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Friday, November 28, 2014

Cherry cranberry bliss bars

I am a firm believer in the saying "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."  Even it's broken English makes me want to change it from ain't broke to isn't broken, but the saying works so well that even I know not to mess with it.  Which brings me to these Cherry-Cranberry Bliss Bars.  I made the cranberry version a few years ago and they were fantastic.  I mean awesomely, perfectly, utterly fantastic.  So why change them?  They ain't broke.  So why try to fix them?

Truth be told, I didn't have to.  They're soooo good in their original form.  But I thought that maybe if I added some dried cherries, I might change up the flavor a little and get another sweet, slightly tart flavor mixed in.  They didn't disappoint!

Now, I'm going to be totally honest with you.  These are good, too.  Really good.  But they are as good as -- not better than -- than the original.  That doesn't mean that they aren't delicious, but is just saying that the original ones are absolutely delicious, and you don't have to change them if you don't want to.  Either version is delicious!  I personally loved the juicy cherry flavor from the dried cherries.

Cherry-Cranberry "Bliss" Bars
Adapted from this recipe


For the Blondie Layer:

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) salted butter, cubed
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4-1/3 cup dried cranberries

1/4-1/3 cup dried cherries
6 ounces white baking chocolate, coarsely chopped

For the Frosting:

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
6 ounces white baking chocolate, melted, divided
1/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped
1/4 cup dried cherries, chopped


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Spray a 13x9-inch baking dish with nonstick spray.

Prepare the blondie layer:

Melt the butter in the microwave in a medium bowl .
Stir in the brown sugar
Pour into a large bowl and let it cool to room temperature.
Mix in the eggs and vanilla.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
Gradually add the dry mixture to the butter mixture.

Stir in the cranberries, cherries, and chopped chocolate (I used white chocolate chips since I didn't feel like chopping the chocolate for the blondies).
Spread the blondie batter into the prepared pan.
Bake for 18-21 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean (do not overbake).
Cool completely on a wire rack.

Prepare the frosting:

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar with an electric mixer until well-blended.
Gradually add half of the melted white chocolate.
Beat until blended.

Frost the blondies.
Sprinkle with chopped cranberries and cherries.
Drizzle with the remaining melted white chocolate.
Cut into bars (squares, rectangles, or triangles....I also think circles would be cute, but probably too messy).

Store in the fridge until ready to serve.

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