Day 3: Cranberry bliss bars
BY NICOLE MARSHALL MIDDLETON World Scene Writer
Saturday, December 15, 2012
12/15/12 at 4:28 AM
Find the winning recipes from the Hiland
Dairy 12 Days of Cookies contest and a
cookie decorating video.
Editor's note: The Tulsa World asked for your best cookie recipes. This is the third of 12 chosen to win a year's supply of Hiland Dairy milk. Find a new story and recipe each day in the Scene section until Dec. 24.
Every time LuAnn Blakely makes her recipe for Cranberry Bliss Bars, she thinks of her friend who died a few years after sharing the recipe.
"A very close friend who passed away - Abbie Miller - worked in an office with me in Florida. She made the bars for an office party and they were the hit of the party," Blakely said.
Blakeley said that the office party was about 15 years ago and she begged her friend for the recipe for about a year before she would share it with Blakely.
"Finally, she said, 'OK, here it is.' And I made it for my own family and it was a hit," Blakely said.
Blakely said she moved to Tulsa about 11 years ago, and her friend Abbie died about six years ago.
But making the moist, cranberry-filled bars is one way that she honors her friend. In fact, Blakley said she did not even like cranberries until she tried the bars.
"I took one bite and fell in love with the recipe," Blakely said.
The Hiland cookie contest was the first baking contest she had entered, Blakely said. But she shares her love of baking with her husband and they just knew they had a winning recipe.
If you're a fan of Starbucks' Cranberry Bliss Bars, you'll love this bar cookie.
CRANBERRY BLISS BARS
3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup sweetened dried cranberries, chopped
4 ounces white chocolate, chopped
1/2 brick of cream cheese (4 ounces)
2 1/2 cups icing/powdered sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup sweetened dried cranberries, chopped
1/2 cup icing/powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
2 teaspoon vegetable shortening
1. Using an electric mixer, beat together the butter with the brown and white sugars until smooth and creamy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla until smooth.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, ginger, salt and baking powder. Slowly pour the mixed dry ingredients into the butter and sugar mixture while beating. Stop beating once the mixture looks fairly smooth and there are no lumps. Stir in the 3/4 cup chopped cranberries and chopped white chocolate.
3. Pour the batter in a greased 13 X 9 cake pan and bake in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
4. Make the frosting by beating together the cream cheese, icing sugar and lemon juice until smooth. Spread the frosting on top of the cooled cake. Sprinkle the 1/3 cup dried cranberries on top of the frosting.
5. Whisk together the icing sugar, milk, vanilla and shortening until smooth. Drizzle the icing on top of the cake. Cut into triangles or squares.
Note: These bars can be kept in the fridge for a couple weeks or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Nicole Marshall Middleton 918-581-8459
CHRISTOPHER SMITH/Tulsa World