Friday, December 5, 2014

Cranberry Bliss Cookies

I have made Cranberry Bliss Bars before; based on the cookie they sell at Starbucks this time of year. They are probably one of the biggest favorites and work and I always get asked when I am making them again! When I came across this recipe for a cookie version of the bar, I knew it would be on this year’s list of Christmas cookies. I was really excited to make these, and they ended up being served at a party that we had at work.

Since these were being served at a party, I made them on the smaller side. This recipe made 5-1/2 dozen cookies, which is a really big batch. You could halve this recipe and still make quite a nice batch of cookies. The cookies themselves are easy to make, but the frosting is a little more complex. White chocolate is fairly difficult to melt, as it can seize really easily. I did melt mine in the microwave, in 30 second increments, which worked this time, but sometimes that is too hot for the white chocolate.

Frosting 5-1/2 dozen cookies is very tedious, but it was worth it in this case. These cookies are a little different than the other versions of Cranberry Bliss Bars; these don’t contain any ginger, but they are excellent and just perfect for the holidays. Cranberries and white chocolate is such a great combination, and the cream cheese frosting makes these cookies even better!

Cranberry Bliss Cookies
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup dried cranberries

8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup white chocolate chips, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
2-3 cups powdered sugar
1 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside. In a large mixer bowl, combine the butter, sugar, and brown sugar until light. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for one minute after each addition. Add the vanilla and stir to combine. Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add the flour mixture. Stir in the white chocolate chips and dried cranberries with a spatula. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats.

Shape the dough into 1-1/4” balls and place on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until very lightly browned along the edges. Allow to cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Make the frosting: in a large mixer bowl, beat the cream cheese and melted white chocolate until smooth. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce the mixer to low and gradually add the powdered sugar. Add two cups of powdered sugar, and then add more powdered sugar if you need to thicken the frosting.  

Spread the frosting on the cooled cookies and top with chopped dried cranberries.

Recipe from Gimme Some Oven

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