Sunday, November 20, 2011

Mini Cranberry Bliss Bars

With Thanksgiving just around the corner I thought it would be fun to share a mini version of this delightful treat. I don't know about you, but when I go to a holiday gathering I like to try a little bit of everything. Making these bliss bars mini sized makes it easy for everyone to get a taste with out having to eat a full sized bar or letting any go to waste. This recipe is super simple and can be easily doubled.

Mini Cranberry Bliss Bars 
8 tablespoons Unsalted Butter ( 1 stick), softened
1/2 cup Brown Sugar, packed
2 Eggs
Zest of half an Orange
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla
3/4 cup All-purpose Flour
1/8 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
1/4 cup Dried Cranberries, coarsely chopped (plus more for sprinkling)
1/4 cup White Chocolate Chips (plus more for sprinkling)*

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9x9 inch pan then line with parchment paper and spray with baking spray. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and brown sugar till creamy, about 4 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, scrape bowl as needed. Mix in the zest and vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and pumpkin pie spice then add it to the butter mixture and beat until well mixed. Stir in the cranberries and white chocolate. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool completely on wire rack.

4 ounces Cream Cheese, softened
2 tablespoons Unsalted Butter, softened
1 1/2 cups Powdered Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla

While the cake is cooling make the frosting. In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add the powdered sugar on low, then once it is fully incorporated add the vanilla and increase speed. Beat until smooth.

Once the cake is completely cooled, remove it from the pan and spread the frosting evenly over the cake. Sprinkle with white chocolate chips and dried cranberries. Cut into small triangles if desired.

* I used the white chocolate calets pictured below from Whole Foods Market. They are smaller than regular white chocolate chips so they were the perfect size for sprinkling. If you are using regular white chocolate chips you may want to coarsely chop them up before sprinkling or use white chocolate shavings instead.

Recipe slightly adapted from My Baking Addiction where it was adapted from Mr. Breakfast