Tuesday, November 2, 2010

C is for cookie

Today is Cookie Monster's 41st birthday.  Cookie and I have had a thing since I discovered him on Sesame Street many years ago; he and I share a common love of cookies, and we love to spell!!
Some of my favorite episodes of Sesame Street were when Cookie would be looking for something that rhymed with another word, and he could never find it even though it was right in front of him. For a great video go here.
In honor of Cookie's birthday I'm going to share a recipe for Cranberry Bliss Bars; you may have had these at Starbucks, I think mine are a bit better since the Starbucks pastries usually taste pretty wet, like they are defrosted.  No one will be able to resist these and when you have a cup of tea or coffee and treat yourself to one of these, remember to wish Cookie Monster a happy birthday!  I'll be back tomorrow with more, until then, have a safe night.

Cranberry Bliss Bars
Makes about forty 2-inch bars

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons orange orange extract
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
3/4 cup unsweetened dried cranberries
3/4 cup chopped white chocolate  

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 15 x 10-inch jelly roll pan with a silicone liner, aluminum foil, or parchment paper.  If you are using foil or parchment, coat it with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. To make the bars, with an electric mixer, beat together the butter, brown and granulated sugars, eggs, and orange oil in a large bowl  until combined.
  3. Add the flour, baking powder, and spices and beat until the flour begins to blend into the batter, 45 seconds to 1 minute. 
  4. Add the cranberries and chocolate, stirring just to blend and being careful not to over mix.
  5. Spread in the prepared pan and bake until a skewer inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs adhering to it, 15 to 17 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let cool completely in the pan on a rack. 

Creamy Orange-and-White Chocolate Frosting

One 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter or margarine
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon orange extract
1/4 cup unsweetened dried cranberries
1/4 cup chopped white chocolate

  1. To make the frosting, with an electric mixer, cream together the cream cheese and butter in a large bowl until fluffy, or process them in a food processor.
  2. Add the confectioners’ sugar and orange oil and beat or process until the frosting reaches a spreadable consistency. Spread it evenly over the cooled bars.
  3. Sprinkle with the 1/4 cup of cranberries and white chocolate chips.

Garnishes and Drizzles

8 ounces white chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  1. To make the drizzle, in the top of a double boiler set over simmering water, melt the chopped white chocolate with the butter, stirring until smooth. 
  2. Drizzle over the frosting in a decorative pattern.
  3. Do-Ahead: At this point, you can cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 6 weeks.

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