Pure Bliss

Pure Bliss

David has a great love (borderline obsession, really) for Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars. The problem? They’re only available during the holidays. This is obviously more of a problem for the psyche than it is for the waist line. Actually, the real problem is that because he knows that he can only have them for a limited time, he feels the need to have as many as possible while he can. The solution? Try to find a recipe that at least comes close to the original because if he knows I can make these for him anytime, he won’t be as tempted to buy one (of course, there will be the new temptation to consume the entire pan). I’ve done my fair share of experimenting with okay results (there are a lot of Cranberry Bliss copycats out there, you have no idea), but it wasn’t until recently that I came across the winner on Pinterest. I can usually look at a recipe and have a pretty good idea of whether it will turn out the way I want it to or not and this recipe looked very promising. After making some minor adjustments and slight conversions to make it gluten-free, I was very pleased with the end results. Everyone else was pleased too and this has quickly moved to the top of the favorites list (even my dad, who completely lacks a sweet-tooth, could not resist these babies). This is best slightly under-baked and if you over bake it, the bars will still taste fantastic, but they will be a bit dry.

Cranberry Bliss Bars (Gluten-Free)

Starbucks Copycat adapted from Averie Cooks

Ingredients:

For the Bars:

  •  1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1  1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup gluten-free rice flour blend  (I’ve used both King Arthur Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Flour and Authentic Foods Bette’s Featherlight Rice Flour Blend with success)
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries, loosely packed
  • Zest of 1 large clementine or mandarin orange

For the Frosting:

  • 3/4 cup white chocolate chips, melted
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature (DO NOT use whipped or light)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

For the Topping:

  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries, loosely packed
  • White chocolate, melted, for drizzling (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Generously butter and line an 8 x 8 inch pan with parchment paper, and then butter the parchment, set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the melted butter and the brown sugar.
  4. Add the egg and vanilla extract and stir to combine.
  5. Add the gluten-free flour, xanthan gum and salt and mix until just combined.
  6. Fold in the white chocolate chips, cranberries and clementine zest.
  7. Pour batter evenly into prepared pan and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
  8. Allow bars to cool completely before frosting.
  9. For the frosting, melt the white chocolate chips in a glass or metal bowl set over simmering water (you can do this in the microwave, but it is extremely easy to burn white chocolate in the microwave, so be careful).
  10. Remove melted chocolate from heat and add the cream cheese and vanilla extract and mix using an electric hand mixer.
  11. Add the powdered sugar and mix until combined. (There may be lumps in the frosting, but that is okay).
  12. Spread the frosting evenly over the cooled bars and sprinkle with ½ cup dried cranberries lightly pressing the cranberries into the frosting so that they stay put.
  13. Drizzle with white chocolate (optional).

Notes: You can serve these right away, but it is better to let them set up for an hour our more so that the flavors can meld together. Also, these are very rich, so I usually cut them into 1 x 1 inch pieces

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Comments

  1. So glad you tried my recipe & got the results you wanted. I am the same when I eyeball things online – I can know if I’m going to personally go-for whatever it is that I’m wanting. And glad you liked these!

Trackbacks

  1. […] bliss bars are seasonal and we were no longer in cranberry bliss season. I shared some great copycat cranberry bliss bars a while back and was just about ready to make some of those when a recipe for cranberry bliss […]

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