Cranberry Bliss Bars – a knockoff of the Starbuck’s treat. A blondie dotted with white chocolate and cranberries with a slight hint of orange.
While this is the time of year all about giving, I feel in the last week and a half since I’ve had the baby I’ve been on the receiving end of everyone’s generosity. I’ve been blessed with extremely giving (and stubborn) friends who lined up people to bring me meals even though I said I would be fine without them; friends who take my boys for playdates so that I can get in a nap and a shower; and friends who offer their gift of conversation.
Life with four kids, now I may be jinxing myself here, seems more balanced. It seems as though it was always meant to be this way…that we were just waiting for baby girl to fill this spot in our family.
These are supposedly a knock off of Starbucks’ Cranberry Bliss Bars. I’ve never had Starbucks’ version, but these were really good and oh so pretty. I’ve seen different versions of these all of the Internet and I opted for this one because it was supposed to be chewier and less cake-like than the other versions. It’s a buttery blondie base (try not to eat all of the dough) with flecks of white chocolate and cranberries throughout. I’m not a huge lover of white chocolate but I loved these. The frosting is cream cheese and white chocolate with a hint of orange if you want. Or leave it out if you’re not a fan.
- ¾ cup (1½ sticks) salted butter, cubed
- 1½ cups packed light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- 6 ounces white baking chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- 6 ounces white baking chocolate, melted
- ½ cup dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
- 1 teaspoon grated orange zest (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray or line with parchment paper.
- Prepare the blondie layer: In a medium bowl, melt butter for one minute in the microwave or until melted; stir in brown sugar. Pour the butter and sugar into a large bowl and let cool to room temperature. Use an electric mixer to beat in the eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon; gradually add the dry mixture to the butter mixture. Stir in the cranberries and chopped chocolate (batter will be thick).
- Spread the blondie batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 18-21 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean (do not overbake). Cool completely on a wire rack.
- Prepare the frosting: In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar until combined. Gradually add half of the melted white chocolate; beat until blended. Frost brownies. Sprinkle with chopped cranberries. Drizzle with remaining melted white chocolate. Let the frosting set (speed this up by throwing them into the fridge) then cut into bars- square or triangle-shaped. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.