I wanted to call these Michael Buble Bliss Bars (because what’s more blissy than Michael Buble’s Christmas CD?) but I figured there might be issues.
Whatever you call them, these are Bliss Bars all dressed up for the holidays – cranberries, white chocolate, spices and a hint of orange cozy together under a blanket of cream cheese frosting.
Bake up a batch of these to share. (If you know Michael Buble, share them with him.)
You’ll be happy you did.
- ½ cup / 125 ml butter, melted
- ¾ cup / 187.5 ml brown sugar
- ¼ cup / 60 ml granulated sugar
- ¼ cup / 60 ml molasses
- 2 teaspoons / 10 ml orange zest
- 1 egg
- 2 cups / 500 ml all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon / 5 ml baking soda
- 2 teaspoons / 10 ml cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon / 5 ml ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon / 1.25 ml cloves
- ¼ teaspoon / 1.25 ml nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon / 1.25 ml ground pepper
- ½ teaspoon / 2.5 ml salt
- ½ cup / 125 ml dried cranberries, chopped (reserve 2 tablespoons / 30 ml for sprinkling on top of frosting)
- ½ cup / 125 ml white chocolate chips, chopped up slightly to make into smaller pieces
- 4 ounces / 125 g cream cheese (1/2 of a regular package)
- ¼ cup / 60 ml butter, softened
- 2 cups / 500 ml icing sugar
- 1 teaspoon / 5 ml orange zest
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F / 176 degrees C.
- Grease a 9x13-inch / 23x33 cm pan.
- In mixing bowl, stir together butter and brown and granulated sugar until thoroughly mixed.
- Beat in orange rind, molasses and egg until smooth.
- In separate bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, pepper and salt.
- Add dry ingredients to butter mixture and stir together. When the flour is almost completely incorporated, add the cranberries and white chocolate and mix gently until they are evenly distributed.
- Spread dough into prepared pan.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes. Do not overbake. The bars should not be hard. They will be very dense.
- Remove from the oven and let pan cool on a wire rack.
- The center of the bars will drop as they cool, leaving the edges higher. You can trim these off, if you prefer, or leave them.
- While the bars are baking, beat together the cream cheese and butter until thoroughly blended. Add the icing sugar and orange zest and beat until smooth.
- When bars are completely cool, frost with the prepared icing.