Sunday, February 10, 2013

Cranberry Bliss Bars

For Natalie Kimball and Patrice Milless and anyone else who wants my recipe.

I modified this to my taste but you can make it how you like it. I made these for Easton's Baptism yesterday and everyone wanted the recipe. So, this is the easiest way I can do it. Just let me know if you have any questions. :)

Laura's Cranberry Bliss Bars


1 cup butter (2 sticks, very soft)
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 cups flour
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground ginger
¾ cup craisins (dried cranberries)
¾ cup white chocolate chips
½ tsp. orange extract
½ tsp. vanilla extract


1 pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 Tblsp. Butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
½ tsp. orange extract
½ tsp. vanilla extract


½ cup craisins
½ cup white chocolate chips
½ tsp canola oil
1/3 cup white chocolate chips


1.       Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (325 for a dark or glass pan). Grease & flour pan (I use a 9x13 inch cake pan). 

2.       BARS: with an electric mixer, beat softened butter and sugars, 3-5 mins until light. Gently blend in the eggs and extracts. Add the flour, baking powder, and ginger and beat briefly. Add the cranberries and chips, just until they are incorporated. 

3.       Spread the batter in the prepared pan. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes until light brown at the edges and a skewer or toothpick comes out clean. Don’t over bake or bars will be dry. Once done, cook on a baking rack. 

4.       FROSTING: Blend cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add the extracts and confectioners sugar one cup at a time until smooth. If it is too thick to spread, add a tablespoon of milk. Make sure bars are completely cooled before frosting or the frosting will sink into the bars. 

5.       GARNISH: Chop up craisins and sprinkle over frosting with ½ cup of chips. You can add freshly grated orange zest, if you want. I find the orange flavor overrides the rest of the flavors. 

6.       DRIZZLE: Mix 1/3 cup chips with canola oil and microwave 1 minute, stirring every 15 seconds until completely melted. Use a spoon or fork to drizzle white chocolate on top of bars diagonally. Make sure bars set for 1 hour for white chocolate to set up before cutting into bars. 

7.       Enjoy! :)

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Tax Time

I just did my taxes. Now, I'm depressed.

For the first time, I actually owe money for my federal taxes. It's only about $200.00 but still, I can't believe I have to pay in.

I work two jobs. When I am working both of them, I put in 12 to 14 hour days. Right now, I have it set up so I have at least one day off (Sundays) from both jobs, so that means I work 6 days a week.

What do I have to show for it? Not much. I have some savings, but the money I make is to pay for the electricity, the phone, groceries, and any of the odds and ends of just living can bring. I need to save more, but it seems when I get some money saved up, something happens and I end up using my savings and starting from zero again.

I need more "passive income." That lovely way of making money at home without having to punch a clock. There are many ways I can do that, but I have to figure out how to work it in to my schedule.

Writing is the only thing I can do right now. I love to do it, I love having everyone read my articles. I just have to find a way to get paid for it.

Maybe I can make enough to pay my taxes. :)

Just a few thoughts on a lovely Sunday afternoon. 

Any ideas, please post in the comments below.