Friday, December 2, 2011

(Better Than) Cranberry Bliss Bars


I think it was the name.  I mean, who wouldn't want to try something that's blissful?  I had been secretly eyeing these confectionary delights each time I bought my reduced-guilt skinny half-caf soy peppermint mochas at Starbucks.


Finally, I bought one.  (For experimental purposes only.)  Then I searched the internet for a good copy-cat recipe. After reading all the reviews (No, it's white chocolate, not glaze, it's orange, not lemon, a certain spice is missing.......)


I came up with this:  A chewy blonde brownie spiked with orange zest, ginger and cranberries, topped with an orange-infused cream cheese icing with a cranberry and white chocolate topping.


What's not to love?


In an unbiased taste comparison done by none other than my family, these were deemed better.

Why not bake some bliss today?



(Better Than) Cranberry Bliss Bars
By Rachel @ Simple Girl

BARS

1 cup butter (2 sticks, very soft)
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 Tablespoons orange zest
3/4 cup dried cranberries (Craisins)
3/4 cup chopped white chocolate or white chocolate chips
  1. Cream Butter and sugar.  Add eggs, vanilla and orange zest and beat until combined. 
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together dry ingredients (except for craisins and chocolate).
  3. Add to wet mixture and beat until combined.
  4. Stir in dried cranberries and White Chocolate.
  5. Spread on a parchment lined 10"x15" pan.
  6. Bake @ 350 degrees for 20-24 minutes or until edges are golden brown.  Do not overbake
  7. Let cool and, if possible, remove from pan and slide onto the counter in one piece.  (It makes cutting the triangles easier!)

FROSTING

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 Tablespoons butter, softened
3 cups confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 Tablespoons orange juice
pinch of salt
  1. Cream together cream cheese & butter.  Add vanilla extract, orange juice and salt.  Beat in confectioners sugar until smooth.
  2. Spread frosting over cooled bars.
  3. Cut into 16 rectangles (4 rows, 4 columns)
  4. Cut each rectangle diagonally so you end up with 32 pieces.

TOPPING

1/2 cup dried cranberries
8 ounces white chocolate or chocolate chips

I like to put the topping on after the bars are cut to ensure evenness, but either way is fine!  

Sprinkle the top with the cranberries.  Melt 8 ounces white chocolate in a quart Ziploc bag.  Snip 1/8 inch off a corner and drizzle the chocolate over the top.



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21 comments:

  1. I LOVED these before I had to cut out gluten and other things...but you have inspired me to get experimenting to make this something we can have gain! Beautiful pictures, nice work!

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  2. These look so fantastic. I know they taste as good as they look. Wonderful pictures. Come visit us. We have a beautiful party dress from The Shabby Apple today for our giveaway. We would love for you to be the winner!

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  3. Yum! These look amazing. I love cranberries, white chocolate and cream cheese together! can't wait to try!

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  4. I have never had the originals, but these look divine!

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  5. Come to A Themed Baker's Sunday for this next week's theme: Christmas! Actually, this theme will continue until Christmas weekend! Hope to see you there!
    Cupcake Apothecary
    http://cupcakeapothecary.blogspot.com/2011/12/themed-bakers-sunday-16.html

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  6. Those look deLICious! I drool over those at Starbucks too...:) Thanks so much for sharing at Shine On Fridays! I really just want to reach through the screen and take a bite or two or ten...!

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  7. These look amazing. They never tempted me at Starbucks, but yours are calling my name!

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  8. Those looks awesome! I'm a big sucker for dried cranberries, and the combo of these ingredients just sounds luscious and wintry :)

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  9. I've never been in a Starbucks, but I'm in LOVE with this recipe!

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  10. OOO These look great! Thanks for linking up to A Themed Baker's Sunday at Cupcake Apothecary!
    Alyssa

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  11. Very blissful indeed! I love trying to make my own recipes that fit my favorite eats. Thanks for sharing on Crazy Sweet Tuesday. :)

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  12. These look so festive, and I bet they taste delicious! I will have to try them, thank you!

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  13. That's it! You've convinced me that I MUST finally get around to making these. I can't resist anymore.

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  14. These look amazing. I'd love it if you shared this at a party at Project queen that I have going on. http://projectqueen.org/welcome-to-link-party-12-turning-the-daunting-into-the-do-able

    I'm your newest follower.

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  15. Slightly late, but thank you so much for linking up to Friday Food last week on Momtrends.com! These are so pretty and sound so good too! ~Shannon

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  16. Hi Rachel,
    Bliss indeed! Your Cranberry Bliss Bars look delicious. What a great treat for holiday entertaining. Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday. Hope you are having a great week end and come back soon!
    Miz Helen

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  17. These are gorgeous. I love the brilliant color of the cranberries. This recipe has been highlighted on Sweet Indulgences Sunday this week.

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  18. Just made these and they are delicious! But when I make them next time I will add more powdered sugar to the frosting, it was a little too creamy and slid a bit when I cut the bars. I also cut the orange zest to 1 tablespoon.

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