Cranberry Orange White Chocolate Blondies

I probably should’ve labeled this post Copycat Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars, because that’s precisely what they are. However, at their heart, these are orange blondies, festively dressed with cranberries and white chocolate chips, smothered in cream cheese frosting.

Be advised: this recipe makes 24 blondies, and I had a crazy sugar rush after just one. So pace yourself! The good news is they freeze well, and they share with friends even better. Here’s to one more festive Christmas favorite that can be made at home!

Copycat Starbucks Cranb…..errr….I mean….

Cranberry Orange White Chocolate Blondies
(Original recipe: Belle of the Kitchen)

Blondie bars:
1 cup butter, softened
1-1/2 cups packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon orange extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup white chocolate chips
3/4 cup dried cranberries

Topping:
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon orange extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup dried cranberries, chopped
1/4 cup white chocolate chips, melted

Instructions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13×9 inch jelly roll pan or rimmed cookie sheet with parchment paper.

To make the bars: cream together butter and brown sugar over medium speed with an electric mixer. Add in eggs, orange extract, and vanilla extract and beat until mixed well. Add in ground ginger, baking powder, salt, and flour, beating until just blended. Don’t overmix.

Stir in white chocolate chips and cranberries by hand. The mixture will be thick. Spread evenly into the bottom of prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 18-22 minutes until set and golden brown at the edges. Don’t overbake or the bars will be hard. Remove from oven and place pan on a wire rack to cool. Allow bars to cool completely before frosting.

To make the frosting, beat softened cream cheese and powdered sugar together with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Add orange extract and vanilla extract and mix well. Spread the frosting evenly over the cooled bars. Sprinkle with chopped cranberries. Melt the white chocolate chips by microwaving in 10-second intervals, stirring between each. Drizzle white chocolate over the top of the bars with a fork. Place the bars in the refrigerator for about an hour to help them set up before cutting. Cut into triangles and enjoy.

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