Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Starbucks' Cranberry Bliss Bars

Starbucks was on to something when they invented their Cranberry Bliss Bars. I discovered them 2 years ago and was instantly in love. But...they are a hefty price for a little bar. The Oregonian newspaper thought so too. Their food writers came up with something that tastes (to me) 100% like Starbucks' version. Thankfully, I had all the ingredients on hand and baked them this morning. Try them...you won't be disappointed.

Cranberry Ecstasy Bars

1 c butter
1 1/4 c brown sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 c flour
1 t ginger
1/4 t salt
1/2 c dried cranberries (minced)
1 1/2 oz chopped white chocolate chips
1/4 c minced crystalized ginger (I don't add this)

1 8 oz pkg cream cheese
3 T. butter
1 c powdered sugar (+ 3 T) **I only use 1/2 c - I don't like sweet frosting.
1/2 t. vanilla
1/8 t lemon zest **I used the zest of one whole orange and the taste was super!!
pinch salt
1/3 c minced dried cranberries **Do not add in frosting. You will sprinkle these on top of frosting.

1 oz white chocolate
1/4 powdered sugar
1 tsp milk

Preheat oven to 350*. Line a 9x13 pan with parchment paper & then grease the paper. Cream butter and sugar, add eggs & vanilla. Add flour, ginger & salt. Fold in cranberries & chocolate (& ginger if using). Spread batter in prepared pan & bake for 20-25 mins. Remove from oven and cool completely in pan.

Remove cake from pan & trim off edges so cake is uniformly flat. Make frosting. Spread frosting on cake. Sprinkle cranberries on top of frosting. Refrigerate cake for one hour. Make drizzle. In small saucepan (over low heat) melt white chocolate & whisk in sugar and milk until well mixed. Scrape into a sturdy plastic bag. Cut a tiny corner of the bag and squeeze to drizzle the chocolate over the entire frosted cake.

To serve: slice cake lengthwise down the center, making two long rectangles. Cut each rectangle into four equal portions. Slice each of these in half diagonally. Makes 16 bars.

Refrigerate any leftovers.

Frosted cake - ready for the drizzle.

White chocolate drizzle.

Snip off a corner and drizzle away.

Ready for the fridge (for the drizzle to set).

Bon Appetit!

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