Sunday, February 17, 2013

Cranberry Bliss Bars

The first time I had one of these cranberry bliss bars were when my boss shared them at work courtesy of his wife.  They tasted amazing!  Skip forward a few months, it is a coworker's birthday and one of her favorite desserts are these bars.  I had no idea there were so many copycat recipes all over the web; apparently these are popular at Starbucks every Winter.  My boss' wife was generous enough to share her recipe with me which is a slight adaption of one I found online.

Cranberry Bliss Bars
Makes about 30 triangular slices
slightly adapted from Mr Breakfast

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons finely minced candied ginger
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 1/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup white chocolate chips
3/4 cup chopped sweetened dried cranberries

4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 - 2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon orange juice

1/4 cup chopped sweetened dried cranberries
1/3 cup white chocolate chips, melted
1 tablespoon oil

Preheat oven to 350F.  Line a 9x13 pan with foil leaving an overhang and lightly grease it.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, ginger powder, and minced ginger.  Set aside.

Beat the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until fluffy.

Add the eggs and vanilla, beat well.

Add the flour mixture to the bowl, beating until smooth.  Stop and scrap the bowl down as needed.

Stir in the cranberries and the chocolate chips by hand.

Spread the batter into the prepared pan.  Bake for 20 to 25 mins, or until the cake lightly browned.

Allow the cake to cool.

While the cake is cooling, beat all the frosting ingredients together.  Spread the frosting over the cooled cake.

Immediately sprinkle with the chopped cranberries.

Melt the chocolate chips with the tablespoon of oil and using a cake decorating bag or a ziploc bag with the tip cut open, drizzle the melted chocolate all over the cake.

Remove the cake from the pan using the foil overhang.  Cut the bars and store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to serve.

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