Monday, November 18, 2013

More Cranberries...

The holidays are certainly coming and I'm loving my Red Cups and Cranberry Bliss Bars at Starbucks these days.  I have been thinking for some time that I wanted to try to make my own version of the classic Starbucks treat and I had a ton of dried cranberries left over from the last cookies that I had tried.  So this weekend, I got down and dirty on Pinterest and in the kitchen.

I came across a great recipe at Grin and Bake It which turned out really well!  Here is the recipe along with my substitutions/changes:

Cranberry Bliss Bar Clone Recipe


3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar (I used yellow)
3 eggs
2 Tbsp minced crystallized ginger (I used 1 1/2 tsp powdered Ginger)
3/4 cup chopped sweetened dried cranberries
4 oz white chocolate, cut into chunks
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract


4 oz cream cheese, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup chopped sweetened dried cranberries
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 tsp lemon juice (I used freshly squeezed - gave it a fantastic tart taste)

Drizzled Icing

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 Tbsp milk
2 tsp vegetable shortening


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Make cake by beating the butter and brown sugar together with an electric mixer until smooth.  Add the eggs, ginger, vanilla, and salt and beat well.  Gradually mix in the flour and baking powder until smooth.  Mix the chopped dried cranberries and white chocolate chunks into the batter by hand.

Pour the batter into a buttered 9x13 inch baking pan (next time I would line the pan with foil and use a cooking spray instead as the blondie portion was a little difficult to get out of the pan).  Use a spatula to spread the batter evenly across the pan.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the cake is lightly browned on top.  Allow the cake to cool.

Make the frosting by combining the softened cream cheese, powdered sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth.

When the cake has cooled, use a spatula to spread the frosting over the top of the cake.

Sprinkle 1/4 cup of chopped dried cranberries over the frosting on the cake.

Make the drizzled icing by whisking together powdered sugar, milk, and shortening (I would not use a whisk as the icing is difficult to work with, using a spoon will mix it fine enough).  Drizzle this icing over the cranberries in a sweeping motion with a squirt bottle or fill a small plastic storage bag with the icing and cut off the tip of one corner.

 Cover the cake and let it chill out in the fridge for a couple of hours, then slice the cake lengthwise (the long way) through the middle.  Slice the cake across the width three times, making a total of eight rectangular slices.  Slice each of those rectangles diagonally creating 16 triangular slices.

Overall - this recipe turned out very similar to the original Starbucks bars and I will be making these again - probably before the holidays hit as Hubby has been enjoying them too!

Speaking of Hubby, he was busy cooking his butt off over the weekend making meals for the week!  He made a delicious pot of sauce which was used for a lasagna and two meals of pasta sauce were frozen for a later time.

He also made a Sheppard's Pie.  Below you will see the pic of the finished lasagna and Sheppard's Pie that all we have to do is pop in the oven this week!

Finally, he tried something new which turned out super delicious - vegetable risotto.  This, will be a new stable in our house I am pretty sure!

If you couldn't tell by now, Hubby is the cook in the family and I'm the baker....

Overall, food wise, it was a pretty productive weekend.  I hope you all had a good weekend too.  If you get a chance to try the Cranberry Bliss Bars, please leave me a comment to let me know how they turned out.  

Thanks for dropping by!

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