These Orange Cranberry Sugar Cookie bars with orange cream cheese frosting are a delight for all seasons and holiday gatherings.
Say hello to my new friend! Pardon the photo quality – I was just so excited and didn’t really take a ton of pictures of it in a professional setting… or any at all.
I finally bought myself a Kitchenaid mixer and ya’ll…. LIFE CHANGING. Seriously though. The things I hate doing – like creaming butter and sugar, making cream cheese frosting and whipping egg whites… I don’t have to do anymore! It doesn’t have a name or gender yet, but I figure you guys can give me some suggestions.
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Okay, so tis’ the season right? I for one am all about the rich chocolates and caramels and of course peppermint is my absolute favorite flavor profile. I am seriously the person that drinks Peppermint mocha year round. Fight me on it. Okay, so why doesn’t this have any of those things in them? I honestly don’t know. I just wanted to experiment with some lighter seasonal flavors. I will say that they turned out delicious and my anatomy class (whom I bring all my baking to these days) RAVED about them.
These Orange Cranberry Sugar Cookie Bars are great for bake sales, cookie exchanges and any number of things. I like that they’re easier to cut into at the end instead of trying to measure out or scoop cookies to be the right shape.
Orange Cranberry Sugar Cookie Bars
Time: 1 hour or less
Cost: $10? I had most of this stuff on hand
Suggested listening: Come Out and Play – Billie Eilish
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- Zest of 1 orange
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 3/4 cup butter, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon fresh orange
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup room temperature unsalted butter
- 8 ounce package room temperature cream cheese
- Zest of 2 oranges
- 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- 5 cups powdered sugar
- Additional dried cranberries
- Preheat oven to 375. Spray or line a 9x13 pan with non-stick cooking spray or parchment paper
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Stir or whisk together and set aside
- In a large, rub the orange zest and granulated sugar between your hands to release the orange oil and scents. This will infuse the sugar with the orange to give that lovely flavor.
- In that same large bowl, cream butter and sugar together using an electric mixer until combined. Slowly add the powdered sugar and beat until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes). Add in the eggs, orange juice and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Finally add in the flour mixture (slowly) and beat until just combined. Stir in dried cranberries.
- Spread the mixture evenly on the bottom of the pan and bake for 12-14 minutes - YOU DON'T WANT THE BARS TO BROWN!
- Using your electric mixer, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add orange juice and vanilla. Add powdered sugar slowly and beat until smooth.
- Once the cookies are cool, spread the frosting on top and top with some extra orange zest and dried cranberries. Cool and cut into bars (or triangles) to serve.
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