Now that you’ve recovered from your Thanksgiving Meal, it’s time to start thinking about all those cookie exchanges, office parties, gift exchanges and all those fun treats I know you bake up for the holidays. So I’ve got a quick and easy recipe that’ll be a hit every.single.time! And it features one of our local favorites Queen Creek Olive Mill, have you guys been down there yet? I know it might be far for some, it was a drive for me but worth it. But guess what, you don’t have to drive in order to get their products, you can purchase them online or at their Kierland Store. Their products are great for gifts but also for yourself. If you make it down to Queen Creek, you should check out the tour they do, it’s short but packed with info. They talk about their pressing process and how important it is to have good quality olives when you’re making your oils. Now that I know the truth about olive oil, I can’t buy my regular stuff anymore, nobody wants that in their system.
In my kitchen, you can find the Balanced Extra Virgin Olive Oil because it’s perfect for cooking just about anything but they’re selection is quite big and they have everything from Roasted Garlic Olive Oil to Meyer Lemon Olive Oil and so much in between. They also have a great selection of balsamic vinegars and in this recipe, I’m going to feature their seasonal Queen Creek Olive Mill cranberry white balsamic reduction. You could use this with your holiday dinner in cranberry sauce, with your proteins or even as a salad dressing. The Cranberry White Balsamic is strong enough to stand on its own but in recipes that have cranberries, it helps build the flavor even more and that’s why I’m showcasing it in this baking recipe.
- 1½ sticks butter
- ½ tsp salt
- 1¼ cup packed brown sugar
- 1½ cup flour
- 3 eggs
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 2 tblsp minced crystallized ginger or 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
- 1½ tsp vanilla extract
- ¾ cup dry cranberries
- 4 oz. white chocolate chips
- 2 tblsp Queen Creek Olive Mill cranberry white balsamic reduction
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- 2 oz white chocolate chips melted
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 4 t.sp. lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350 F with the rack in the middle. Line a 12×16 inch baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Set aside.
Cream together brown sugar, salt & butter. Add eggs, vanilla extract and Queen Creek Olive Mill Cranberry White Balsamic Reduction, one egg at a time creaming the mixture in between. Add grated ginger, flour & baking powder and stir everything together. Add dried cranberries & white chocolate and fold them in. Using a spatula spread the batter evenly in a 12×16 inch baking pan. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the middle is baked through. Do not overbake or the bars will be very dry. Allow to cool.
Make the frosting: I’m going to state that I like my cream cheese frosting more tangy than sweet. That being said, if you want a super sweet frosting and less cream cheese, you could cut the cream cheese in half and add more powdered sugar. Or you could up your powdered sugar to 2 cups or more to add more sweetness. I’m all about tasting your product as you go, so you can get it where you like it. Add the cream cheese, powdered sugar, lemon juice & vanilla extract to a bowl of a mixer. Cream everything together, if it’s too thick, just add a tiny bit of water at a time, until you get it to the consistency that you like.
Place the white chocolate in a cup and microwave for about 40-50 seconds, until it just starts to melt. Then hand stir until all chocolate is melted. Transfer chocolate to a ziplock bag and snip the end with scissors. First spread the frosting over the cooled down crust. Then sprinkle the dried cranberries on top. And the last thing to do is drizzle the melted white chocolate on top. You’ll probably want to wait for these to cool down before cutting into them but I understand if you can’t help yourself 🙂
25062 S Meridian Rd
Queen Creek, AZ 85142