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Chocolate Cranberry Holiday Bars Recipe

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
3/4 cup 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 (see recipe)
Chocolate drizzle (see recipe)

Preheat oven to 325 F. Butter a 13 x 9-inch baking pan.

Melting unsweetened chocolate and butter together in small saucepan or in microwave, stirring until smooth. Set aside.

On paper plate, whisk together flour and salt; set aside.

In mixing bowl with electric beaters, beat eggs until fluffy, about 1 minute. Gradually beat in brown sugar. Add cooled chocolate mixture and vanilla. Stir in flour mixture until blended. Blend in walnuts and chocolate chips. Spread in buttered pan.

Bake in preheated oven 20 to 22 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack.

Prepare cranberry cream filling. Spread mixture over cooled brownies and refrigerate until set.

Make chocolate drizzle. Cool slightly. Dip a fork into mixture and drizzle over cranberry layer. Chill until firm. Cut into 2 x 2-inch bars.

Makes 24 bars.

Cranberry Cream Filling

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1 cup finely chopped dried cranberries (see note)

In bowl, cream butter and cream cheese together until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in vanilla and powdered sugar; mix in cranberries.

Chocolate Drizzle

2 ounces (about 1/3 cup) semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons whipping cream or more to desired consistency

Melt chocolate chips and whipping cream over low heat or in microwave.

Note: For a chocolate-cherry holiday bar, substitute the same amount of dried cherries for the cranberries.


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