I've never actually bought the cranberry bliss bars from Starbucks, but every single time I see them I want to try them. They are just so pretty, and look so tasty, but I never want to shell out the money to buy a tiny little bar, especially when I can probably make them at home! I've had this recipe for cranberry bliss bars in my recipe folder for quite some time, but it took me forever to get around to making them. The recipe calls for cream cheese, dried cranberries, and white chocolate, and I never seemed to have all three of those at the same time.
Finally, over this past Christmas break I decided I had to do it, so I went out and bought these three ingredients so I would no longer have any excuses not to make these bars. I'm glad I finally did it. I thought these bars were fantastic. The blondie base layer is buttery and chewy, and filled with white chocolate and cranberries. Topped with a white chocolate cream cheese frosting, covered in more cranberries and drizzled with more white chocolate, they are absolutely delicious. I still haven't tried the real thing from Starbucks so I can't compare them, but I really don't feel like I have to!
Like I said, the blondie is delicious, and could probably work as the base for some other bars. I'll have to play around with that a little. They're not difficult at all to throw together, I love anything with melted butter because I can still make it right away, even if I forgot to soften the butter. So if you are craving coffee shop pastries at home, take the initiative and make your own, it's worth it!
Cranberry Bliss Bars
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) salted butter, cubed
- 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 6 ounces white baking chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- 6 ounces white baking chocolate, melted
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray or line with parchment paper.
Prepare the blondie layer: In a medium bowl, melt butter for one minute in the microwave or until melted; stir in brown sugar. Pour the butter and sugar into a large bowl and let cool to room temperature. Use an electric mixer to beat in the eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon; gradually add the dry mixture to the butter mixture. Stir in the cranberries and chopped chocolate (batter will be thick).
Spread the blondie batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 18-21 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean (do not overbake). Cool completely on a wire rack.
Prepare the frosting: In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar until combined. Gradually add half of the melted white chocolate; beat until blended. Frost brownies. Sprinkle with chopped cranberries. Drizzle with remaining melted white chocolate. Let the frosting set (speed this up by throwing them into the fridge) then cut into bars- square or triangle-shaped. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.