bliss bars

October 23, 2011
A wine-filled weekend.  Amen.

Though this time, I didn't go to Fredericksburg to hike, I did see a whole new side of this cute town and I liked it.   Temps recently have been perfect and made a day-trip for this Food & Wine Festival down right heavenly.

There were many participating local wineries and my favorite of the day was Grape Creek Vineyards.  I'm thinking I'll need to have another wine-filled weekend soon to tour and have a second taste.  It's necessary.   And while I knew my Saturday couldn't be topped, I gave it my all by baking something almost as heavenly.
A crumbly-cake-like-bar is overstuffed with some of my favorites.  Sweet dried cranberries and white chocolate chips complement the salty pistachios to make a festive-looking little dessert. A drizzle of white chocolate atop and bliss has been officially reached.

Bliss Bars
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
zest of one orange
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup minced dried cranberries
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup pistachios
for garnish:
white chocolate chips
light corn syrup
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with parchment paper letting the parchment extend up the two short sides of the pan and overhang slightly on both ends. Lightly coat lining with non-stick spray or butter; Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together dry ingredients (flour, salt and pumpkin pie spice); Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, orange zest and vanilla.  Beat until well combined. 
  4. Slowly add the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Fold in the cranberries, white chocolate and pistachios.  Don't ye fret!  The batter will be thick.
  5. Spread batter into prepared pan and spread evenly.  Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. 
  6. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
  7. Melt the white chocolate and light corn syrup and stir until smooth.  Drizzle over top, let set, cut and serve!