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This recipe was inspired by my favorite coffee shop bar cookie. After adjusting ingredients, temperature and about 4 trips to the garbage can, I think I finally got it right. A tender, flavorful bar studded with cranberries and macadamia nuts, I hope you enjoy them.
Bernadette's Cranberry Dream Bars
INGREDIENTS
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
2 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons orange zest, finely grated
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries, chopped
3/4 cup Macadamia nut, chopped
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest, finely grated
Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 325° F. Grease a 15x10x1 inch jelly roll pan; set aside.

2. In a medium bowl stir together flour, salt, baking soda and ground ginger; set aside.

3. Combine 1 cup (2 sticks) butter and 1¼ cups brown sugar in bowl of mixer and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Occasionally scraping sides of bowl. Add eggs one at a time until well blended, scraping sides of bowl. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract and 2 teaspoons of orange zest and blend well.

4. Gradually stir flour mixture into butter mixture, until just combined. Fold in 1 cup chopped dried cranberries, ½ cup chopped macadamia nuts and white chocolate chips. Spread batter evenly into pan, using the back of a spoon or an off set spatula. Bake at 325° for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown and toothpick inserted comes out clean. Do not over bake. Cool in pan on wire rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife around bars to loosen from pan. Cool completely on wire rack about 30 to 40 minutes.

5. To make frosting, cream 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter and softened cream cheese until smooth. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and lemon zest, blend well. Gradually add powdered sugar and blend until smooth. You may need to add more powdered sugar if frosting is to thin, about a ¼ cup at a time or milk if frosting is to stiff, about 1 teaspoon at a time.

6. Spread frosting over cooled bars and sprinkle ½ cup chopped dried cranberries and ¼ cup chopped macadamia nuts over frosting. Cut into bars. Serve at room temperature. Store between layers of wax paper in tightly covered container in refrigerator up to 1 week. Bars can be stored in freezer for 1 month.
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RECIPE FACTS

Servings: 15 bars

Nutritional information per serving

No nutrition information available

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