So, because my husband reads this blog, I’m not going to post how much money I’ve spent on Cranberry Bliss Bars in my lifetime, but it’s a lot. Would you believe I had never attempted to make them before?
Big mistake. Huge.
Back in the day, what kept me from trying them was that all the recipes I saw had things like candied ginger in them, and (a) I did not detect any candied ginger in the bars from Starbucks and (b) Moscow Mules weren’t all the rage get and that s— was hard to find.
Now there are recipes everywhere, and they are actually super easy to make.
Because there are so many different variations, I played around with a few different recipes, tasted the batter as I went, and came up with a bar that I feel confident is so close to the real thing, you truly would never know the difference.
So next time you want to spend $3 on one tiny little Cranberry Bliss Bar, spend $6 instead and make yourself an entire 9×13 inch pan. But share them, because, you know, nobody can really eat that many.
- 3/4 cup salted butter, cubed
- 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2teaspoon orange 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 teaspoon ground ginger
- 3/4 cup dried cranberries
- 3/4 cup white chocolate chips
- 1 package (8 ounces cream cheese, softened)
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 cup white chocolate chips, melted
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries , coarsely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon orange extract
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, orange extract, and vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, ginger, 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. Add the vanilla and orange extracts and mix well. 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 by throwing them into the fridge, then cut into bars- square or triangle-shaped. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.