Cranberry Bliss Bars – a homemade version of the popular Starbucks treat! These taste just like the original, and are easy to make right at home!
Y’ALL! I am so so SO excited to share this recipe with you today!
It’s been a labor of love for the past few weeks. At this point I’d say my family is pretty cranberry-bliss-bar-d out, but I wasn’t ready to throw in the towel until I got them just right. With some little tweaks made to each batch, I finally did it! I even set up a side-by-side taste test with a bar purchased from my local Starbucks and these taste just the same, if not better! I find these to be slightly more chewy in texture, which I actually prefer!
The real game changer is the orange extract. A little goes a long way, but it really gives these bars that authentic flavor. Don’t leave it out!
Today I’m also excited because my husband and I have a ball to go to tonight!
It’s been a few years since our last military ball, so I’ve been looking forward to this one for a long time. Getting dressed up doesn’t happen too often around here. Most of the time you can find me wearing workout clothes and a messy bun, and usually those clothes are covered in flour, chocolate, or some other mess from the kitchen! I’m even splurging and getting my hair did. And makeup, too!! If I like how the pictures turn out, maybe I’ll share one with y’all next week. 😉
In the mean time, seriously try out these Cranberry Bliss Bars! With this recipe, you can have them anytime of the year, not just at Christmas anymore. They are also much cheaper to make at home and make A LOT, so it’s perfect to take with you for your next holiday gathering.
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
1½ cups packed brown sugar
1 tsp orange extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp ground ginger
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup white chocolate chips
¾ cup Craisins
Frosting and Topping:
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1½ cups powdered sugar
½ tsp orange extract
½ tsp vanilla extract
⅓ cup Craisins, roughly chopped
2 squares baking chocolate or almond bark, melted
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Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 15x10 or 13x9 inch jelly roll pan or rimmed cookie sheet with parchment paper. *see notes
Beat together melted butter and brown sugar over medium speed with an electric mixer. Add in eggs, 1 tsp orange extract, and 1 tsp vanilla extract and beat until mixed well. Add in ground ginger, baking powder, salt, and flour, beating until just blended. Don't overmix.
Stir in white chocolate chips and Craisins by hand. Spread evenly into the bottom of prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 18-22 minutes until set and golden brown at the edges. Don't overbake or bars will be hard. Remove from oven and place pan on a wire rack to cool. Allow bars to cool completely before topping with frosting.
To make the frosting, beat cream cheese and powdered sugar together with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Add ½ tsp orange extract and ½ tsp vanilla extract and mix well. Top cooled bars with frosting. Sprinkle with chopped Craisins and drizzle white chocolate over the top with a fork. I dip my fork into the chocolate then shake it gently over the top of the bars to create little streaks. You can either slice right away and enjoy, or place the bars in the refrigerator for about an hour (what I like to do) to help them set up before cutting. Cut into triangles and enjoy!
Storage: Place in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator.
UPDATE 12/13/2017: I have made these using a 13x9 inch rimmed baking sheet and it is now my preferred size of pan to use. The bars bake slightly thicker, which is even more like the Starbucks version! The baking time and ingredients all remain the same. Mine are ready to come out of the oven right at 22 minutes. I did another side-by-side taste test today and they are identical, y'all!!