January 4, 2010

Strawberry Bliss Bars for New Year's Eve

 I know it's a few days after the fact, but I couldn't imagine not sharing this recipe with you!  I initially wanted to make a version of the Cranberry Bliss Bars I've seen all over the place the last couple of months, but the cranberries I bought just didn't look as good once I started dicing them... fortunately, I have bags of frozen fruit in my freezer all the time so I could make a quick change without running out to the store.

Every year for New Year's Eve since we've lived in our neighborhood, our neighbors have graciously invited us and a good number of other neighbors over to celebrate together.  It's always a lot of fun and the kids have a great time together while we get to hang with the adults.  It has to be one of our favorite parties to go to each year.  Since they always provide the appetizers and other foods to nibble on, guests are invited to bring a dessert.  The last two years, another friend and I have managed to bring similar desserts - without planning it that way!  So, this year we made sure that we were bringing something different.

 I've had the recipe for Cranberry Bliss Bars printed since I first saw it on Good Things Catered awhile back.  I wanted to make them with cranberries, but that was not to be... and my adaptation was a huge hit not only with BOTH of My Boys, but also with the friends we shared them with on New Year's Eve.

The cookie base has a scattering of chopped strawberries and white chocolate chips throughout.  Make sure not to overbake and allow it to cool completely before adding the icing.  I used frozen strawberries and didn't think they would work out as well sprinkled on the icing, so I opted to use a bit of red food coloring in the drizzle to make them a bit prettier.  While I did allow them to chill for several hours before cutting into them, you can see in the photo that the icing has a really nice gooey, sweet drizzle effect.

Since these are not light on the calories, save them for a special occasion, perhaps for Valentine's Day next month!  Share them with that special someone, they will love them!

Strawberry Bliss Bars
Adapted from Good Things Catered, who adapted the recipe from Recipezaar

 For the cookie base:
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup chopped frozen strawberries (or fresh if they are available)
3/4 cup white chocolate chips

For the frosting
6 ounces reduced fat cream cheese, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
4 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

For the drizzle
1 cup powdered sugar
3-4 drops of red food coloring (or whatever color you like)
1 tablespoon milk (I used probably 2 1/2 tablespoons to get it to the correct consistency)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9x13 baking pan with cooking spray.

Using a stand mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar until fluffy and light in color - around 2 minutes.  Add the eggs through salt; beat well.  Gradually mix in flour and then fold in the strawberries and white chocolate chips.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 30-35 minutes - the edges will be light brown.  Set on wire rack until it is completely cooled.

Prepare the frosting by combining the cream cheese through extracts in a mixing bowl.  Blend until completely smooth.  Invert cake onto a cutting board and spread the frosting evenly over the top.

Prepare the drizzle by mixing the last cup of powdered sugar with milk - adding a little bit at a time until it becomes smooth and a consistency that will drizzle easily. Pour the drizzle into a plastic zip top bag, then cut off a small piece from a corner and drizzle over the top of the frosted cookie bars.

Place in refrigerator for at least 2 hours to allow frosting to set up prior to cutting into pieces.

Please note that all photos and content belong to Patsy Kreitman, unless otherwise noted. If you want to use something please ask first.
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Girl Japan: April Marie said...

I like how that chimes together... Bliss... I like that

Happy New Year!

Girl Japan: April Marie said...

I like how that chimes together... Bliss... I like that

Happy New Year!

Lynda said...

Mmmm, I love your strawberry version, Patsy. The look so pretty and delicious- my family will love these!

Katie said...

A strawberry version is GENIUS! I love this! It lokos so pretty too - it would be PERFECT for desserts at a shower! :)

HoneyB said...

Sounds so good!! Wish I had been there NYE to sample!g

Sara said...

Fabulous idea!! My hubby would love these...anything strawberry is his thing. Can't wait to try this out.

Cara said...

you know, I had a cranberry bliss bar once (from Starbucks) and didn't quite get all the hype. The strawberry version sounds better!

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