White Chocolate Cranberry Brownies

This blog post was supposed to be a recipe for a fabulous pumpkin cheesecake with a luscious apple topping. I had it all planned out and spent my precious free time one evening baking the cheesecake. I was careful not to over-mix the filling and I let it cool in the oven for two hours to avoid any cracks. When I took the cheesecake out of the oven, it looked perfect. It seemed too good to be true… And, it was.

I carefully covered the cheesecake and transferred it to the refrigerator to chill overnight.  The next day, we were having friends over for pizza night, and I was planning to serve the cheesecake for dessert.  In the afternoon, I planned to cut a slice of the cheesecake for photo purposes (I knew our friends wouldn’t mind if a piece was already missing). I waited for nap time and I had everything all ready to go.  I sliced into the cheesecake only to discover that the center wasn’t done. The edges were luscious and perfect, but the center was a gloppy mess.

In an attempt to save some of my hard work, I cut off the edges of the cheesecake since they were perfectly fine. Then, I figured I’d better make another dessert. I pulled out a go to recipe for one bowl brownies that I knew I could make even if the baby woke up from her nap. The recipe is one that I got from a box of squares of unsweetened baking chocolate years ago. I don’t remember the brand anymore. But, it’s a good recipe. It yields brownies with the perfect texture (according to me).  They are chewy and a bit fudgy without being too over the top.  And, they always yield a nice crackly top, just like the box kind.

The cheesecake may have been a flop (though, we did enjoy eating the edges that I cut off), but the brownies weren’t. The next afternoon, as I was snacking on one of the leftover brownies, I started to thinking… I love brownies, but I’m not always in the mood for chocolate. So, I decided to play around with the recipe a bit.  If brownies could be made from melted chocolate, why not melted white chocolate? And, when I think of white chocolate (especially this close to the holidays), I can’t help but to add some cranberries into the mix.

The resulting white chocolate cranberry brownies turned out to be another success.  And, much like the standard brownies they were based on, the recipe is fast and simple.  You an mix them up in a single bowl in just a few minutes.  And, in no time at all, you’ll have chewy white chocolate flavored brownies studded with cranberries that just beg to be eaten. If you’re anything like me, you’ll have trouble letting them cool before you cut into them!

White Chocolate Cranberry Brownies
(Makes one 9 by 13-inch pan, about 24 servings)

  • 6 ounces white chocolate (about 1 cup of chips)
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup dried cranberries

Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Line a 9 by 13-inch baking pan with parchment paper and set aside. (I greased the pan instead of using parchment paper when I made these, and it was a mistake. Take my word for it.)

Combine the white chocolate chips and butter in a large microwaveable mixing bowl.  Microwave at 50% power for about 2 minutes. Stir.  Continue to microwave in 30 second increments until the butter and white chocolate have both melted.

Add in the sugar, eggs, and vanilla, and whisk vigorously to combine the ingredients until the mixture is smooth. Add the flour and use a spatula to fold it into the mixture.  Transfer the batter to the prepared baking pan and sprinkle with the dried cranberries.  Bake for about 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center has only wet crumbs on it.

Let the brownies cool on a wire rack before removing them from the pan (this is where the parchment paper comes in handy!) and cutting them into squares. Enjoy!

8 Responses to White Chocolate Cranberry Brownies

  1. Tracey says:

    White chocolate and cranberry are a seriously underrated flavor combo, especially around the holidays! Love this idea, definitely added to my to-do list.

  2. That stinks about the cheesecake. We have had a few that have done that too. The done looking top tricks you into thinking the center is done too. Those brownies sure look good though. Something about white chocolate and cranberry that just says holiday huh? :-)

  3. These look absolutely amaing Jen and hey even though it’s sad the cheesecake didn’t work out, for those of us who OFTEN have things not work out in the kitchen, it’s good to know that sometimes things don’t work out even for pros like you! XO

  4. I love that you shared your tale Jen; I think it’s easy to presume that we never have failures. I live at altitude for crying out loud; there are always problems! But you did what I think is characteristic of the best cooks…you punted and seemingly with ease; I love the results.

  5. Joy says:

    The brownies look wonderful.

  6. Barbara Wright says:

    My daughter doesn’t like chocolate, so she has never had brownies. I was so excited when I saw this recipe and made them last night…they are fantastic!! Everyone in the family loved them. This is definitely something I will make over and over!

  7. Paula says:

    On one hand, I’m sorry that your cheesecake didn’t cook right through but on the other hand, it did cause you to make the brownies which led to you creating the other brownie recipe which you share with us which makes me happy :)

  8. This is such a natural pairing… I am not even a huge white chocolate fan, but when it’s together with the bright (slightly tangy) cranberry, it works beautifully.

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