White Chocolate Cranberry Blondies

I’ll admit, while I’m a huge fan of Starbucks, I don’t always love their pastries and desserts. The Cranberry Bliss bars are absolutely the exception. They are my weakness during the Christmas season and paired with a peppermint mocha, it is the ultimate holiday treat.

Except sometimes when they’re sold out.

Which does happen regularly.

So I decided to try my hand at a similar version for a cookie swap this week.

And the results?

Amazing!!

white chocolate cranberry blondies

The taste is so similar, the icing a little less sweet, so if you like it super sweet, add some extra sugar.

cranberry bliss

 

White Chocolate Cranberry Blondies
 
Ingredients
  • For the topping:
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 c powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips, melted
  • ½ c dried cranberries, roughly chopped
  • For the blondie layer:
  • ¾ c salted butter
  • 1½ cups packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 2¼ c AP flour
  • 1¼ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ c dried cranberries
  • 1 c white chocolate chips
  • For the topping:
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 c powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips, melted
  • ½ c dried cranberries, roughly chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Line a 13x9 baking sheet with foil. Spray foil with nonstick spray.
  2. In a separate bowl, melt butter and then stir in brown sugar.
  3. Let the mixture cool, add to a large bowl or your stand mixers bowl.
  4. In your stand mixer (or using a hand mixer) beat in the eggs and almond (you can use vanilla extract, if you prefer).
  5. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon; while mixing, gradually add the dry mixture to the butter mixture.
  6. Stir in the cranberries and chopped chocolate.
  7. The batter should be a thick consistency.
  8. Spread the blondie batter onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 17-21 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Careful!! Don't overbake, consistency is key. Flip over onto a wire rack and cool completely.
  9. For the Topping:
  10. In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, and powdered sugar until well-blended.
  11. Melt half of the white chocolate.
  12. Gradually add half of the melted white chocolate; beat until blended.
  13. Spread icing over blondies.
  14. Sprinkle with cranberries.
  15. Melt remaining chocolate.
  16. Drizzle with remaining melted white chocolate.
  17. Use the foil handles to release the bars from the pan. Cut and serve!
  18. Store, covered, in the refrigerator until it's time to enjoy!

 


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Thanksgiving Holiday Hop — Side Dish: Pasta Salad

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I’m joining some of my favorite bloggers today to bring you everything you need to create a wonderful Thanksgiving, from the recipes to the tablescape, we have you covered.

I’m sharing a side dish recipe that you’ll definitely want to add to your Thanksgiving menu this year. It’s full of delicious goodness like roasted sweet potatoes, feta, and cranberries. And how could I leave out the brussel sprouts? I mean, they’re obviously having a moment right now, so I like to add them anytime I can get away with it.

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It’s coated with a delicious poppy seed dressing, I’ve been having the leftovers for lunch all week and I added a little chicken for protein. But, it makes a perfect side dish to accompany your Thanksgiving turkey.

Thanksgiving Pasta Salad
 
Ingredients
  • 12 ounces pasta
  • 1 pound brussel sprouts (trimmed and halved)
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, ½ inch dice
  • ½ c pecans
  • ¼ c crumbled feta
  • ¼ c dried cranberries
  • Dressing
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
Instructions
  1. Dice sweet potatoes and trim and half brussel sprouts, toss in olive oil, salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet.
  2. Roast for 20 minutes at 400 degrees.
  3. Meanwhile, cook pasta to al dente, drain and place in a large bowl.
  4. Brown the butter on the stovetop. Cook until it is just browned, don't let the butter burn, you only want it to change colors, then remove from heat.
  5. Mix all other dressing ingredients together, set aside.
  6. Add roasted vegetables to the bowl of pasta.
  7. Pour dressing over top and mix well. You may not use all of the dressing, depending on your tastes.
  8. Add the remaining ingredients and toss to coat.

 

thanksgiving pasta salad

If you’re looking for a more sinful side dish, take a look at this Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese.

I have to say, Thanksgiving is one of my absolute favorite holidays. All of my favorite food and people, gathered at my favorite place (my house, we’re hosting this year). I am always looking for anything to help make it less stressful and I love all of the ideas from the blog hop, be sure to click over and check them out.

Hostess Ideas – Thuy 
Tablescape – Taryn
What to Wear – Ashley
Appetizer – Sandy  
Traditions – Erika  
Thanksgiving Printable – Kristin
Drink/Cocktail – Molly
Drink/Cocktail – Ashley
Kids Craft – Andrea 
Kids Craft – Ashley
Dessert – Destiny
Hostess Ideas – Heather


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cream cheese filled pumpkin muffins

This post originally appeared on Every Day Cheer, it is hands-down one of the easiest and most delicious pumpkin recipes you’ll make all fall, I promise! 

Is anyone else ready for everything that Fall brings? I’m talking pumpkin, boots, and cooler temperatures. I’m ready to see the temperatures take a dive and get out of the upper 80’s and 90’s, the first sign of cooler weather and I’m pulling out the boots and scarves, you can bank on that fact. But, I’m not opposed to enjoying the tastes of fall, even if the weather wants to hang on to summer a bit longer.

Saturday morning, we baked up some delicious pumpkin muffins. They were filled with a sweet cream cheese mixture and topped with a cinnamon goodness, that you’re going to love. Even better? I used an easy pumpkin recipe for the muffin to make the process quick and easy.

Because when you need pumpkin, you need it quick!

And when I tell you these are delicious, I really mean that. As evidenced by the fact that my husband is a self-proclaimed pumpkin hater, and he ate three. Yes, three!

creamcheese-pumpkinmuffin2

Cream Cheese Filled Pumpkin Muffins
 
Ingredients
  • Filling:
  • ½ block cream cheese
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • Muffins:
  • 1 box spice cake mix
  • 1 can pumpkin
  • Topping:
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (cut into small pieces)
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 330 degrees.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine softened cream cheese and sugar. Put in the refrigerator until it is needed.
  3. In a second bowl, combine pumpkin and spice cake mix.
  4. In a third bowl, combine sugars, cinnamon, and flour. Add the butter and cut into the dry mixture using two forks. Combine until the mixture is coarse and crumbly. It'll look like wet sand when it's ready.
  5. Line 12 muffin tin with liners. Fill each cup with a small amount of muffin batter. You really want to just fill it enough to ensure the bottom is covered. Split the cream cheese mixture amongst the 12 cups and add it on top of the batter. Then, use the remaining batter to cover the cream cheese mixture.
  6. Sprinkle a small amount of topping over each muffin.
  7. Bake for about 20 minutes. Enjoy!! Side note: I think they're even better the next day!

 


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