Orange Cranberry Bliss Bars - Handmade in the Heartland

Orange Cranberry Bliss Bars

This recipe for orange cranberry bliss bars is the perfect holiday baking treat with the flavors of the season and a delicious cream cheese frosting everyone loves! This post is sponsored by Sprouts Farmer's Market
I don't know what it is about cranberries but they are one of those flavors that I didn't like until I was an adult and now I seem to throw them in everything! What about you? Did you eat dried cranberries as a kid? I know I would have turned my nose up at these amazing orange cranberry bliss bars the second I saw those cranberries on top but man, I would have been missing out! This recipe is one of my all time favorite holiday baking treats!

White chocolate, orange and cranberry, basically you can't go wrong with these bars. Everyone I deliver these treats to asks me for the recipe and when I took them home to Nashville last Christmas my family insisted they must come back every year. They have definitely become a holiday baking staple. 
This year I elevated my game a bit by using the orange cranberries found in the bulk bins at Sprouts.  I specifically was looking for plain dried cranberries and in the bin next to the regular cranberries I found orange cranberries. "PERFECT!" I thought to myself, or maybe I said it out loud.... 😂 And guess what friends? All the items in the bulk bins at Sprouts Farmer's Market are 25% off! It's called the Incredible Bulk Sale and it's going on now. So basically you have no excuse to not make these bars!
Let's talk about zest for a second. You must zest your oranges, this ingredient is key to giving these bars a subtle orange flavor that is so good. Also you don't have to drizzle the melted white chocolate on top but it's an extra step that makes these bars look so pretty and really adds the "wow" factor. 
I ran out of plastic pastry bags months ago and keep forgetting to pick more up, the next best thing for melted chocolate or frosting is just using a ziplock bag and snipping a corner. easy peesy! The great thing about drizzling the melted chocolate on these bars is that it doesn't have to be perfect, you'll notice my photo below is not a picture perfectly drizzled cake BUT once you cut them up you totally can't tell!
You might have noticed my amazing Demarle at Home baking mold that I used to bake these. It's called the deep flexiflat and I use it all the time. With my flexipan products I don't have to flour, spray or grease them and everything just comes out perfectly without sticking! It's amazing!
What are you baking this holiday season? Let me know if you try these orange cranberry bars! Share it with me in the comments or tag me on Instagram (@handmadeintheheartland) or facebook! It makes me SO happy when you make things from the blog!

Holiday Baking is here and these Orange Cranberry Bliss Bars will delight and impress those on the receiving end of your baked goods, they are delicious!
With the most delicious flavors of the season, orange and cranberry, and topped with a delightful cream cheese frosting these bars are a winning recipe!
Recipe for orange cranberry bliss bars
This recipe for orange cranberry bliss bars is the perfect holiday baking treat with the flavors of the season and a delicious cream cheese frosting everyone loves! 

Ingredients:
    For the Bars:
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups dried orange cranberries or regular dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange zest (you're going to need 3 oranges to zest for this recipe)
  • For the Frosting:
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 8oz package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 Tablespoon grated orange zest
  • For the Topping:
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh orange zest
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Cream the butter and the sugar together in a large bowl. Add the eggs, vanilla, salt & baking powder and mix until combined. Add in the flour and mix until it is completely incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chips, orange zest and dried cranberries. The dough should be very thick and sticky.
  2. Spread it into an even layer in a prepared 9x13 baking dish. The dough is so thick and sticky that it can be hard to get it patted down, I find it easier to do with my spatula or hands are wet. Bake for 20 minutes.
  3. Make the frosting by mixing the butter and cream cheese together, beat until smooth and creamy, this can only happen if both are at room temperature. Then add the vanilla, orange zest and powdered sugar. Mix on low speed until combined and a nice frosting texture is achieved.
  4. When the bars are done baking let them cool completely. Once cooled spread the frosting evenly over the top and then sprinkle dried cranberries and orange zest over the frosting.
  5. Melt the remaining chocolate chips in the microwave in 10 second increments and then put the melted chocolate into a pastry bag or ziplock bag and snip the corner with scissors, drizzle the chocolate over the bars. 
  6. Cut the bars into rectangles or I like to cut them into large squares and then cut the square diagonally to make triangles. I find these to be delicious cold, so I keep them in the fridge. Enjoy!
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