Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tasty Tuesday: Homemade Cranberry Bliss Bars

Last week, I mentioned my love for Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars. Their moist yet crumbly texture with juicy cranberries and yummy icing can lure me to a Starbucks from miles away. So the other day as I was searching for recipes to use during the holiday season, imagine my excitement when I found this homemade spin on my Christmastime love [via SeriousEats.com via Cakespy as an adaption of a recipe by Mr. Breakfast]. Read on for the mouthwatering recipe below. I can't wait to try this one out for some DIY gift deliciousness this Christmas!

Photo Credit: Jessie Oleson

- makes 16 bars -

Ingredients for cake base:

2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup white chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used Lindt)
1/4 cup candied ginger, finely chopped

Ingredients for frosting:

4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest (optional)
dash of salt

Ingredients for garnish:

1/3 cup white chocolate (either chips, or coarsely chopped bar chocolate)
1/2 cup dried cranberries


1. Preheat oven to 350°F and lightly grease a 9x13 pan.

2. Make the cake. Beat butter and sugar together until fluffy; add the vanilla and eggs, one at a time, stirring well after each addition. Sift together flour, ground ginger, nutmeg, and salt and then add to the butter and sugar mixture, beating until fully incorporated. This will be a very thick batter. Fold in the cranberries, chocolate and ginger. Spread the batter in the pan and bake for about 30 minutes or until light golden. Let the cake cool before adding the frosting.

3. Make the frosting. Using the paddle attachment on an electric mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese together until fluffy; add the lemon zest, vanilla, and salt; add the confectioners' sugar bit by bit until the frosting has reached your desired consistency (you may need less than the suggested amount). Spread the frosting evenly over the cake, and scatter the cranberries on top of the frosting immediately.

4. Make the drizzle. In a double boiler, melt white chocolate; once it is smooth, use a spoon and drizzle across the top of the frosted and cranberry-festooned cake.

5. Slice the bars immediately after applying the white chocolate drizzle. Slice in half lengthwise, and then slice into four equal parts horizontally. Slice each rectangle in half diagonally, and you will end up with 16 triangle-shaped bars.


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