Yield: 24 triangle bars / two 8" square pans / one 9"x13" rectangle pan
Serving Size: one triangle bar (24 bars per recipe)
Cranberry Vanilla Blondie Base:
1/3 cup (70g) salted butter (OR coconut oil OR ghee)
1/3 cup (85g) unsalted nut butter (almond or cashew butter are best, second best would be sunflower seed butter)
1 cup (175g) keto sweetener (allulose or tagatose are best, second best is erythritol)
1 tsp (5ml) vanilla extract
2 large (50g each) eggs (OR 3 small farm eggs, pasture-raised is ideal, free-range second best
1 + 1/3 cups (130g) almond flour (or other superfine nut/seed flour, sifted
1/4 cup (25g) frozen or fresh raw cranberries (IF you can find unsweetened dried cranberries, use those, but most packaged dried cranberries are sweetened and not keto-friendly)
*optional* 1/2 tsp xanthan (OR 1 tsp guar gum)
White Chocolate Orange Frosting:
8 oz (230g) warm cream cheese (OR vegan cream cheese)
1 cup (175g) powdered keto sweetener (allulose or tagatose are best, second best is erythritol)
5 oz (140g) cacao butter (what white chocolate is made from, minus the sugar and milk powder)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp orange zest (OR 1/2 tsp orange flavoring)
1/4 cup (5g) unsweetened dried cranberries (DIY keto recipe below)
DIY Keto Dried Cranberries:
1/2 cup (50g) frozen or fresh raw cranberries
DIRECTIONS: Spread these evenly on a baking sheet, dry out in the oven at 150F (65C) for 12 hours or overnight. They will be CRISPY like freeze-dried fruit, not chewy like dried fruit. To make chewy ones, look up a DIY dried fruit recipe and sub the sugar out for allulose, tagatose, or xylitol. This makes 1/4 cup once dried.
Powdered Erythritol: https://amzn.to/2JnVpnE
Cacao Butter: https://amzn.to/337IsqL
Ghee (clarified butter): http://amzn.to/2DRSqkG
Butter-flavored Coconut Oil: https://amzn.to/2XhmcYv
Sunflower Seed Butter: https://amzn.to/2XtSyQc
Almond Butter: https://amzn.to/2DL6KgR
Cashew Butter: https://amzn.to/2AQtj0N
Orange Flavoring: https://amzn.to/2Z6TNqh
Superfine Almond Flour: https://amzn.to/2H4N86h
Pure Raw Vanilla Bean Powder:
Vanilla Extract: https://amzn.to/2JDscHy
Sea salt: https://amzn.to/2xYwRzt
Heat-Safe Silicone Spatula: http://amzn.to/2nJvc9z
Kichen Scale: https://amzn.to/2LjURAm
Mixing Bowls: https://amzn.to/2HPXprn
9"x13" Baking Pan: https://amzn.to/2rb9CQ6
8" square baking pans: https://amzn.to/2TsT7Zc
Baking Sheet (cookie sheet): https://amzn.to/2IyBGmM
Nonstick Baking Parchment: https://amzn.to/2rpTKVY
Magnetic Measuring Spoons: https://amzn.to/2QVq6U5
Micro Measuring Spoons: https://amzn.to/2K9W7ap
("dash", "tad", "smidgen", etc. measurements below 1/4 tsp)
1. First preheat the oven to 325F / 163C. Prep your 9"x13" baking pan (or two 8x8" pans) with baking parchment or by greasing with a thin layer of butter and then dusting with a thin layer of keto sweetener or coconut flour (tap the pan upside down to remove any excess).
2. Next, make the blondie base by creaming the butter, nut butter, and sweetener until fluffy, then mixing in the vanilla, eggs, . Finally, sift in the almond flour and xanthan gum and whisk well. Pour into your pan(s) and tap to remove air bubbles. Sprinkle over the raw cranberries evenly, pushing them into the batter to coat them. Bake for 20-30 minutes, the edges should be firm but the very center should still look wet. The longer you bake it the drier and more cake-like it will be. Chill in the fridge or freezer until fully cold before frosting.
3. Next, make the frosting by combining the cream cheese, sweetener, vanilla, and orange zest until well combined and smooth. Fully melt the cacao butter in a separate bowl (I actually used a saucepan over medium-low heat on the stove), then gradually incorporate half the cream cheese mixture into the hot cacao butter (do NOT add the cacao butter into the cream cheese, it will be more likely to harden in chunks because of the cooler temperature of the cream cheese mixture, see an example in the video above for how that would end up!). Once half is incorporated, then whisk that mixture back into the cream cheese mix in the bowl until fully incorporated.
4. Pour this warm mixture over the cold or even frozen blondie base, this will speed up the setting process of the frosting making it less airy and more like the texture of real white chocolate, less like frosting. (IF you want a typical frosting texture, let the mixture cool in the bowl first, then beat or whip with an electric mixer until fluffy, then spread over top the cooled blondie base). Crumble or sprinkle 1/4 cup of unsweetened dried cranberries evenly over the bars and push into the frosting slightly. Feel free to use more cranberries if you can handle a higher carb count.
5. Let the frosting cool and firm up fully in the fridge before slicing. Slice into rectangles first, then cut each rectangle in half to make a triangle (see video above).
In the video above I made two mistakes. 1) I baked the blondies in one 8x8" pan instead of two, making it twice the thickness it should have been (and half as many blondies), and 2) I over-baked it, making the texture more like cake and less like a blondie. You can see the issue become obvious when I try to frost the blondies and there's about 1/2 of the frosting leftover. Do as I say, not as I do. Bake the blondies thinner in a larger pan (or 2x smaller pans), and don't over-bake them!!