Better than the original!

After tasting and completely losing my heart to these awesome bars - I knew I had to work on a recipe at home because seasonal availability just wasn't going to work out.

Cake Layer:

1 1/2 c (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened

1 1/2 c light brown sugar, packed

2 eggs

1 t vanilla extract

1 t ginger

1/4 t salt

2 c all-purpose flour

1 t baking soda

1 small box instant cheesecake pudding (vanilla can be substituted)

1 c chopped, toasted pecans

6 ounces white chocolate chips

Juice of one orange .... Or 4 T orange juice .... Or the zest of 1 orange (whatever is easy or available, I've tried all 3 options with good results; 'sometimes' I go crazy and add both the zest and the juice of one orange.)


2 blocks of cream cheese, softened

1 1/2 - 2 c powdered sugar (You can add more to achieve desired thickness, start w/ 1/2 c)

3 T of lemon juice or the juice of 1 lemon

1 t vanilla extract

1/2 c butter (1 stick)

1 c dried cranberries, chopped and tossed with sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. Make cake layer. Beat butter and brown sugar together with an electric mixer until smooth. Add eggs, orange juice or zest, vanilla, ginger and salt and beat well.

Gradually mix in flour, baking soda and box of instant pudding.

Mix in by hand the white chocolate chips and pecans. (Batter may be a little stiff. I will sometimes grease a piece of wax paper to help in smoothing the batter out in the pan.)

Pour batter into a greased 9 x 13 pan. Depending on your oven, it can take 30 minutes more or less to bake. I start checking it around 20 minutes into the baking process. It's done when the cake is light brown on the edges.

Allow cake layer to cool completely.

Using a jelly roll pan will reduce baking time to approx. 20 minutes.

3. Make frosting by combining softened cream cheese, 1 1/2 - 2 c powdered sugar, lemon juice, vanilla and butter with an electric mixer until smooth. When cake has cooled spread frosting over cake layer and sprinkle generously with sugared cranberries.

Ooh la la.