Monday, December 10, 2012

White Chocolate Cranberry Blondies

I've been making a lot of costly mistakes recently.

For instance, going to the store for vanilla paste, only to realize I already had 2 bottles in my pantry - hidden under some chocolate chips, or accidentally writing the wrong date on my daughter's handmade birthday invitations and having to redo all 15 of them, OR when 3 of my kitchen outlets suddenly decided to take a vacation smack in the middle of making my cookie dough for Christmas baking. I did everything within my power (no pun intended) to rectify the problem without being electrocuted. Crispy Mommy is not a good look for me. One electrician, 45 seconds, and $90 later, I have power again. Turns out I didn't flip the switch all the way back to reset it. I didn't even know breaker switches could go both ways. I was taught when it trips, the switch goes to the middle, you switch it back in the direction of the others. Done. 

Furious doesn't even begin to describe it.

THEN, my latest oopsie-poopsie occurred just yesterday. I went out for a latte with a good friend of mine. We hit up a Starbucks mainly because we had 5 gift cards between us that needed to be used up. We had enough for two drinks with 6 cents to spare, so treats were going to be an out-of-pocket expense.

Usually when I head out to coffee shops, I like to take along my own goodies. I'm not being cheap or frugal, it's just I've been disappointed one too many times with my choice after the first or definitely the first few bites. I once got a piece of coffee cake that was actually moldy on the underside of it. Needless to say, it's turned me off for life.

As I was perusing the goodies, their Cranberry Bliss Bars caught my eye. I'm sure I had a puzzled look on my face - only because I know I had seen these before, but I just couldn't quite place where

We took our orders and sat down for a chinwag. As I bit into my $2.77 treat, it hit me like a finger in a socket shock. I just made these damn bars and had a WHOLE tray of them cooling on my stupid kitchen counter! What? AAAARRRGGGHHH! Sans frosting mind you, but still!

You see, I knew them as White Chocolate Cranberry Blondies. Starbucks renamed them Cranberry Bliss Bars and I'm sure added a few tweaks of their own here and there. I'd even seen these bars on some blogs recently but CLEARLY didn't put two and two together.

So folks, here's where my loss becomes your weight gain. Just know these are immense and I know anyone would be super happy to receive these as a little Christmas treat.  

Even Santa. Especially Santa. 

Yes, definitely Santa. 

Recipe adapted and slightly modified from A Taste of Home
¾ cup salted butter, cubed
1½ cups packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
a good pinch ground cinnamon
½ cup dried cranberries
6 ounces (¾ cup) white baking chocolate, coarsely chopped - You can also use chips.

1 package cream cheese, softened at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
6 ounces (¾ cup) white baking chocolate, melted
½ cup dried cranberries, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Spray a 13 x 9-inch baking dish with nonstick spray.

To prepare the blondies: 

In a medium saucepan, melt butter and brown sugar together. You can also do this in the microwave. Allow to cool to room temperature. Beat in eggs and vanilla. 

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon; Slowly the dry mixture to the butter mixture. Stir in the cranberries and white chocolate. Please know the batter will be thick. 

Using an offset spatula, spread blondies batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Original recipe calls for 18-21 minutes, but mine wasn't done until close to the 25 minute mark, so start checking at the 20 minute mark. Do not overbake. Allow to cool completely on before frosting.

To prepare the frosting: 

In a large bowl, using a mixer, beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar until well blended. Gradually add half of the melted white chocolate; beat until blended. Frost brownies. Sprinkle with cranberries. Drizzle with remaining melted white chocolate.

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One Response to “White Chocolate Cranberry Blondies”

  1. LOL I do things like that all the time, I just don't tell anyone, so I don't look as bad;p