One of my favorite parts of the holiday season (food-wise, at least) is when Starbucks brings out the Cranberry Bliss Bars. I look forward to them every year, and have extolled their deliciousness to many a stranger. Probably about four years ago, I decided to try to make my own... they could have been named Cranberry Brick Bars. *shrug*
So Saturday morning rolls around, and I'm baking for me this time. No presents, no holiday desserts, just whatever I wanted. And since there was no need for 400+ cookies this year, I started searching for some cookie recipes. When I stumbled upon Good Eats 'N Sweet Treats and saw she replicated the recipe with non-brick results, it was as if the sun came bursting out behind the heavy clouds, blinding us all with its rays on the freshly fallen snow! (Is that a sentence, or what? LOL)
But that's not to say that I didn't have some concerns as the recipe was coming together. The batter didn't win me over and I found the frosting way too sweet. But put them together, and it was a match made in sweet cranberry heaven. The dried cranberries countered the sweetness of the frosting perfectly. And while it's not an EXACT match, it's the best I've done so far. :)
(Oh, I forget to mention this: I halved the recipe, just in case it didn't come out good. For the full 13x9-inch size, just double the amounts (not the eggs, though; those would be three for the full-size) or check out the original post) :D
½ cup butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 tsp. vanilla
½ tsp. ginger
1/8 tsp. salt
3/4 cup flour
1/3 cup dried cranberries
3 oz. white chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9-inch baking pan.
Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, vanilla, ginger, and salt. Gradually add in flour. Stir in cranberries and white chocolate. Spread into prepared pan.
Bake at 350F for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick insert near center comes out clean. Once completely cool, frost with cream cheese frosting.
2 oz. cream cheese, softened
1?½ cups confectioners' sugar
2 tsp. lemon juice
¼ tsp. vanilla
1/8 cup dried cranberries
Combine the first four ingredients until smooth. Spread on top of bars. Sprinkle dried cranberries on top.