our home.  I no longer think the penguin and Santa stocking holders are funny, nor do I want the plain, boring, $1 red and green Christmas stockings hanging from them.  I’ve always picked up a few things here and there, but this will be our fourth Christmas in our house, and for once, I want decorations that make me happy.  I want decorations that aren’t thrown around the house without much thought.  

Copycat Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars (9) 
 
I’m making a list and checking it twice ten times.  I’m referring to my Pinterest boards and gleaning inspiration from images I’ve saved.  Do I want gold or silver?  Colors or neutral?  Ornaments or candles?  Where can I find the “nice” evergreen garland?  These are the problems that currently plague me.  I haven’t gotten much further than ordering a set of five pretty, matching stockings to hang from the fireplace.  

Copycat Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars (31) 
 
If these are my biggest problems this holiday season, I’ll take them.  While there may be a temporary shortage of Christmas decorations in our house, there is no shortage of goodies.  I didn’t hesitate at all when it came to starting my holiday baking. 
What we lack in mantel décor, we make up for in sugar and flour.  

Cranberry Bliss Bars
Yields 2 dozen bars
Ingredients
Blondies
  • 1 1/2 C packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 C butter, melted
  • 2  eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 C flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 C dried cranberries
  • 6 oz white chocolate chips
Frosting
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 C powdered sugar
  • 6 oz white chocolate chips, melted
  • 1/2 C dried cranberries, chopped
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a 13×9-inch baking dish with parchment paper and baking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine melted butter with brown sugar.  Allow to cool to room temp.  Once cooled, beat in the eggs, one a time.  Add vanilla.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.  Slowly add dry mix to the butter and sugar mix.  Fold in cranberries and chocolate chips. 
  4. Spread the batter into the pan.  (Batter will be very thick.)  Bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Remove to a wire rack to cool completely. 
  5. Meanwhile, prepare your frosting by beating the cream cheese and the powder sugar until combined.  Add half of the melted white chocolate and continue to mix. 
  6. Frost blondies and sprinkle with chopped cranberries.  Use remaining chocolate to drizzle.  Cut into triangles and serve.  Store in fridge if not serving immediately. 
Copycat Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars (37)

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