The Forum: Find bliss with cranberry bars

  • By Judyrae Kruse Herald Columnist
  • Thursday, December 17, 2009 12:00pm
  • Life

Cranberry bars today, because Everett reader Linda Kim tells us, “With the holiday season here, I have been looking forward to making a batch of heavenly cranberry bars, like the ones they offer at Starbucks.

“Unfortunately, I can’t seem to find my recipe.

“You ran the recipe for these a couple of years ago, and they are so good, and always make such a hit when I make them. Is it possible to have you print the recipe again?’’

You betcha. Here’s the how-to, as originally taken from the Junior League of Seattle’s “Celebrate the Rain’’ cookbook and printed in the Nov. 15, 2006, Forum column.

Heavenly cranberry bars

11/2cups light brown sugar

1cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled


3teaspoons vanilla extract

21/4cups flour

1teaspoon baking powder

1teaspoon salt

13/4cups white chocolate chips

11/2cups dried cranberries, coarsely chopped

1cup toasted chopped pecans

1/4cup grated orange zest

Cream cheese frosting (recipe follows)

2tablespoons orange zest

1/3cup dried cranberries, coarsely chopped

6ounces high-quality white chocolate, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter an 11-by-15-inch jelly-roll pan or rimmed baking sheet. In large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla until smooth. Whisk in the flour, baking powder and salt until well blended, then stir in the white chocolate chips, 1 1/2 cup cranberries, pecans and 1/4 cup orange zest. Spread the mixture evenly in the prepared pan (it will be quite stiff) and bake until golden brown, about 20 to 22 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside on a wire rack to cool.

When the bars are cooled thoroughly, prepare the frosting and spread over the baked layer.

In a small bowl, stir together the remaining 2 tablespoons orange zest and 1/3 cup dried cranberries; sprinkle over frosting.

Melt the white chocolate in a small heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring until smooth. Drizzle the chocolate over the bars and let stand until the chocolate is set.

Cut the bars into 3-inch squares and then diagonally into triangles. Store in refrigerator.

Makes 48 bars.

Note: If desired, these bars can be baked in a buttered 9-by-13-inch baking pan, increasing the baking time to about 30 minutes.

Cream cheese frosting

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

1 cup powdered sugar

1/2cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 tablespoon grated orange zest

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In small mixing bowl, cream together the cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter, orange zest and vanilla with an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth and fluffy.

The next Forum will appear in Wednesday’s Good Life section.

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