Orange Zested Cranberry White Chocolate Bliss Bars
Yield: 24Bars (9X13-inch pan)
Prep Time: 20mins
Cook Time: 22mins
Total Time: 42mins
1 ⅓cups(283g)packed light brown sugar
1teaspoonfreshly grated orange zest
2 ⅛cups(302g)all-purpose flour
1 ½teaspoonsbaking powder
½cupdried cranberries, coarsely chopped (this helps distribute them more evenly throughout the batter)
4ounces(113g)white baking chocolate, coarsely chopped or 1/2 - 2/3 cup white chocolate chips
Frosting and Topping:
8ounces(227g)light cream cheese, softened
2teaspoonsfreshly grated orange zest
4ounces(113g)white baking chocolate, melted
½cupdried cranberries, coarsely chopped
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease a 9X13-inch pan with cooking spray.
In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter. Stir in the brown sugar until well-combined. Whisk in the eggs, vanilla extract and orange zest.
Stir in the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon until well-combined then fold in the cranberries and white chocolate.
Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan. Bake for 18-22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with moist (not gooey) crumbs. Don't overbake. Let the bars cool completely in the pan.
For the frosting, using an electric mixer (handheld or stand mixer), beat the softened cream cheese and powdered sugar together until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Mix in the vanilla and orange zest (alternately, you can save the orange zest and sprinkle it on the bars before drizzling the chocolate). Scoop in about half of the melted chocolate and mix until creamy and well-combined.
Spread the frosting onto the cooled bars. Sprinkle with cranberries and drizzle the remaining white chocolate over the top. Refrigerate until the chocolate is set - these taste best chilled. Cut into triangles or squares to serve.
Cream Cheese: I use 1/3 less fat cream cheese for the frosting - it makes the frosting slightly (very slightly) more runny than if using full fat cream cheese but the taste is the same, in my opinion, with fewer calories. White Chocolate: also, I get this question a lot when I post recipes that call for melted white chocolate - white baking bars melt a lot better than white chocolate chips which are notoriously bad melters (they have a tendency to seize very easily if even slightly overheated).