It was a little sample sitting there that pulled me in and started my addiction to the cranberry bliss bar at Starbucks. There it was tempting me with its cream cheese frosting and tart, festive little cranberries. So I picked it up with my latte, and it was, as promised -- bliss.
Of course, Starbucks isn't handing out the recipe, so I did some sleuthing and recipe testing and found one from Cooking Cache that's pretty close. And, even if not an exact duplicate, it's delicious in its own right. It's great if you need some last-minute treats to leave out for jolly old St. Nick and makes a delicious breakfast treat for munching while presents are unwrapped.
Cranberry Bliss Bars
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup diced dried cranberries
6 ounces white chocolate, cut into chunks
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
4 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup diced dried cranberries to sprinkle on top
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Make cake by beating butter and brown sugar together with an electric mixer until smooth. Add eggs, vanilla, ginger, and salt and beat well. Gradually mix in flour until smooth. Mix 3/4 cup diced dried cranberries and white chocolate into the batter by hand. Pour batter into a well-greased 9"x13" baking pan. Use a spatula to spread the batter evenly across the pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until cake is light brown on the edges. Allow cake to cool.
3. Make frosting by combining softened cream cheese, 3 cups powdered sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla extract in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. When the cake has cooled, use a spatula to spread frosting over the top of the cake.
4. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of diced cranberries over the frosting on the cake.
The original recipe also adds a drizzle of frosting on top of all this, but they definitely don't need it, and I stop here.
Image via missmeng/Flickr