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Chocolate Cranberry Holiday Bars

Chocolate Cranberry Holiday BarsThese festive bars have a yummy chocolate brownie crust topped with luscious cranberry cream and a decorative chocolate glaze drizzle.

Recipe Ingredients:

Bars:
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup (packed) brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

Cranberry Cream Filling:
1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1 cup finely-chopped dried cranberries (Craisins)

Chocolate Drizzle:
2 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons whipping cream or more to achieve desired consistency

Cooking Directions:

  1. For Bars: Melt the chocolate and butter together in a small saucepan or in the microwave, stirring until smooth. Set aside.
  2. On a paper plate, whisk together flour and salt; set aside.
  3. In a mixing bowl with electric beaters, beat the eggs until fluffy, about 1 minute. Gradually beat in brown sugar. Add the cooled chocolate mixture and vanilla. Stir in flour mixture until blended. Blend in walnuts and chocolate chips. Spread the batter in a buttered 13x9x2-inch baking pan.
  4. Bake in a 325°F (160°C) oven for 20 to 22 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack.
  5. For Cranberry Cream: Cream the butter and cream cheese together in a bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in vanilla and powdered sugar; mix in cranberries. Spread mixture over cooled brownies. Refrigerate until set.
  6. For Chocolate Drizzle: Melt the chocolate chips and cream over low heat or in the microwave. Cool slightly. Dip a fork into the mixture and drizzle over the cranberry layer. Chill until firm. Cut into 2x2-inch squares.

Makes 24 squares.

Recipe and photograph provided courtesy of Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Inc.