Sunday, 15 January 2012

Starbucks ripoff's continued: Cranberry Bliss Bars.

I have this thing for coffee shop food, it's always so good. A couple years ago I became so addicted to raspberry white chocolate scones from second cup that after a few weeks of spending $4.00 a day on them, I decided it was probably time to find a recipe and give up the store-bought ones. And luckily I easily found one and they've been a staple recipe ever since. Upon thinking about what other Starbucks imitations I've had over the years, I've made a great lemon poppy seed loaf a couple times and my mom makes some damn good ginger molasses cookies (that my roommate & housemate can also attest to)

Skip forward a couple years and you'll see that two posts ago I whipped up some drink syrups to make gingerbread and toffee lattes, hot chocolate, or whatever else you'd like. Then I stumbled upon this recipe a week or two ago of Starbucks' cranberry bliss bars (recipe below).... and this makes me wonder how many other coffee-shop imitations I can make. My list so far of things I need to imitate?

Oatmeal maple scones from Bridgehead.
Mini vanilla bean scones from Starbucks.
Morning buns from Bridgehead. 

Any more suggestions?? Let me know! Here are the bliss bars :)

Cake/Blondie layer:

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) salted butter, cubed
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup dried cranberries

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened (I forgot to buy this, so I used a container of spreadable cream cheese that Rob had, and it worked just as well)
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
6 ounces white baking chocolate, melted
1/2 cup dried cranberries, coarsely chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray or line with parchment paper.
Prepare the blondie layer:
2. 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 and vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon; gradually add the dry mixture to the butter mixture. Stir in the cranberries and chopped chocolate (batter will be thick).
3. 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 icing:
4. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar until combined. 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 (speed this up by throwing them into the fridge) then cut into bars- square or triangle-shaped. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. (Adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything)

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