Cranberry Bliss Bars

Remember the days when Starbucks was a hotbed of activity- filled with the sounds of killer music and smelling of reasonably priced legal addictive stimulants?  Yeah, I know it’s hard to think back about ten years, but those were the good old days!

Let’s call these delicious cranberry bliss bars an ode to my well-spent late teens and early twenties in NYC, or at least an ode to all the lattes I drank!

These bars come outta the great little book of fake outs, Top Secret Recipes Unlocked, by Todd Wilbur.  Don’t judge me!  When you taste how awesome the recipes are from this little diddy, you’ll be ordering a copy from Amazon and not telling a soul that you didn’t come up with them on your own!

It’s actually quite sad that comments I received after handing these out included, but were not limited to, “these are the best baked goods you’ve ever made!”

Oh well, if they work for Starbucks, they can work for me.  And at a fraction of the cost.

Words of wisdom- if you have a hand chopper, use it!  If you don’t have one, go buy one!  The ginger and cranberries will thank you for your expedience in shredding them!

Ingredients

3/4 c (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
3 eggs
2 tbl minced crystallized ginger
1 1/2 t vanilla extract
1/2 t salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 t baking powder
3/4 c chopped sweetened dried cranberries
4 oz. white chocolate, cut into chunks

Frosting
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
4 t lemon juice
1 t vanilla extract
1/4 c chopped sweetened dried cranberries

Drizzled Icing
1/2 c powdered sugar
1 tbl milk
2 t vegetable shortening

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Beat 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 9 x 13-inch baking 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.

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 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.

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6 thoughts on “Cranberry Bliss Bars

  1. Oh, that’s too hilarious and sad at the same time ;p But when you amaze everyone even more with another amazing baked goody, you can be smug since you’d have beaten the Starbucks giant.

  2. I just baked these last night, and they turned out really well. After I left them in the fridge for two hours, I let let sit out (covered) overnight.

    Perfect.

    They were a little dry when they came out the oven, but sitting overnight made all the difference. These are really, really sweet, so don’t make them every day. But this is a really great quick dish to bring to a party.

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