Last year I had started an annual tradition of having some friends over after the Birmingham-Southern Christmas choral concert for Christmas desserts. So this year that time came around again and what better time to spend with friends than the holidays? This year I made Cranberry Bliss bars, Seven Layer Magic bars, Date Rolls, and Icebox Fruitcake.
A little bit about each of these desserts- Cranberry Bliss Bars every year starting in about November, Starbucks puts out their Cranberry Bliss Bars, a little piece of heaven if you ask me! So I was determined to find a recipe to duplicate the recipe, well luckily I was able to find a recipe. I made this last year and it was too cakey but it seemed to work a bit better this year. I was much more pleased with this go around, I was at least able to cut it into bars this year. Last year it was more a dollop of cranberry bliss crumble. Ha! I found this recipe off a blog titled, "Loving' from the Oven" but different variations are easy to google.
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1–1/4 cups brown sugar, packed
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1–1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Dried Cranberries, minced
1/4 cup plus 1/4–1/3 cup White Chocolate Chips
1/4 cup Crystallized Ginger Slices, minced
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1–1/2 cups powdered sugar
1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly grease a 9×13 pan.
2. Beat together the butter and sugar. Mix in the eggs and vanilla.
3. Add the flour, ginger, and salt into the batter. Beat well. Lightly stir in the 1/4 cup cranberries, 1/4 cup chocolate chips and minced ginger.
4. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for about 20-25 minutes, depending on your oven.
5. Make the frosting by beating the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until smooth. Slowly add the powdered sugar and beat until you reach the desired consistency.
6. Spread the frosting onto the cooled cake.
7. Cut the frosted cake as desired into bars or triangles. Sprinkle the remaining minced cranberries and chocolate chips on the top.
Seven Layer Magic Bars
This really is magic, plenty of ingredients and really makes it quite enjoyable. This recipe usually is on the inside of the Condensed milk label but here is one I found from allrecipes.com.
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 (14 ounce) can EAGLE BRAND® Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch-flavored chips
1 1/3 cups flaked coconut
1 cup chopped nuts
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (325 degrees F for glass baking pan). In small bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and butter; mix well. Press crumb mixture firmly on bottom of 13x9-inch baking pan.
2. Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over crumb mixture. Layer evenly with remaining ingredients; press down firmly with fork.
3. Bake 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool. Chill if desired. Cut into bars or diamonds. Store covered at room temperature.
Icebox Fruit Cake
Now this isn't your normal fruitcake that would make one turn up their nose and this one is a staple from at an Anchors Christmas gathering, this is my GranMary's recipe and I always remember her while making the cookies.
1 box graham crackers, crumbled into fine crumbs
1 can of condensed milk
1/2 cup white raisins
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1. Mix all ingredients up with your hands, will be sticky!
2. Roll in tubes about two inches in diameter.
3. Wrap in wax paper and store in refrigerator for up to a month.
4. Cut slices off as needed.
If you want to add other candies you can.
I don't have the recipe for the date rolls on hand but I will try to post that in the future. This was a dessert mom helped me make and she just knew the recipe off hand. They are so much better than they sound! Here is a little teaser for you...
Enjoy your Christmas desserts! But remember they can be served any time of year! Maybe that is why I posted this in February! Happy Baking!
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