My version of Starbucks’ white chocolate and cranberry treat – save money and get just as much holiday flavor by making Cranberry Bliss Bars at home!
Blondie Bar Layer:
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, melted
- 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon orange extract
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 6 ounces white chocolate chips
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened (I used Neufchatel cheese)
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon grated orange peel
- 6 ounces white chocolate chips, melted
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries, halved
Blondie Bar Layer:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 13×9 inch baking dish with nonstick spray.
- In a large bowl, mix melted butter and brown sugar – it should be the texture of wet sand. Add eggs, vanilla and orange extract. Beat well with an electric mixer.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, ginger, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
- Gradually add the dry mixture to wet mixture.
- Put the white chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl and pop it in the microwave for 15-20 seconds, just enough to soften them but not enough to melt them. Stir the cranberries and white chocolate chips into the batter.
- Spread the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.
- While the bars are cooling… in a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar and grated orange peel.
- Add 1/2 of the melted white chocolate and beat well. Taste it at this point – if you think you’d like it a little sweeter or a little more orange-y, add small amounts and keep tasting until it’s what you want.
- Frost bars with a spatula and sprinkle cranberries on top. Pour your remaining white chocolate into a piping bag (or a heavy-duty plastic baggie and cut off a little bit of the corner). You may need to reheat the white chocolate a little to get it fluid again. Drizzle remaining melted white chocolate on top. Let set and cool in fridge.
- Once cooled, cut into 6 large squares, then cut each diagonally to form triangles. If you want smaller (read: more reasonably-sized) pieces, you can either cut each triangle in half again, or cut it into 9 large squares and cut those triangles in half to create 18 triangles.