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Gifts from my Kitchen: Cranberry White Chocolate Bars

23 Feb

When I saw this recipe posted on one of my favorite blogs, Glorious Treats, I knew that I would be making them for our teachers for Valentine’s Day.  Do not let the cute heart shape fool you….these are pure sin!  OMG….you can never go wrong with white chocolate and cranberries…am I right? 

This recipe is a keeper and I will be pulling it often!   I was in a hurry to get these packaged and ready to take to school, so check out Glory’s blog and see her beautiful pictures of these little gems.

Enjoy!


Cranberry White Chocolate Bars

(recipe from Glorious Treats)
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Bars
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter (slightly softened)
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons fresh orange zest
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup dried, sweetened cranberries, chopped
6 ounces (about 3/4 cup) white chocolate chips


Frosting
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 Tablespoons butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon orange extract


1/2- 2/3 cup dried, sweetened cranberries, chopped
2 ounces white chocolate, melted


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 pan.  Line the pan with parchment paper, leaving some hanging over the two long sides- this allows the bars to be pulled out of the pan after baking for easier cutting.  In a medium bowl add the flour, powdered ginger, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Set bowl aside.  In a large bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar until smooth.  Add eggs, vanilla, and orange zest and mix well. Gradually add the flour mixture and blend until combined.  Stir in cranberries and white chocolate. Pour the batter into prepared pan and spread evenly.  Bake 25-30 minutes, until edges are light brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Prepare frosting by beating the cream cheese and butter together until smooth. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla and orange extract. Beat about 1 minute until fully incorporated.  Assemble dessert by spreading the frosting onto the baked and cooled bars. Sprinkle additional cranberries on top. Drizzle melted white chocolate on top as desired.


To make the bars heart shaped, use a heart cookie cutter.
 

If you love cranberries (like me!), here is another awesome recipe to try:

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Countdown to 2011: Desserts

2 Jan

Okay, so I am a day late in this post but I wanted to share some of the desserts I made over the past year.  I am joining Finding Joy in My Kitchen’s countdown. 

Here is some of the delightful goodness we enjoyed!

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Recipe: Dulce de Leche Brownies

24 Oct

I can’t believe it is already week four of the 12 weeks of Christmas cookies.  I didn’t have a lot of time this week so I wanted to make something easy but yummy.  Who doesn’t love brownies and caramel?  This would be perfect to make when you don’t have a lot of time and you need a fabulous dessert, hostess gift or a dessert to share.  And it only requires five ingredients!

Dulce de Leche Brownies
1 box brownie mix
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla
pecans, optional
Make brownies according to box directions.  Once you remove the brownies from the oven, make the frosting.  In a saucepan, combine condensed milk and butter.  Cook and stir over medium heat until bubbly.  Cook and stir 2 to 3 minutes more or until slightly thickened.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.  Pour frosting over brownies, spreading evenly.  Sprinkle with nuts.  Cool completely before cutting.

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Linked To:
  * Blessed with Grace: Tempt My Tummy Tuesday
  * Tales from the Fairy Blogmother:  What’s Cooking Wednesday

Week 4 Twelve Weeks of Christmas:

Gifts from my Kitchen: Snickerdoodle Blondies

8 May

Let me just say that I was a bit skeptical about these blondies.  I LOVE brownies/blondies!  They are my favorite dessert.  But, I love snickerdoodle cookies.  I just couldn’t see how these were going to work, but I gave them a try.  And I am so glad that I did.  They were so yummy! I used the recipe from Cooking with Cristine.

And let me just say that I am kinda proud of myself for getting four days of home baked goodies to all 12 teachers!  This has been a crazy week with us getting ready to move, finishing up school, etc. that I almost didn’t think I would get it done.  But I wanted the teachers to know how special they were to our kids.

Enjoy!

Semi-Homemade: Cream Cheese Brownies

2 May

Yesterday, it seemed the entire family had a sweet tooth.  Because we are moving, I am trying to use up as much of our pantry as I can.  I had a box of fudge brownies (you know the most awesome one with the fudge packet) and had some cream cheese in my freezer.  Cream cheese brownies sounded so good.  I would have added walnuts but I have a few that don’t love nuts…darn it!  The brownies were so good and totally cured our sweet tooth.

Cream Cheese Brownies

1 package Fudge Brownies
2 eggs
2 tbsp water
1/2 melted butter
1 cup walnuts or nut of your choice (optional)
1-8 oz package cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat over to 350 degrees.  In a 8×8 baking pan, butter bottom and sides.  Prepare brownie mix with eggs, water and melted butter.  In a separate bowl, prepare cream cheese, sugar and vanilla.  Stir until smooth.   Pour half of the brownie mix in the pan.  Spread the mix until the bottom of the pan is completely covered.  Pour the cream cheese mix on top covering the brownie mix.  Pour the remainder of the brownie mix on top of the cream cheese. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes.  Allow brownies to cool before cutting.

Eat and enjoy!

Recipe Review: Brookies with Chocolate Ganache

22 Feb

I can’t believe how fast time flies….I didn’t realize how long it has been since my last post.  This winter has been long, cold and snowy and I am sure that I am not the only person ready for spring.  Winter has got me down!  So much so, I haven’t even been inspired to cook and bake.  However, I decided to try out a new recipe yesterday from the Bakerella blog. I tried the brookies (brownies and cookies together) with chocolate ganache. 

 
Image courtesy of Bakerella
These were super easy to make because you use packaged brownie mix and chocolate chip cookie dough mix.  The hardest part was trying to keep my family away during the cooling of the brookies and then again to let the ganache set.  They will satisfy a chocolate fix or a sweet tooth.  However, I will only make these for special occasions or upon request because they are SUPER rich!
This is a recipe that I will add to our family book.