Since the holidays are approaching you may end up with left over cranberries from your stuffing recipe or something like that. I found a great recipe for a copy cat version of Cranberry Bliss Bars that are sold at Starbucks. I was super excited because its a blondie recipe and I love brownies, cookies and blondies. I gathered up all the ingredients and tested the recipe myself. Here’s a link to the original recipe.
First you need to gather up all your ingredients and get them ready for baking.
Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees while you are mixing everything together. Melt your butter and set it aside to its cool when you start mixing up your recipe.
When the butter has cooled mix in the egg, sugar and vanilla extract into the bowl. Be careful not to over mix the ingredients. Next add the flour and salt. Do not add baking soda to the mixture. I know you may want to but if you want a really gooey blondie then leave it out.
Fold in the white chocolate chips and cranberries.
Spread the batter into a lightly buttered pan, pat it down evenly and place into the oven. Its not going to take long to bake. Be sure not to over bake either or it will dry out the batter. Only bake for about 18 to 20 minutes, the middle may still be a little soft you can do a tooth pick test to make sure it comes off clean. You will know when you are ready to take it out based on how you prefer your brownie.
While the blondie is cooling down start working on the frosting for the bars. This recipe called for a White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting. Melt the white chocolate chips in the microwave. Start it on 30 seconds first and then 10 seconds at a time until its melted. Watch it closely so it doesn’t burn or get ruined. Place some of the melted chocolate in a small bowl and set aside. Mix the melted chocolate with the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar and vanilla together until smooth.
Spread the frosting on the blondie once it has cooled down. Finely chop the rest of the cranberries and sprinkle them on top of the frosting.
Take the rest of the melted white chocolate and swirl it over the bars. I used a spoon and I didn’t like that it wasn’t pretty in the end. I would say to put the chocolate in a zip lock baggie or sandwich baggie and clip the end and then drizzle the melted chocolate on top of the bars. Cut and enjoy. They are sweet so you can adjust the recipe to suit your own taste. You can leave out the white chocolate on top or all together if you choose the choice is really up to you.
Here’s the recipe I hope you give it a try.
- For the Bars
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted (1 stick)
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, optional and to taste
- 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 (whipped or light may be used)
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups+ confectioners’ sugar (I used about 2 3/4 cups)
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries, loosely packed (optionally, roughly dice them if the pieces are larger)
- For the Bars – Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-by-8-inch pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray; set aside. In a medium microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter, about 90 seconds. 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 or the bars will be tough. Fold in 3/4 cup white chocolate chips and 1/2 cup cranberries and stir to combine. Pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing it lightly with a spatula or offset knife if necessary.
- Bake for 18 to 21 minutes, and center is set and golden or until edges begin to slightly pull away from sides of pan, or a toothpick comes out clean; do not overbake. Allow bars to cool before frosting them. While they cool, make the frosting.
- For the Frosting and Topping – In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt the white chocolate on high power, about 1 minute, reheating in 10-second intervals, or until it can be stirred smooth. White chocolate is notorious for scorching so melt it very carefully, and slowly, heating in quick bursts, and keep a watchful eye; use a double boiler if that’s easier.
- To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine cream cheese, about three-quarters of the melted white chocolate (about 3/4 cup, just eyeball it), 2 cups confectioners’ sugar (I don’t sift it because any tiny lumps will be covered up by sprinkled cranberries and white chocolate drizzle), vanilla, and beat until smooth and fluffy. Start by mixing on low speed so sugar doesn’t spray, and then beat on medium-high for about 3 minutes. Mixture will seem stiff at first but will loosen and fluff up after 2 to 3 minutes of beating on medium-high; stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add additional confectioners’ sugar (I used about 2 3/4 cups, I like it on the thicker side) based on taste preference and desired frosting consistency. Frost the bars; if you have excess, it will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for at least 1 month.
- Evenly sprinkle 1/2 cup cranberries over the top of the frosted bars. Evenly drizzle bars with remaining melted white chocolate, reheating for a few seconds in the microwave if it has set up. Allow bars to set up for at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving. Bars may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week
This is not my own original recipe. I found it on Averie’s wonderful website and tested it out on my own. All the photos are mines.
This is not my original recipe. I found it on Averie’s wonderful website but I did test it and all the photos are my own.