Cranberry Bliss Bars are everywhere this time of year, and I tried my first ever actual Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bar a couple weeks ago. It was blissful. Last year I made Cranberry Bliss Cookies and Chocolate Cranberry Bliss Cookies, and both were a big hit and I’ve made them many times since.
This is a just another version of those cookies with one of my favourite things: pomegranate. I’ve mentioned before how stunningly gorgeous the colour of a pomegranate is, and I am a sucker for a pretty colour. They add a tart bite to the cookies, not unlike cranberries, but they also add a bit of crunch with the seeds. I did find these needed the pomegranate arils on top to warn people to expect them – I left a few plain, but they just looked like an iced chocolate chip cookie and the crunchy bits were surprising and not immediately identifiable then – nobody wants a surprise crunchy bit in their soft, chewy cookies :)
I was worried the juicy pomegranate arils would make the dough too wet compared to dried cranberries, but they didn’t at all, and these cookies stayed soft and chewy for days in the fridge! We all loved these as much as their Cranberry Bliss cousin, and if you have a pomegranate handy these are a perfect festive cookie to add to a platter. Who doesn’t love another excuse to eat cream cheese icing?
Only a few days left till Christmas – school’s out here, and we opened presents with the kids yesterday and they are busy as can be with their new things (let’s hope that lasts!). We have beautiful snow, a rare occurrence here, and Carl finished his big project for the semester so we are all officially on holidays. Now that extensive to-do list is getting eyed…new toilet installed yesterday, painting the kids’ bedrooms today :) Do you save jobs for the holidays or really use the time to do nothing? Either way, I hope it feels like a holiday and you get to enjoy the season, and all the cookies it has to offer!
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- ¾ cup white, semi-sweet, or dark chocolate chips
- ¾ cup pomegranate arils (you'll need 1 pomegranate - save the rest of the arils for topping)
- 1 (8 oz.) pkg low fat cream cheese, room temperature
- ½ cup white chocolate chips, melted gently in the microwave
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 cups powdered sugar (aka confectioner’s sugar/icing sugar)
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugars on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.
- Reduce speed to low and slowly add in the dry ingredients. Beat until well-combined. Stir in the chocolate chips and pomegranate arils (the dough might get a bit pink, that's fine!).
- Place dough in the fridge for about 10 minutes. (You can leave it longer if you want – 10 minutes is about my patience max :))
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease lightly.
- Place dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto prepared baking sheet, at least 2 inches apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the cookies are lightly golden only around the edges. Remove pan, let sit 1 minute, and transfer the cookies to a cooling rack until cool. Repeat with remaining dough until all cookies are baked. Wait until cookies reach room temperature before adding frosting and toppings.
- Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat together the cream cheese and melted white chocolate until combined. (*See note). Add in the vanilla and mix until combined.
- Reduce speed to low and add the powdered sugar. Mix until incorporated, adding more powdered sugar if necessary to reach desired consistency.
- Spread the frosting on the cooled cookies. Immediately sprinkle the frosted cookies with a few of the remaining pomegranate arils.
- Makes about 4 dozen cookies.