November 21, 2012

Bliss Bars - revised!

My post on Starbuck's Cranberry Bliss Bars always seems to head towards the top 10 recipes right about this time of year.  Since I've been noticing traffic starting to gravitate to that post, I have had the urge to make these bars again.  However, when I made them, I made some changes that worked quite well in my opinion!

Today there will be very few people at work.  The last few weeks have been so busy that while the time flew by, the stress was high.  I'm the person at work that people might get sick of seeing around....since I am the one who seems to create work for my colleagues, so, I have to keep them happy and show my appreciation when after weeks like these last few come around and I suffer very little complaint and not many of them give me a hard time for creating so much work for them.  Last night was my first night of being home and not being stressed and I actually had the energy to make these bars.     Out of appreciation for all my co-workers, today I am giving them this treat.  Grumpy will get one (since he made such a big ordeal over me not allowing him one last night - they weren't ready yet!) and I will give a couple to my Cousin Dustin who has been taking care of my car issues for me.

My changes to the recipe this time were fairly simple.  I used Dried Hibiscus Flower that I received from my contact at Oh Nuts.  This is a great substitute for dried cranberries!  It doesn't have that strong tang of cranberry, so if you don't like that, you can use this and still get the "bliss" look!  I also was out of cream cheese but had a tub of mascarpone in the fridge so I used that.  I left out the lemon juice in the frosting and subbed almond extract for vanilla.  These are yummy and pretty and its that time of year to start thinking about making them!  So what are you waiting for?  :)




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New Bliss Bars
Same basic recipe but slight changes of flavoring and the surprise ingredient instead of cranberries?  Dried Hisbiscus Flower!
Ingredients
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1-1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup dried hisbiscus flower, diced
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chunks
  • Frosting:
  • 4 ounces marscapone cheese
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 tablespoon almond milk
  • Drizzle:
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 tablespoons solid shortening (like Crisco), melted
  • Toppings:
  • Dried Hisbiscus Flower, chopped
  • White Chocolate Chunks
Instructions

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 hibiscus and white chocolate into the batter by hand. Pour batter into parchment paper lined 9x13" 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 marscapone cheese, 3 cups powdered sugar, almond milk and almond 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 diced hibiscus flower and some more white chocolate pieces over the frosting on the cake.

Whisk together 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon milk, and shortening. Drizzle icing over the cake in a sweeping motion (I use a sandwich bag with one corner tip cut to create a small opening).

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. I then cut each triangle in half again to get 32 pieces.

Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 32

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