I did a little holiday baking this year, an old favorite, kolachkes, and something new, white chocolate cranberry bars. These bars are rich and gooey and festive and nutty. Perfect combination in my book. Say what?
Do your favorite grocery stores have cooking magazines each month? Mine do, and I usually look but don’t make anything. But these white chocolate cranberry bars caught my eye and just sounded so dang good. And dang good they are. I think I like them the most, and I definitely ate more than anyone else. They are my kind of sweet treat, not too chocolatey and overly sweet. They would be a great addition to any Christmas dessert table. Just sayin’.
These white chocolate cranberry bars are pretty gooey and crumbly. I would recommend placing the cut bars on squares of parchment paper and/or cutting on a board and serving from the board to plates. Know what I’m saying’?
Anyway, enough of my somewhat tired gibberish. Let’s make white chocolate cranberry bars, shall we? ‘Nuff said.
White Chocolate Cranberry Bars, a festive holiday treat
- 2 cups all-purpose, unbleached flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1½ cups firmly packed light brown sugar
- ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 package (10 to 12-ounce) white chocolate chips, divided
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1 can (14-ounce) whole cranberry sauce
Line a 9 X 13 baking pan with foil, extending 1 inch above the sides of the pan. Lightly coat with cooking spray and set aside. Preheat oven to 350º.
In medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
In standing mixer, cream butter and brown sugar on medium speed until well blended. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Add the flour mixture and beat on low until well mixed. Reserve 1 cup of dough mixture and set aside.
Stir 1 cup of white chips into dough in the mixing bowl, then spread dough into bottom of prepared pan. Bake until edges are lightly browned, about 15 - 17 minutes.
While crust is in the oven, combine reserved dough, remaining white chips, and chopped pecans until evenly mixed. I used my hands, easier. In small bowl, stir cranberry sauce to loosen. Carefully spread cranberry sauce over partially baked crust. With your fingers, dot pecan mixture over top.
Return pan to oven and bake until set and golden brown. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Use foil to lift bars out of pan to cutting board. Cut into bars.
Makes 2 dozen bars
*Adapted from Dierbergs Everybody Cooks Holiday 2015