Monday, December 13, 2010

Day 13: Cranberry Bliss Bars

Yesterday, on my drive back to the Bean Town, I mentioned I stopped at the 'Bux for my first Peppermint Mocha of the season. While there, my eyes to their 'Cranberry Bliss Bars.' I didn't purchase one, but I remembered I had tried a copy-cat recipe of this a couple years ago. And I loved it! I pulled out the recipe and made them today.


Starbucks! (I think their photography might be a little better... Still looks pretty close though!)
They are a little more complicated than your average bar cookie, as they start with a soft base, sort of a cross between a cake and a brownie. Then they are frosted with a cream cheese frosting, sprinkled with cranberries, and drizzled with white chocolate. 
Cookie base.
With the frosting.
With the cranberries & the white almond bark drizzle.
The extra work is totally worth it! I love these with a morning cup of coffee. Or an afternoon cup of coffee. Or an evening cup of coffee. (You get the idea...) Or even just an ice-cold glass of milk.

Another bonus is the cost! You are saving a ton of money by making these yourselves.

Granted, the serving size is smaller when you make them yourselves. (Which is probably better for your waistline as well!) But, you can still eat 7 of the homemade version for the same price as one bought at Starbucks!

Homemade Version:                                    

3/4 cup butter $1.22
1 1/4 cup brown sugar $0.28
3 eggs $0.40
3/4 tsp. ginger $0.12
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla $0.05
1 1/2 cups flour $0.22
1/2 tsp baking powder $0.03
1/2 tsp. salt $0.02
1 cup white chocolate chips $1.00
1 cup dried cranberries $1.92
4-oz. cream cheese $0.65
2 tbsp. butter $0.20
3 cups powdered sugar $0.60
4 tsp. lemon juice $0.07
1/2 cup dried cranberries $0.96
4-oz. almond bark $0.75

COST PER BAR (based on 24 bars):               $0.35 each!

Starbucks Version:      $2.45 each

By the way, all my price estimations are based off what I pay for groceries here at the local market in the Bean Town. Take a look at the total cost of the whole recipe. You can make a whole batch for the price of three from the store! Ahh-mazing.

Now go out and make some Cranberry Bliss Bars today. Because they are yummy. And festive!

Cranberry Bliss Bars

  • Bars
    • ¾ cup butter
    • 1 ¼ cups packed brown sugar
    • 3 eggs
    • ¾ tsp. ginger
    • 1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract
    • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
    • ½ tsp. baking powder
    • ½ tsp. salt
    • 1 cup white chocolate chips
    • 1 cup chopped dried cranberries
  • Topping
    • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
    • 2 tbsp. butter, softened
    • 3 cups powdered sugar
    • 4 tsp. lemon juice
    • ½ cup chopped dried cranberries
    • 4 oz. white almond bark


Preheat oven to 350*F. Prepare 9x13-inch pan by lining with foil and spraying with cooking spray.

In large mixing bowl, beat together butter and brown sugar until creamy. Add eggs, ginger, and vanilla extract; beat until smooth. Combine flour, salt, and baking powder; add to creamed mixture. Stir in cranberries and white chocolate chips.

Spread dough into prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven 25-30 minutes until lightly browned on top. Remove from oven to cool.

Meanwhile, for topping, cream together cream cheese and butter. Gradually add the powdered sugar and lemon juice to make a cream cheese frosting.

When the bars have cooled, remove the foil from the pan, and spread the frosting over the bars. Sprinkle remaining cranberries over frosting.

Melt white almond bark in zipper bag in microwave. Trim off a corner of the bag and drizzle over bars in criss-cross patterns. Once the almond bark has set, cut into small triangles. Store in airtight container.

P.S. Check out my new poll! ---->


Adam said...

Hey, did Ben tell you that Sarah and I spent all Saturday evening making these? They looked so good we just had to have them! And we've been enjoying them ever since! Keep up the good posts!

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