Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Copycat Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars

I'm probably about to say something truly un-American, but the words I'm about to say are the truth.  So...I've warned you so please don't disown me.

I have never been one to hit up a Starbucks regularly.  From time to time I'll pop in one and order a white chocolate mocha or a javachip frap, and occasionally during the holiday season I'll snag one of their pumpkin concoctions along with a cranberry bliss bar.

Oh, how I love those cranberry bliss bars.  Soft, chewy brown sugar bars studded with bits of white chocolate chips and tart cranberries.  Oh, and they're topped with that deliciously tangy cream cheese frosting and more cranberries and topped off with a drizzle of white chocolate.

Yum and Yum!

But, the coffee mogul has done away with these deliciously decadent bars.  But, there's no need to panic!  I've come across a copycat recipe that is a dead ringer for the original!  Cue the streamers, confetti and music!
To say I was excited when I came across this recipe would truly be an understatement.  I immediately went to the kitchen, broke out the mixer and whipped up a batch of these delicious bliss bars.  These bars come together in minutes, only require about 10 minutes of baking time and you're over half way there.  The hardest part is waiting on them to cool so they can be frosted, then allowing them to set so the frosting doesn't make a gooey mess when being cut.

Although if you're keeping them at home and you just can't wait any longer...go ahead, make a mess and dive in!

Anywho...so when the time came around to figure out what I wanted to make for this year's Food Blogger Cookie Swap there were no questions, I was making these bars.
I thought fellow foodies and cookie lovers would understand my excitement and celebrate along with me knowing we could all still enjoy these bars in the comfort of our own homes.  So I went in the kitchen, made a batch and packaged them in festive Christmas tins and shipped them on to 3 fellow food bloggers!

I had a few extra bars leftover after packaging which meant one thing.  I had to eat them. And trust me, my feelings weren't hurt in the least.  I woke up every morning for the next few days, made a cup of coffee and savored the goodness that is cranberry bliss bars.

These bars are truly a perfect gift this (or any time) of year.  The deep red cranberries pop off the white cream cheese frosting almost resembling Christmas lights or holly berries sitting in the snow.  Wrap up a few of these or place some in a Christmas cookie tin and you will bring a smile to anyone who receives them!

Copycat Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars
Ingredients:

For the bars-
1 1/2 Sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 Tsp salt
1 1/4 Cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 Cups flour
3 Eggs
1/2 Tsp baking powder
2 Tbsp minced crystallized ginger or 1 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
1 1/2 Tsp vanilla
3/4- 1 1/2 Cups dried cranberries
4 Oz. white chocolate chips

For the frosting-
4 Oz cream cheese
1 Tsp vanilla
3 Cups powdered sugar
4 Tsp lemon juice

For garnish-
1/2 Cup dried cranberries
2 Oz white chocolate chips

Directions:

For the bars-
Preheat oven to 350.

Line a 12x12x6 rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Place butter, brown sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl and beat on high to cream, about 2-3 minutes.  Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition.  Add the ginger, flour, and baking powder and mix until completely incorporated.  Add the cranberries and white chocolate and fold into the batter.

Pour the batter on the prepared baking sheet, using wet hands or a wet spatula spread the batter evenly in the pan.  Place in the preheated oven and bake for about 10 minutes (I had to bake mine about 15 minutes), until the middle is baked through,  Be sure not to overbake or the bars will become very dry.  Remove the cooked bars from the oven and allow to cool completely.

For the frosting-
Place the cream cheese in a large mixing bowl and beat on high until smooth.  Add the powdered sugar, lemon juice and vanilla and mix until combine.  Once the ingredients are incorporated increase mixing speed to medium-high and beat until creamy, about 4 to 5 minutes.

Spread the frosting over the cooled bars.

For the topping-

Sprinkle the cranberries over the freshly frosted bars.

Place white chocolate chips in a microwave safe dish and heat in 20 second intervals until melted, be sure to stir after each interval.

Place in a piping bag and drizzle over the bars.

Allow to set for about 2 to 3 hours, until chocolate has set.  To cut the bars trim the edges then cut in squares, then cut each square into 2 triangles.

Store in an airtight container.

Recipe source: Let the Baking Begin

This year there were over 475 participants in Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap.  All participants along with our amazing brand partners; OXOLand O' Lakes, and Dixie Crystals raised over $7,000.00 for Cookies for Kids's Cancer!  How amazing is that?!?!

If you missed out on this year's swap and would like more info and notifications about next year's swap be sure to sign up here for all the latest news and next year's swap.  And a big thanks to our hostesses for another amazing year; Lindsay of Love and Olive Oil and Julie of The Little Kitchen.  Y'all are awesome!

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