Friday, December 21, 2007

Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars

I made these EXACTLY like the recipe, EXCEPT, I omitted the 2 teaspoons of orange flavoring in the frosting, and instead grated fresh orange rind into it. I did put the 2 teaspoons of orange flavoring in the batter as the recipe specified. I made these in a 9x13 pan - cooked them 27 minutes, just like the recipe said - they turned out perfectly. 4 Stars on these, girlfriends....

I used dried cranberries, instead of Craisins, they are probably the same thing, though...

Lindsay and I took one of my bars to Starbucks and taste tested it next to the real thing - it was really close in taste, except Starbucks seemed to have a bit denser base than mine did. They also tasted a little more orangy, so next time I'll probably do exactly like the recipe says and put the 2 teaspoons of orange extract into the frosting and then grate the peeling on top.

Our version was really yummy, even alongside Starbucks, they stacked up to the originals and were a lot more moist than Starbucks, probably because they were freshly baked...

~ jan

1 cup butter (2 sticks, very soft)
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons orange extract
2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 cup craisins (dried cranberries)
3/4 cup white chocolate chips

3 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons butter, softened
3 cups confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons orange extract

1/4 cup craisins, chopped
1-2 tablespoon grated orange rind
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1 teaspoon canola oil

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (325 for a glass or dark pan). Prepare a 9x13 pan (or 10x15 pan) by lining it with parchment paper or use a non-stick spray.
2. Bars: With an electric mixer, beat together butter and sugars until fluffy; add eggs and orange extract and beat until combined.
3. Add the flour, baking powder, and ginger and beat briefly. Add the cranberries and chips, stirring just to blend and being careful not to overmix.

4. Note: You can make these lower-fat by omitting 1/2 cup butter and substituting 1/2 cup applesauce. No one notices the difference! I didn't do this, though, I made the full fat version ~ jan

5. Spread thick batter in prepared pan and bake 350 (25 minutes for 10x15, 27 minutes for 9x13), until the top is light brown and a skewer inserted into the center comes out mostly clean. Let it cool completely.
6. Frosting: Blend cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add orange extract and confectioner’s sugar and beat until frosting is fluffy and spreadable (adding 1 t. milk if needed). Spread evenly over cooled bars.
7. Garnish: Use a zester to remove rind from an orange. Chop 1/4 cup Craisins coarsely. Sprinkle this garnish of orange zest and Craisins over frosted bars.
8. For the final topping, mix white chocolate and oil in a glass measuring cup. Microwave 60% power for 1 minute; stir. Repeat 1 more minute at 60% power; stir. Use a fork to drizzle the white chocolate in thin diagonal strips across the bars.
9. Allow one hour for the white chocolate to set before cutting. **To make signature Starbuck triangles, cut jelly roll pan into 20 large squares (5 cuts by 4 cuts with the knife). Then cut each square in half diagonally (see additional photos which show this step

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