Cranberry Bliss Bars
Day 10 of the 12 Days of Christmas Treats!
Oh my. These are good. Very very good. This is another recipe I found last Christmas and have been waiting a whole year to make. When it came down to it, I almost lost interest in this recipe and substituted it with another. But at the last minute I realized I had all the ingredients, so I figured I might as well make it. And let me say it again – these are good!
If you’ve ever had a cranberry bliss bar from Starbucks (do they still sell them?), then you may know what to expect from these delightful treats. I, myself, have never had the Starbucks version, so I can’t attest to the authenticity of these. I can only attest to how good they are (are you sensing a theme? These are good!). It’s basically a dense cake/bar with a subtle ginger flavor, studded with dried cranberries and white chocolate chips. The topping is a delicious cream cheese frosting sprinkled with dried cranberries and drizzled with a sugary glaze. Just describing them makes me want to eat one! I was pleasantly surprised when I took my first bite and realized just how good these were, and from the reactions I got when I served these, I’m pretty sure everyone else enjoyed them as well. They’re very rich so it’s probably best to cut them into small pieces. These would be perfect paired with a cup of coffee for an afternoon snack. And to be honest, I’ve been quite tempted to eat one for breakfast!
Cranberry Bliss Bars
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped
6 ounces (about 3/4 cup) white chocolate chips (or chopped white chocolate)
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
4 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup dried cranberries, chopped
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
1-2 tablespoons milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 pan and set aside. In a medium bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar until smooth. Add eggs, vanilla, ginger, and salt and mix well. Gradually add flour and mix until smooth. Stir in cranberries and white chocolate. Pour the batter into the greased pan, using a spatula to evenly spread the batter in the pan. Bake 30-40 minutes, until edges are light brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
Beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla and lemon juice until completely smooth. Spread on the completely cool cake. Sprinkle the top with cranberries.
In a small bowl, whisk together 1 Tbsp of milk, powdered sugar, and vegetable shortening. Gradually add more milk until the icing has a thick but drizzly consistency. I used closer to 2 tablespoons. Put the icing into a ziploc bag and snip off a tiny bit of the corner. Drizzle the icing on top in zig-zags.
Cut into squares or triangles and enjoy!
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