Okay, as you can tell by all the CAPS, I'm excited about this idea. And here's the next installment.
I have been spending a lot of time in Starbucks lately. Not because I especially love their coffee. It is because in the new suburb digs I live in, that's the only coffee house they will accept. Also, it is not because I MUST have coffee made by someone else. The real reason is that I have no internet in my new place, currently. Hopefully that is going to change this week, and then I'll be back to blogging at home.
So, since I have been blogging and editing from a Starbucks for the last two months. I found myself there last week while I made the Salsa post. Just as I am doing the same now for this post. And while I drank my Americano from a controversial red cup, I noticed that the change of cups also brought also a change in the drinks and snacks menu. Next to the egg nog lattes and other sugary excuses for coffee, there it was...my favorite indulgence... the beloved Cranberry Bliss Bar.
I was so excited that I almost went back to the counter to order myself one. But then I realized. I could totally do this myself. It's really just a blondie with cranberries and cream cheese frosting. So after I finished last week's post, I found a recipe I liked, thought about changes I would make, and went to the store.
And you can make it too! This recipe is really, really good. It's sweet, and definitely an indulgence. But save your $3.75, make this for yourself and share the rest with friends and family this holiday season.
Cranberry Bliss Bars
Adapted from Food.com
(for the bars...)2 sticks butter, softened
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 3 teaspoons Orange extract
- 1 tablespoon Vanilla extract
- 2 cups flour
- 1.5 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger (freshly grated would be fantastic, too)
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup finely chopped hazelnuts
(for the frosting)
- 1/2 cup cream cheese
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- 2.5 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon orange extract
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Splash of milk, if needed (aka...if the frosting is too thick)
(for the topping)
- 1/2 cup chopped dried cranberries
- Lemon zest from 1 lemon
- 1/3 cup melted white chocolate chips (add a capful of vegetable oil when melting)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (325 for a glass or dark pan). Prepare a 9x13 by lining it with parchment paper or use a non-stick spray.
- BARS: Beat together softened butter and sugars 3-5 minutes until light; gently blend in eggs and the extracts. Add the flour, baking powder, and ginger and beat briefly. Add the cranberries and chips, stirring just until incorporated.
- Spread thick batter in prepared 9x13 pan. Bake 350 for 24-28 minutes until light brown at the edges. Cool completely.
- FROSTING: Blend cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add the extracts and confectioners sugar and beat until frosting is fluffy and spreadable (adding 1 t. milk if needed). Spread evenly over COOLED bars.
- GARNISH: Zest your lemon over the bars. Chop 1/3 cup dried cranberries coarsely; sprinkle over frosted bars. If you have leftover hazelnuts, I'd sprinkle those over everything, too!
- DRIZZLE: Mix white chocolate and oil in a glass measuring cup. Microwave 1 minute; stirring every 15 seconds until melted. Use a fork or whisk to drizzle the white chocolate diagonally across the bars.
Get some coffee in your cup and enjoy these babies!
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