February 20, 2013
One of the desserts I made at Christmas was a copy of Starbucks’ cranberry bliss bars. I’ve never actually had one of these bars, but I’ve always stared at them when I’ve seen them in the dessert case, and I don’t think you can go wrong when it comes to a dessert that has cranberries, white chocolate and cream cheese frosting.
While I’ve never had the original, I’m pretty sure this recipe must be almost spot-on. They are extremely sweet, so a tiny sliver is really all one needs (or wants). In fact, I found these two sweet, and would cut back on the sweetness by removing the white chocolate topping at the end and maybe mixing fresh cranberries and dried cranberries in the bars themselves.
The base is like a blondie – chewy and dense and sweet, with dried cranberries and white chocolate chips throughout. The frosting in an orange cream cheese one – goes well with the base. Top this with more cranberries, and we have a really beautiful dessert that will leave you diabetic. These are definitely not your everyday kinda dessert bars, but a good addition to a birthday or Christmas sweet table.
Cranberry Bliss Bars
from Recipe Girl
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) salted butter, cubed
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup dried cranberries
6 ounces white baking chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used white chocolate chips)
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon grated orange peel
6 ounces white baking chocolate, melted, divided
1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 13×9-inch baking dish with nonstick
2. In a medium bowl, melt butter for one minute in the microwave; stir in brown sugar.
3. Scrape the butter & sugar into a large bowl and let cool to room temperature.
4. Use an electric mixer to beat in the eggs and vanilla.
5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon; gradually add the dry mixture to the butter mixture.
6. Stir in the cranberries and chopped chocolate (the batter will be thick).
7. Spread the blondie batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 18-21 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean (do not overbake). Cool completely on a wire rack.
1. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar until well-blended. Add orange zest.
2. Gradually add half of the melted white chocolate; beat until blended.
3. Frost brownies. Sprinkle with cranberries.
(4. Drizzle with remaining melted white chocolate.) Next time, I would skip this step. Just too sweet and totally unnecessary.
Cut into bars- square or triangle-shaped. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. (I actually preferred them cold – straight out of the freezer even!)
- Cranberry Layer Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and Sparkling Cranberries Here’s a tasty cake I made a few weeks ago...
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