Starbuck’s Cranberry Bliss Bars

Cranberry Bliss Bars…. Is there anything that says the holidays are here then these delicious babies! Anyone who has been to Starbucks since Halloween, knows that they have kicked off the holiday season early, and are now stocked with Christmas cups, decorations, and all the holiday goodies that make this time of year so delicious. 
As a fan of Starbucks for years now, my go to treat was their holiday gingerbread. A slightly orange flavoured loaf topped with cream cheese icing and candied ginger. Yum! This year they have introduced Nanaimo Bars, which I’m not sorry to say, I’ve had two of in the past couple of weeks. Cranberry Bliss Bars are one of their holiday staples though, and after making these I can see why.
A rich blondy layer, stuffed full of white chocolate and cranberries serves as the base. 
This is topped by a white chocolate cream cheese icing, that will knock your socks off. Seriously, white chocolate and cream cheese icing.
They’re then finished off with a sprinkling of chopped dried cranberries, and a drizzle of white chocolate, to create the perfect holiday dessert. 

Cranberry Bliss Bars


For the bars:

1/2 cup butter, melted
1 large egg
1 cup light brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup dried cranberries, loosely packed

For the frosting and topping:
1 cup white chocolate chips, melted and divided
4 ounces cream cheese, softened (I used the light version)
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups+ icing sugar (I found 2 cups to be plenty)
1/4 cup dried cranberries (Optionally, roughly dice them if the pieces are larger)

For the Bars- Preheat oven to 350 F. Line an 8-by-8-inch pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray; set aside. In a medium bowl, melt butter in the microwave. To the melted butter (allow it to cool slightly so you don’t scramble the egg), add the egg, brown sugar, vanilla, and stir to combine. Add the flour, salt, and stir until just combined, taking care not to over-mix. Fold in 3/4 cup white chocolate chips, and 1/2 cup cranberries and stir to combine. Pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing top.
Bake for 18-21 minutes, until center is set and golden or until edges begin to slightly pull away from sides of pan. Allow bars to cool before icing them.
While they cool, you can make the icing. 

For the Icing and Topping- Beat together cream cheese, about three quarters of the melted white chocolate (about 3/4 cup, just eyeball it), 2 cups icing sugar, vanilla, and beat until smooth and fluffy. Start at low speed, and then increase and beat on medium-high for about 2-3 minutes. Add additional icing sugar based on taste preference and desired icing consistency. Ice the bars; if you have excess, it will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for at least 1 month. 
Evenly sprinkle 1/4 cup cranberries over top of iced bars. 
Evenly drizzle with remaining melted white chocolate. Allow bars to set up for at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving. Bars may be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.

(Adapted from Averie Cooks)

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