During the holidays, time is a commodity. With so much hustle and bustle, I like to have a few recipes in my holiday baking repertoire that can yield maximum quantity with minimum kitchen time. That’s why I like bar cookies because you can whip up the batter, put it in a baking pan, bake the bars and be done with it. These Chocolate Chip Cranberry Cheese Bars are extra great because not only are they delicious but they’re festive-looking, too. I love the flavor combination of cranberries, chocolate and a hint of orange. These bars will be a great addition to your holiday cookie platter!
Chocolate Chip Cranberry Cheese Bars
-recipe from verybestbaking.com
Yields 36 bars
A tasty treat for fall and winter holidays. A crunchy chocolate chip, cranberry and orange-scented bar is balanced with a lightly sweetened layer of cream cheese.
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups quick or old-fashioned oats
2 teaspoons grated orange peel
2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
1 cup OCEAN SPRAY® CRAISINS® Sweetened Dried Cranberries
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 can (14 oz.) NESTLÉ® CARNATION® Sweetened Condensed Milk
PREHEAT oven to 350° F. Grease a 13 x 9-inch baking pan.
BEAT butter and brown sugar in large mixer bowl until creamy. Gradually beat in flour, oats and orange peel until crumbly. Stir in morsels and cranberries; reserve 2 cups mixture. Press remaining mixture onto bottom of prepared baking pan.
BAKE for 15 minutes. Beat cream cheese in small mixer bowl until smooth. Gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk. Pour over hot crust; sprinkle with reserved flour mixture. Bake for additional 25 to 30 minutes or until center is set. Cool in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars.