Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Make This!!

I absolutely LOVE Starbuck's Cranberry Bliss Bars. For the past 4 years, I have been making my own bliss bars and I actually prefer mine to Starbucks (conceited, I know).

I could bake these all year long, but prefer to just pull the recipe out around the holidays. I think they are too special to bake just 'any old time.'  I was so looking forward to yesterday's batch, that I actually skipped dinner and ate the bliss bars instead. I know I made the right choice. ☺

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 cup
1/2 t. vanilla
1/8 t lemon zest *I use the zest of one whole orange
pinch salt
1/3 c minced dried cranberries *Do not add into frosting. You will sprinkle these on top..
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.

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