Christmastime is probably my favorite time of year. Everything from the bright and festive decorations to spending time with good friends and family bring a sense of home and happiness during the season. But I would be remiss if I didn’t also acknowledge the myriad of holiday treats that are oh-so-delicious.
The Haasienda kitchen is typically busy with holiday baking, and even a pandemic didn’t stop that bit of holiday tradition. Samantha, Emily, and I baked- macaroons, peppermint brownie cookies, and many pies and other desserts were made and shared. One of our family favorites is cranberry bliss, a Starbucks treat that is comprised of a blondie base, cream cheese frosting, and a garnish of chopped craisins and white chocolate drizzle. We have created a copy of this sweet treat for enjoyment at home or shared with friends.
Cranberry Bliss Bars
1 cup butter, softened at room temperature
1 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 cup each, plus extra for garnish: white chocolate chips and craisins
Cream cheese frosting:
8 ounces cream cheese
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large mixing bowl, combine butter, brown sugar, and vanilla until creamy. Beat in eggs.
- In a separate bowl, sift together flour, salt, and ginger. Mix into wet ingredients and stir until combined. Fold in craisins and white chocolate.
- Pour batter into a well-greased 13″ x 9″ baking dish. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned and cooked in the center. Let cool completely.
- To make the frosting, beat powdered sugar into cream cheese and butter. Add vanilla and whisk until smooth. Chill until the cake is ready to frost.
- Cut the cake into 12-16 pieces. Frost and top with craisins and melted white chocolate drizzle.
This dessert has been served at many a PTA party or church brunch. I hope that you might enjoy it too. After all, dessert, like life, is an adventure meant to be shared. Happy holidays and happy trails.