the days and weeks following the holidays are always a bit rough. i mean, it’s just a big let down from the lead-up to Christmas, and everything’s always over too fast. when you think about it, the Christmas hype really starts Nov 1 and everywhere you go you’re inundated with tinsel and carols and happy happy joy joy and then by the time Christmas actually rolls around you are primed to eat every cookie and unwrap every pretty present you can lay hands on. it’s a frantic, frenzied, fattening blur. people just seem to be in better moods (aside from the maniacs in the mall parking lot), more smiley and giving and patient cuz hey, ‘it’s Christmas’.
when Christmas passes that’s OK cuz then there’s New Years and there’s more merriment and fresh starts and resolutions.
but then Jan 2 comes.
and then Jan 3.
and then you realize that you have to go back to work. and that you can’t justify eating cookies for breakfast, lunch and dinner anymore. and there’s still the whole long stretch of dark and dreary February.
it’s all in all a pretty depressing denouenment.
so, what to do? how to deal?!
i’m glad you asked. let me introduce you to my two favourite coping mechanisms: denial and cookies.
i baked these cookie bars when i was home for Christmas, so if i stare at these pictures long enough it’s as if i’m still there, and it’s still Christmas! and if you bake these now you’ll have something to stuff in your face and be happy about instead of thinking about the long 350 days until next Christmas.
these cranberry bliss bars were a hit at the various parties they made an appearance at. chewy like a good chocolate chip cookie, they were chock-full of white chocolate bits and cranberries. soooo goood.
Cranberry Bliss Bars
Adapted from here
Makes about 16 triangular bars
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt, optional and to taste
3/4 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup dried cranberries, loosely packed
1/2 cup white chocolate chips, melted
2 tsp oil or shortening
1.Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-by-8-inch pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray; set aside.
2. In a medium microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter, about 90 seconds. To the melted butter (allow it to cool slightly so you don’t scramble the egg), add the egg, brown sugar, vanilla, and stir to combine.
3. Add the flour, salt, and stir until just combined.
4. Fold in white chocolate chips and cranberries and stir to combine. Pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing it lightly with a spatula or offset knife if necessary.
5. Bake for 18 to 21 minutes, and center is set and golden or until edges begin to slightly pull away from sides of pan, or a toothpick comes out clean; do not overbake. Allow bars to cool before decorating.
6. When bars are completley cooled, melt white chocolate chips and oil together in the microwave (zap for 20 seconds at a time and stir until smooth). Drizzle on top of bars. Cut to serve.