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White Chocolate Cranberry Orange Bars - 2Teaspoons

White Chocolate Cranberry Orange Bliss Bars

Sweet blondie cookie bars covered in tangy cream cheese frosting, cranberries and orange zest, and drizzled with melted white chocolate
Course Dessert
Servings 16 -24
Author 2Teaspoons adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Ingredients

BARS

  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 1/3 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest*
  • 2 1/8 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup dried cranberries coarsely chopped**
  • ½ cup white chocolate chips or 4 ounces white bakers chocolate coarsely chopped

FROSTING and TOPPINGS

  • ½ cup white chocolate chips or 4 ounces white bakers chocolate
  • 8 ounces full fat or reduced fat cream cheese softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest divided*
  • ½ cup dried cranberries coarsely chopped**

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9”x13” baking pan.
  2. In a large bowl melt butter in microwave. Stir in brown sugar until fully dissolved. Set aside to slightly cool. Once cooled, whisk in eggs, one at a time. Then whisk in the vanilla and orange zest.
  3. In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Gradually add flour mixture to butter-sugar-egg mixture until combined. Fold in the cranberries and white chocolate. Spread batter evenly in the prepared baking pan. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Let bars cool completely in pan before proceeding.
  4. Once bars are cooled melt white chocolate in microwave on 50% power stirring every 30 seconds. Using an electric mixer beat cream cheese and powdered sugar until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Stir in vanilla, 1 teaspoon of orange zest and half of the melted white chocolate. Spread the frosting evenly over the bars.
  5. Sprinkle bars with cranberries and remaining orange zest. Drizzle with remaining melted white chocolate. Cover and refrigerate until chocolate is set, at least 30 minutes. Cut bars to serve. They are best served cool and should be stored in the refrigerator.

Recipe Notes

*I found that zesting one orange gave me about the 3 teaspoons needed for the total recipe.
**I found that 1 bag of craisins was perfect for the 1 cup of cranberries needed for the total recipe.