Saturday, January 11, 2014

Copy Cat: Cranberry Bliss Bars

This is copy cat week on Cupcake Muffin! I have a few recipes I made over the holidays that are homemade versions of treats I love from restaurants or the grocery store.  First up is Cranberry Bliss Bars from Starbucks.  Although I really like the new menu at Starbucks, these bars were one of my favorites from their old menu and I'm glad they've kept them in the holiday rotation.  With this recipe, you can make them year-round!  The base is a moist, sweet blondie full of white chocolate chips and dried cranberries.  The blondies are topped with a simple white chocolate-cream cheese frosting and more dried cranberries.  Cut the bars into triangles to imitate the Starbucks look, if you like -- a little goes a long way as they are very rich.  These bars really do taste like the 'real deal,' and it is pretty dangerous to have an entire pan around!  We added these to the Christmas cookie plates we gave away (very festive!) and also ate lots and lots.  Yum!

Some other 'copy cat' recipes I've tried: Classic Mac from Homeroom, Peanut Butter Ice Cream with Fudge Ripple from Bi-Rite Creamery, Salty Caramel Ice Cream and Roasted Sour Cherry-Goat Cheese Ice Cream from Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams, Bouchons from Bouchon Bakery, and Roasted Eggplant-Tomato-Lemon Pizza and Nectarine-Arugula Pizza from Cheeseboard Pizza.

Cranberry Bliss Bars (adapted from Taste of Home, via Recipe Girl)
Makes a 9x13 pan of bars

3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cubed
1-1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2-1/4 cups all purpose lour
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped
6 ounces white chocolate, chopped

For the topping:
8 ounce package of cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
3 ounces white chocolate, melted
1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped.

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9x13 baking pan with oil.
2. In a medium bowl, melt the butter for one minute in the microwave (it won't be totally melted, but should be very, very soft).  Stir in the brown sugar.  Beat with an electric mixer for a minute or two, and then beat in the eggs and vanilla.
3. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.  Stir into the butter mixture, and then stir in the cranberries and white chocolate.
4. Spread into the prepared pan as evenly as possible (the batter will be thick).  Bake 18-22 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool on a wire rack.
5. When the blondies are cool, make the topping.  Beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar together until well blended.  Gradually add the white chocolate, and continue beating until everything is very well blended.  Frost the blondies.  Sprinkle with the dried cranberries.  Cut into bars and then store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.


  1. I bet better than the Starbucks version!

  2. I made a copycat version of these ages ago and now I'm craving them again!

  3. That looks so good! One of my favorite things at Starbucks is their cinnamon chip scones - so good, but so not good for you! I think each one is like 600 calories!