Thursday, December 17, 2009

Cranberry Bliss

A few months after getting married {5 YEARS AGO!} hubby got stationed in Washington so we packed our bags and traveled across the country for a new adventure together as newly weds. Before living in Washington I thought coffee was disgusting, the worst possible beverage ever! If you have ever lived in Washington or currently do you know why I now drink coffee.

In the town where we lived there was a Starbucks in the grocery store, a Starbucks next door outside the grocery store and there was a drive-up coffee stand in the parking lot. I kid not that there was a coffee shop on every block. I have to admit it was rather odd for this Connecticut transplant who had never stepped foot in a Starbucks before!

Well Christmas came our first year in Washington and during one of my many coffee stops I discovered Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars. If you have been fortunate enough to try these you know they are absolute bliss. You also know that you can easily go broke buying one {or two} a day! Since our first winter in Washington I was on a mission to make my own. This is NOT my recipe, yes I have altered it a bit but it was a recipe I found a few years ago somewhere on the Internet as a 'copy cat' recipe. Nonetheless they are pure bliss!

Cranberry Bliss Bars

1 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar, packed
3 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup diced dried cranberries {Craisins}
3/4 cup white chocolate chips

4 oz cream cheese, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
4 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup diced dried cranberries

Drizzled Icing
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp milk
2 tsp vegetable shortening

Preheat oven to 350F. Make cake by beating butter and brown sugar together until smooth {the best use of a Kitchen Aid}. Add eggs, vanilla, ginger and salt; beat well. Gradually mix in flour until smooth. Mix in cranberries and white chocolate chips.

Pour batter int0 a foil-lined and greased 9x13-inch baking pan. Spread evenly across the pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until cake is lightly brown on the edges. Allow cake to cool.

Make frosting by combining cream cheese, powdered sugar, lemon juice and vanilla in a medium bowl until smooth. When the cake has cooled, use a spatula to spread frosting on top of the cake layer.

Sprinkle remaining cranberries over the frosting.

Whisk together powdered sugar, milk and shortening. Drizzle icing over the cranberries.

Allow the cake frosting and drizzle to firm up before slicing.

These freeze wonderfully! I have made them the last few years for Christmas and freeze them between layers of wax paper in large plastic containers lined with plastic wrap.

Of course they package up beautifully too!


Tiff said...

Haha - I JUST had one of these the other day and it was pure bliss! I was thinking to myself as I ate it that I need to find that recipe. Well done!!

And yes I live in a small town in WA that has 3 grocery store all with Starbucks in them as well as a drive through in the parking lot. Gotta love it! :)

Christy said...

This has been one of my favorite treats from Starbucks for years now! I am so excited to try this recipe. Cranberry bliss and a caramel macchiato - yum.

Jacksmom726 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jacksmom726 said...

I just came back from the Target in Lisbon and of course had to pick up my usual shopping treat - a Peppermint Mocha! I was eyeing the Cranberry Bliss Bars, but was talked out of buying one by my three year old, who thought that a big chocolate chunk cookie would be a better idea....
Now, (darn), I'll have to go back tomorrow and try the Cranberry Bliss Bar out after reading this...(then I'll have to pick up the ingredients to make my own too!) Thanks for a great recipe!

mel @ the larson lingo said...

Okay, I have never heard or seen of these before! They look delicious! Can't wait to try them! Thanks for linking up!