Y’all. This is my new fave holiday bar. Rich, stylish and elegant, it’s the bite I want to taste whether in a LBD at a cocktail party or standing half-asleep in the kitchen in a t-shirt and pajama bottoms, coffee in hand. The bars are so dang pretty and so simple to throw together. After chilling, they can easily be cut into squares or individual bite size pieces. They travel extremely well whether you’re taking them across town as a hostess gift or they’re traveling from the kitchen to the bedroom to enjoy with a Hallmark movie. I haven’t been cooking much or baking at all lately…been a rough couple of months. But I woke up yesterday thinking of the flavors of cranberry and rosemary. Not on bruschetta with goat cheese and olive oil but on white chocolate with a graham cracker crust…and caramel chips in the crust. Oh, yes! I concentrated on melting the chocolate and crushing the graham crackers when all of a sudden I realized I was humming to the Christmas carols I have playing non-stop. I didn’t actually break into dance but I may have sung a tune or two with the aid of a wooden spoon, my microphone. As I mentioned earlier, it’s been a rough few months. Y’all, these are a wonderful treat, worth every calorie, and the distinctive flavors keep these bars from falling into the same ol’, same ol’ holiday rut of dark chocolate, peppermint, marshmallow or pumpkin. Please don’t misinterpret my message. I’m totally addicted to dark chocolate. All I’m saying is this treat is a bit of a respite. And this comes from a girl who doesn’t even LIKE white chocolate. It’s hardly chocolate! It’s a combination of cocoa butter, milk, sugar and vanilla. But right here and right now, it is sooooo good, completely satisfying your sweet, sweet craving. Please enjoy!
Cranberry, White Chocolate and Rosemary Holiday Bars
- 1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup caramel chips
- 8 tablespoons butter, melted
- 12 ounces white chocolate if it’s in bar form or 1 11-ounce bag of white chocolate chips. I prefer Ghiradelli white chocolate bars. And, no, I ain’t getting paid to say that.
- 1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
- 3 tablespoons fresh rosemary, roughly chopped
- Cover a 9 X 13 pan with non-stick spray. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper cut to size and lightly spray. I use a metal baking pan in order to get sharp, clean edges and corners. Pre-heat oven to 350°.
- In a medium size bowl mix the graham cracker crumbs and flour. Add the brown sugar and mix well. I use my hands. Add the caramel chips and mix.
- Pour the melted butter into the graham mixture and stir until the butter is thoroughly combined.
- Transfer the graham mixture to the baking pan. Cover the entire bottom of the pan, pressing the crumbs firmly with the palms of your hands including all sides and corners.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes until the crust is slightly toasted but not browned.
- While the crust bakes, melt chocolate according to package directions.
- Remove crust from oven and immediately pour melted chocolate over the crust spreading it with a spatula into the corners and sides.
- Scatter cranberries evenly over the chocolate followed by the fresh rosemary.
- Cool to room temperature, cover and refrigerate until chocolate is set, preferably overnight. The flavors really bloom by the following day so keep that in mind.
- Carefully remove from pan and, using a large, sharp knife, cut into serving pieces.