Basically Blissful

Basically Blissful Cranberry Bars

A few years ago Cranberry Bliss bars were being discussed on various blogs. I was intrigued, but not enough to make a special trip to try one at my local Starbucks. Since I don’t drink coffee I rarely go to Starbucks. When I meet friends for “coffee” they usually prefer our local coffee shop and so here we are several years later and I still haven’t had one. Recently I found myself at a Starbucks and I was pleasantly surprised to find out they still make these bars and I had to have one. I can certainly understand why people wait all year long for these seasonal treats to make an appearance! I ate mine very slowly and thoughtfully hoping I’d be able to make them myself.

Mine are a little thicker than Starbucks’ but that’s okay with me. If I make them again I will put some oil or shortening in with the white chocolate chips so that when I cut the bars the white chocolate won’t shatter. We loved these bars. My husband thinks they’re “awesome”. I can’t remember the adjectives my daughter used, but she made it clear she liked them a lot.

Basically Blissful Cranberry Bars

1 1/2 cups ounces unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup finely diced crystallized ginger
1 bag white chocolate chips (divided use)
1 1/2 cup chopped dried cranberries (divided use)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 x 13 inch pan with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk the melted butter and brown sugar together until combined. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well. Using a rubber spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the egg mixture until just combined.

Fold in the diced ginger, half of the white chocolate chips, and 1/2 c. dried cranberries, and turn the batter into a 9 x 13 inch pan, smoothing the top with a rubber spatula.

Bake until the top is shiny and feels firm to the touch, for 22 to 25 minutes. Place the pan on a rack and let cool completely. Frost with the frosting, sprinkle with more chopped cranberries and drizzle with melted white chocolate as indicated below.

Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

4 oz. cream cheese softened
2.5 T. butter softened
1 1/2 t. orange juice
finely grated zest of 1 orange
1/2 c. + 2 T. powdered sugar

Beat together the first three ingredients until very smooth. Stir in the zest and powdered sugar until fully incorporated. Spread on top of the bars. Sprinkle the remaining cranberries evenly on top of the bars.

Using 50% power melt the remaining chocolate chips in a bowl in the microwave at 1 minute intervals. Stir after every minute until completely melted and then drizzle over the cranberries

Cut the bars into large squares, and then cut once diagonally to make triangles.

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5 Responses to “Basically Blissful”

  1. Anna Says:

    Wow, they do look like Starbucks — just thicker. I guess if you halved the recipe and baked them in a 9 inch pan (as opposed to an 8 inch pan, which is what I usually use when I halve 13×9 inch pans) they’d be a little thinner? Or maybe then they’d be too thin. Anyway, I’d go make them right this second if I had the white chips.

  2. basicallybaked Says:

    I suppose if you made them a little thinner you’d have to cut down the baking time a little.
    If you try them let me know what you think. Whether they’re just like Cranberry Bliss Bars or not, they are really good. As my daughter said they might be her favorite thing ever except they’re not chocolate. :-)

  3. briarrose Says:

    Wonderful mix of flavors. Yum!

  4. Katrina Says:

    I made the version Anna posted on her blog a couple years ago for a Christmas shindig and everyone LOVED them. I’ve never had the Starbucks ones, don’t go there hardly ever, pretty much only when I’m travelling. I don’t drink coffee either. But those bars are good. Now I want to try your recipe. Darn New Year and cutting back–for now. ;)

  5. Sue Says:

    Katrina, I wish I had made Anna’s version a few years back. I truly didn’t know what I was missing out on! These were great!
    I hear you on the cutting back though!

    Briarrose- Thank you for visiting Basically Baked!

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