breakfast, Brunch, christmas, coffee, Dessert, Food, holidays, new years day, traditions

Cranberry Bliss Bars

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

Cake base:
1 cup butter, softened at room temperature
1 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 eggs
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

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large mixing bowl, combine butter, brown sugar, and vanilla until creamy. Beat in eggs.
  2. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, salt, and ginger. Mix into wet ingredients and stir until combined. Fold in craisins and white chocolate.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

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