Monday, December 6, 2010

Cranberry Bliss Bars! With a funny story.


I have been in love for a long time. But I am so weak; during this time I have cheated. I should apologize, but what the heck, a girl (ok, old lady) is only in love like this once! If you are going to cheat, cheat with the best! I have cheated with chocolate chip, and snicker-doodle and ginger snaps. Of course not all at the same time, I am selfish, but not wasteful! I would like to clarify however, even though my taste buds got friendly, and did a little happy dance, my heart stayed true to cranberry bliss.

I am in love with Cranberry Bliss bars. You know the ones, from Starbucks. Now Honey can cool his jets, I won’t be asking him to leave or anything like that. But I will be spending time with cranberry bliss as often as possible. Honey needs to understand; I will be taking all the ingredients and kitchen time needed, for my new love. That is not too much to ask, right?!

I have been having this affair for many years. I use to sneak off to meet him, down on the corner. We, like a lot of couples, would meet at Starbucks. Luckily there is one on most corners, so it is real easy to sneak off and meet up! Each time, I would just pick a new corner and no one was the wiser. Only now am I willing to let the secret out. Why tell on myself at this point in what has been a long term affair?

Because it is finally time to bake Christmas cookies, and now we (Mr. Bliss and I) can be together, right here at home! There will be no talk about how we’re spending too much time together. Or questions like, “aren’t you suppose to be at work right about now?” And then finally the inevitable, aren’t you tired of him yet?

But I have waited so long for him to visit me, that I won’t grow tired of him until the holidays are over and the cookie jar is empty. There I said it, and I won’t take it back. I don’t care if people talk, as a matter of fact, let them talk. We will just laugh it off, as I head out on my merry way back to the store for more white chocolate and butter. I love you Mr. Bliss.

Me and Mr Bliss Bars
Adapted from: Top Secret Recipes
350 degree oven

Cake/bar layer:
¾ c butter
1 1/4 c brown sugar
3 eggs
1 T finely (very finely) minced crystallized ginger
2 t vanilla
½ t salt
1 ½ c flour
½ t baking powder
¾ c dried cranberries. Chopped coarsely
4 oz bar white chocolate, chopped*

Beat butter and brown sugar until creamy.


Beat in eggs, one at a time. Mix in ginger and vanilla.

 My own homemade candied ginger is in this recipe, only the best for my guy!


Add salt, flour and baking powder, beat until smooth.


Gently mix in chopped cranberries and white chocolate.



Pour batter into a prepared 9X13 pan, spreading batter evenly.


Bake 25-30 minutes or until done in your oven. The cake will be light brown on top.

Let cool, then loosen cake from edges of pan, before frosting.
Frosting: (this is enough for 2 pans or a double batch)
4 oz cream cheese
3 c powdered sugar
4 t lemon juice
1 t vanilla
2 t fresh orange zest
¼ c dried cranberries, chopped fine

Beat all ingredients until smooth and creamy.


Spread over cooled cake. Sprinkle evenly with cranberries.




Drizzle: (this is enough for 2 pans or a double batch)
¾ c powdered sugar
1 T coconut oil (melted)
1 T milk

Whisk until smooth, drizzle over top, in a lovely pattern, befitting the love that you feel for Mr Bliss.
I am a bit "drizzle" impaired, but I can squeeze a decent line with a heavy duty bag.


Cover the pan and refrigerate for 2 hours or until the next day. To cut into 16 triangles: slice cake through the middle lengthwise. Then slice cake crosswise 3 times to make 8 rectangles. Slice each rectangle, corner to corner to make 16 triangles.

Serve chilled. 

Recipe rating:  Oh Yes! (will make again)

Our taste review notes:  for a more authentic Starbucks version use only 1/2 of the frosting and only 1/2 of the drizzle step. Using all the frosting makes for a too sweet treat, and the cranberry flavor is lost

As always, thanks so much for stopping by, I appreciate your visits!
This post shared with:
weekend cooking@beth fish reads
hearth n soul @ a moderate life 
Foodie Friday @ designs by gollum
Friday Potluck @ EKats kitchen

* I used a natural white chip (no trans fat added) for this recipe and it is noticeable in the photos, but I will splurge and use the 4 oz real white chocolate in future batches. 


20 comments:

cocinadiary said...

OMG, OMG, OMG, you are new hero! I love the Cranberry Bliss from Starbucks but come one, $2.25 for a little slice? This is my mother's favorite dessert and now I have a recipe. Thank you, Thank you. Thank you!!! :) Sorry but for Christmas I always give some sweets with the actual gifts and was looking for a special recipe for mom. Now I have it! :) Angie

Pegasuslegend said...

I just bought two bags of dried cranberries now I know what I will be making this weekend delicious recipe thank you!

Sheila said...

I've heard about these for a long time but I've never been lucky enough to try one. Thank you for the recipe--I can't wait to make these.

Julie said...

Okay, that sounds just too delicious...I need these, soon!

Belinda @zomppa said...

Hmmmmmmmmm these are great excuses to be naughty!! Guess I need to get my baking on!!

Hoosier at Heart said...

My husband is going to be so mad that you introduced me to him!!! I must have him today. Off to the store.

Sage Trifle said...

Cute post! Would you believe I have never been to Starbucks? Not a coffee drinker, but your cranberry bliss sounds delicious. See what I've been missing?

Pattie @ Olla-Podrida said...

Oooh! These sound good. I like the addition of the ginger.

Reeni said...

I never had one of these from Starbucks but have seen this recipe everywhere! They look insanely good - can't wait to try them!

Alea said...

These look fantastic! I am going to have to try making a gluten-free version for my daughter who isinsave about cranberries. Thanks for sharing.

kitchen flavours said...

Never tried these from Starbuck before! Looks good. I love cranberries. Would love to give this a try! Lovely Mr. Bliss!

Melinda said...

I crave all things cranberry during the holidays and this looks heavenly!

Jess said...

Mom you're so funny! That sounds really good, are you going to share some with you favorite daughter???

a moderate life said...

Melly, you are too cute! We dont have these at our starbucks! I guess it is a regional treat, but be certain that I will make it some day soon because I always appreciate YOUR tastebud recommendations! all the best and thanks for sharing on the hearth and soul hop! Alex

Brenda said...

Melynda, I somehow missed this when you posted it on Monday, I just saw this at Foodie Friday. These are my all-time favourite Starbucks treat and I have yet to make them!! It would be a lot easier if you'd send your whole pan to me, lol! They look fabulous, I absolutely have to try these this year. Thank you!

Miriam said...

You're a genius! Thanks for sharing, Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

Mary said...

I really enjoyed your post and this sounds delicious. This is my first visit here but I'll be back often. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

Michele@FitFoodista said...

What more could a girl ask for? Dessert that can be rationalized as healthy? Cranberries are full of antioxidants, so technically, this is healthfood, right? ;)

Christy said...

Melynda - i feel like a food voyeur after reading about your love affair with cranberry bliss. I confess I have never been introduced, perhaps it is better - NAW - I want to try these! Thanks for sharing your love with the Hearth and Soul Hop!

Beth F said...

Oh yum!!!!! Love me some cranberry bliss! Thanks so much for volunteering to taste test the homemade version!