Last week when I was in Albany we went to the Barnes & Noble at the Colonie Center mall. While there I got my first eggnog latte (pretty darn good!) and eyed the Cranberry Bliss Bars. The baker in me looks at these goodies and thinks to myself – I can’t eat that storemade dessert – I can make that and it would probably be better! lol. Is that food snobish?
These were so good, it would be easy to eat more than just one if you had a cold glass of water to wash the sweetness down…..they are pretty darn sweet! I have a few things to mention about the recipe.
- Everything seemed fine while mixing the recipe together and it spread in the 9×13 pan just fine. However, when it came out of the oven I thought it was going to stick terribly to the pan. I worked some prying magic however and was able to salvage the cake. I would maybe bake it 5 minutes less than called for and put parchment paper in the cake pan to help alleviate the sticking.
- The recipe mentions using shortening. Shortening is a solid – its not the same thing as oil. It needs to be melted but the recipe does not state that. I also suggest using a disposable pastry bag to pipe the drizzles over the cake. The suggestion to drizzle it in a sweeping motions is NOT going to work. The icing drops off in big clumps when you do that and its not as pretty!
Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup diced dried cranberries
6 ounces white chocolate, cut into chunks
4-ounces cream cheese, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
4 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup diced dried cranberries
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
2 teaspoons vegetable shortening
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Make cake by beating butter and brown sugar together with an electric mixer until smooth. Add eggs, vanilla, ginger, and salt and beat well. Gradually mix in baking powder and flour until smooth. Mix 3/4 cup diced dried cranberries and white chocolate into the batter by hand. Pour batter into a well-greased 9×13″ baking pan. Use a spatula to spread the batter evenly across the pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until cake is light brown on the edges. Allow cake to cool.
Make frosting by combining softened cream cheese, 3 cups powdered sugar, lemon juice and vanilla extract in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. When the cake has cooled, use a spatula to spread frosting over the top of the cake.
Sprinkle 1/4 cup of diced cranberries over the frosting on the cake.
Whisk together 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon milk, and shortening. Drizzle icing over the cranberries in a sweeping motion or use a pastry bag with a fine tip to drizzle frosting across the top of the cake.
Allow cake to sit for several hours, then slice the cake lengthwise (the long way) through the middle. Slice the cake across the width three times making a total of eight rectangular slices. Slice each of those rectangles diagonally creating 16 triangular slices.
Makes 16 bars.