Cranberry Blondie Bars with Madagascar Vanilla

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  • Total Time: 1 cooling time hrs 40 mins
  • Hands-on Time: 25 mins
  • Makes: 24 triangle or 12 square bars

Tart cranberry and sweet white chocolate are the most delicious, festive flavor pairings. Inspired by the recipe you know and love from Starbucks, this blondie-base cookie bar with sweet cream frosting will set you apart at your next Christmas party — or any day of the year.

Ingredients

  • FOR THE BLONDIE LAYER:

    12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

    1 1/2 cups brown sugar, lightly packed

    1/2 cup cane sugar

    2 large eggs

    1 teaspoon Simply Organic® Pure Madagascar Vanilla Extract or Vanilla Bean Paste

    2 cups all-purpose flour

    1 teaspoon baking soda

    1/2 teaspoon salt

    1/2 cup dried cranberries

    6 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped

     

    FOR THE FROSTING:

    8 ounces cream cheese, softened

    4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

    4 cups powdered sugar

    1 tablespoon fresh orange zest

     

    FOR THE TOPPING:

    1/2 cup dried cranberries

    6 ounces white chocolate, melted

Directions

    To Make the Blondie Layer:

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
    2. In a large mixing bowl, add butter, brown sugar and cane sugar. Mix to combine, then mix in eggs and vanilla extract.
    3. In a separate bowl, add flour, baking soda and salt, stirring to combine. Add half the dry ingredients, mix to combine, add remaining dry ingredients and mix again. Stir in dried cranberries and white chocolate chunks. Do not over-mix.
    4. Line a 13-x-9-inch pan with parchment paper; transfer batter into pan and spread evenly.
    5. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, until edges are golden but before center is firmly set.
    6. Remove from pan and set aside to cool.

     

    To Make the Frosting:

    1. In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and butter together until fluffy. Mix in powdered sugar one cup at a time. Add orange zest and stir to combine.
    2. Once bars are fully cooled, spread an even layer of frosting on top. Sprinkle with dried cranberries and drizzle with melted chocolate. Allow 1 hour for frosting to set.
    3. Cut the bars into your desired shape! Square or triangle.

     

    CHEF SUGGESTION::

    While you may be tempted to do this, don’t overbake the blondie layer. It will continue baking after you’ve removed it from the oven. To enjoy that iconic, chewy center of a blondie, you must take it out before it’s completely set.

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