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Friday, October 29, 2010

Cranberry Bliss Bars

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Cranberry Bliss Bars, supposedly a staple in Starbucks bakery cases. Unfortunately, I cannot confirm or deny this...until Starbucks starts selling coffee ice cream, or adding a little Bailey's in their drinks, I won't be frequenting Starbucks regularly. Since I'm thus missing out on their baked goods, I'll just have to imitate them, as I did with these bars.

If you love Starbucks' Cranberry Bliss Bars, you'll want to make these ASAP. I guarantee they're better, if only because they haven't been sitting for hours in a display case. If you've never tried a Cranberry Bliss Bar, you must. These bars are thick and chewy, studded with dried cranberries and white chocolate, and then topped with a decadent lemony cream cheese frosting. Ryan and I both took plates of these to work for Boss's Day and I actually had a co-worker interrupt my conversation with one of our directors to declare just how good these were. That's how you know they're good stuff.

Get your Starbucks to go next time and make a batch of these to eat alongside your beverage, you won't be sorry!

One Year Ago: Spinach Apple Salad

Cranberry Bliss Bars
adapted from Dinner & Dessert
*I omitted the drizzled icing that apparently tops the cream cheese frosting & I really don't think it's necessary. Click on the link if you want the recipe for the drizzle!

-1 cup butter, softened
-1 1/4 cups light brown sugar, packed
-3 eggs
-1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
-1 tsp ground ginger
-1/4 tsp salt
-1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
-3/4 cup dried cranberries, diced
-1 cup white chocolate chips
-4 oz cream cheese, softened
-3 cups powdered sugar
-4 tsp lemon juice
-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
-1/4 cup dried cranberries

1. Preheat oven to 350F. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and brown sugar until smooth. Mix in eggs, ginger, vanilla, and salt until combined. Slowly stir in flour until smooth.
2. With a wooden spoon, stir in 3/4 cup cranberries and 1 cup white chocolate chips. Pour batter (it's thick!) into a greased 9 x 13 pan, spreading it evenly with a spatula.
3. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until cake is lightly browned around the edges. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
4. While cake is cooling, beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla with a mixer until smooth. Spread frosting atop cooled cake and top with remaining dried cranberries.
5. Chill in the refrigerator for a few hours before slicing (it'll be much easier to cut this way!).

This is linked to Saturday's Party.