Bliss is Definitely the Right Word! – Cranberry Bliss Bars –

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I have been absolutely IN LOVE with the Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars ever since my mom introduced them to me a few years ago. Oh. My. Goodness. I remember thinking to myself, this is what Heaven must taste like (if Heaven had a taste). Pure bliss. Amazing. One bar is never enough. They are just that GOOD! So when I ran across this recipe yesterday on Smells Like Home, I was SO excited!

We have a lady who works in my department that is “retiring” today. Well last night I decided that I would make them and spread the love of the Cranberry Bliss Bars with all of my coworkers. And so far it has seemed to work! Yes! ***Insert evil laugh here*** I don’t know how many times I have emailed/printed out this recipe already today. YAY!!

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I really wish I would have taken some pictures while I was making them. Oh well next time, and with a better camera instead of my phone. Definitely had to do a taste test before I fed them to all of my office. Let’s just say they were more than up to par!

Here is the recipe, with the link to the page I found the recipe on to give credit to the page I got it from. The only change I will make next time I make these is to take the clove out. I like the taste of clove in certain things, I just feel that it was a little too over-powering for these bars. If you decide to try them out, I hope you enjoy them as much as I did. And as much as my office too!!

Cranberry Bliss Bars

In place of the chopped white chocolate, you could use white chocolate chips but I really love biting into a substantial piece of white chocolate in these bars.  The chips will get a little lost so if you go that route, you’ll want to increase the amount of chips to 8 oz.

Ingredients:

For the blondies:

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
  • scan 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) salted butter, cubed
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 6 oz white chocolate, coarsely chopped

For the frosting and garnish:

  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 tsp grated orange zest
  • 4 oz white baking chocolate, melted
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries, coarsely chopped

 

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease a 9×11-inch baking pan with cooking spray or butter.  Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and cloves together in a medium bowl; set aside.
  2. To make the blondies:  Melt the butter and stir in all of the sugar until the butter has completely incorporated; let the mixture cool to room temperature.  Pour the mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Beat in the eggs and vanilla on medium speed until the eggs have incorporated.  With the mixer on low, gradually stir in the dry ingredients until no evidence of flour remains.  The batter will be very thick.  Stir in the cranberries and white chocolate until they are dispersed.
  3. Dump the batter to the prepared baking pan and with your hands, flatten it out (without mashing it) into the pan.  Baked for 18 to 20 minutes until the edges are just barely golden brown (mine took exactly 18 minutes).  Let the pan cool on a wire rack until the blondies are completely cool.
  4. To make the frosting:  Beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar together on medium speed in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until combined, about 30 seconds.  Quickly mix in the orange zest.
  5. To assemble:  Remove the uncut blondies from the pan and place the whole piece on a large cutting board.  Spread the frosting evenly over the blondies (an offset spatula works great here) right out to the edges.  Sprinkle the cranberries over the frosting.  Drizzle the white chocolate over the cranberries and frosting – don’t worry about being too neat in your drizzling here.  Before cutting, transfer the blondies on the board to the refrigerator to allow the frosting to set up for 30 minutes.  Cut the blondies lengthwise into thirds then cut each third into four squares.  Cut each square diagonally in half into triangles.  You can cut the triangles in half again if you want/need more bars. These bars can be kept at room temperature for a couple of days but they last better in the refrigerator in a tightly sealed container.  Serve right from the refrigerator or slightly warmed to room temperature.

Yield: 24 to 48 bars

Source: http://www.smells-like-home.com/2012/12/cranberry-bliss-bars/

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