Almond Cranberry Bars

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These almond cranberry bars are my newest slice of heaven. With the base of a cookie, but the texture of a bar, it’s my fave.

Almond cranberry bars with cream cheese frosting // Capturing-Joy.com

I’ve always preferred a bar or a blondie to a cookie because I’m an “all center” girl. You know how with brownies you either like the edge for the crisp or the center? Yeah, I’m a center girl. No crispy edges for me, just straight to the center chewy-ness. I love almond extract in my baked goods, and the macadamia nuts inside fills this bar with texture throughout.  I’m a texture girls with my baked goods, I like a crunch in every bite. Fresh cranberries, macadamia nuts, and white chocolate chips are baked throughout, giving delicious textured goodness in every bite.

When given the option, do you prefer a cookie or a bar? I go for the bar every time, and the center slice at that. No crunchy edges for me.

I love baking with cranberries during the holidays. The cranberry is simply an underutilized fruit, would’t you say? In it’s original form, not so great…I mean, who eats cranberries straight out of the bag? But throw it into some baked goodies, and YUM! The tangy tart-ness gets me every time. I’ve got two other favorite cranberry recipes, a cranberry nut cake recipe (which is a most delicious BREAD featuring the berries) and cranberry almond french toast casserole, where the baked berries just pop in your mouth upon biting.  I can’t wait to make BOTH this holiday!

Now, back the bars.  I altered a blondie recipe I found online, from Taste of Home, the White Chocolate Cranberry Blondies. Most cranberry treat recipes have craisins in them (like that recipe), and that’s all good and well, but REAL CRANBERRIES are just so much more delicious in my opinion! DO NOT USE CRAISINS in this recipe, trust me on this both for the texture and the flavor.

Which Chocolate Cranberry Bars

Besides the delightful texture of the bar, it’s topped with a most delicious almond cream cheese frosting that is irresistible. When I made these, I was eating the whole pan, bar by bar…I had to make a plate for my friend, and when she ate them, she texted me, “THESE ARE THE BOMB!” Oh good, glad it’s not just me.

Here is the simple recipe:

  • 3/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 1-1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2-1/4 cups flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • FROSTING:
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tsp. almond extract

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a medium sized microwave-safe bowl, melt butter, then stir in brown sugar. Cool slightly.
  2. Beat in eggs and almond extract. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon; stir into butter mixture. Stir in cranberries and white chocolate (batter will be thick). Spread into a greased 13×9-in. pan.
  3. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes, watching to make sure they do not overbake. Cool completely.
  4. For frosting, beat cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar and, almond extract until smooth. Spread over bars. 

Which Chocolate Cranberry Bars

If you love cranberries, you may just love the Cranberry Nut Cake and the Cranberry Almond French Toast Casserole.

cranberry-almond-french-toast-casserole-682x1024

cranberry-cake-recipe

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