I’ve had my eye on this recipe for a while and finally got a great opportunity to make it. I know it’s not the time of year when you typically bake with cranberries, but I didn’t care- I was determined to make them anyway :) These bars start with a cake-like base with a nice ginger flavor, as well as some white chocolate. I love the cranberry-white chocolate combination. Next comes a cream cheese frosting layer. It was perfectly sweet and accented with lemon juice and dried cranberries, and then it was topped with a light drizzle.
These bars are based on a baked good from Starbucks, but I am not a coffee drinker and have only been to Starbucks once or twice in my life, so I don’t know how they compare. Jaime claims that these are actually better! These got great reviews and were worth making, and it’s a great way to enjoy these wonderful flavors, even with summer upon us!
1 cup butter , softened
1-1/4 cups light brown sugar , packed
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla or orange extract
1 teaspoons ground ginger
1/4 teaspoons salt
1-1/2 cups All Purpose flour
3/4 cup diced dried cranberries
6 ounces white chocolate, cut into chunks
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
4 teaspoons lemon juice or 2 tsp orange extract
1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup diced dried cranberries
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
2 tablespoons butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Beat butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer until smooth. Add eggs, vanilla, ginger, and salt; beat well. Gradually mix in flour until smooth.
Mix 3/4 cup diced dried cranberries and white chocolate into the batter by hand.
Pour batter into a well-greased 9×13-inch baking pan and spread evenly. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until cake is light brown on the edges. Let cool.
Frosting: Combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, lemon juice and vanilla with an electric mixer until smooth.
When the cake has cooled, spread frosting over the top of cake. Sprinkle top with diced cranberries.
Icing: Whisk powdered sugar, milk, and shortening. Drizzle icing over cranberries in a sweeping motion or use a pastry bag with a fine tip.
Allow cake to sit for several hours, then cut into pieces.