Holiday season and sweet treats go hand in hand which is why these Cranberry Bliss Bars are top of the nice list. Each bite showcases your favorite festive flavors thanks to a cranberry studded blondie base and a cream cheese frosting drizzled with white chocolate.
WHY WE LOVE THESE CRANBERRY BLISS BARS
Inspired by the Starbucks favorite, these Cranberry Bliss bars make mourning the end of pumpkin spice season a little bit easier. They are the perfect pairing with a festive hot chocolate or traditional eggnog. It’s no secret the holiday season is expensive, so save the dollars and the drive by making this copycat recipe instead of heading to your local coffee shop.
Nothing makes a blondie more delicious than a generous sprinkling of cranberries and a cream cheese frosting. So delicious in fact, that temptation will ensure you will want to make these all year round – not just during the holidays!
- Unsalted Butter
- Light Brown Sugar
- Pure Vanilla Extract
- All-Purpose Flour
- Baking Powder
- White Chocolate Chips
- Dried Cranberries
- Cream Cheese
- Powdered Sugar
- Pure Vanilla Extract
- Lemon Juice
- Dried Cranberries
- White Almond Bark
RECOMMENDED TOOLS TO MAKE THIS RECIPE
- 13x9 rimmed cookie sheet or jelly roll pan
- Parchment paper
- Mixing bowls
- Measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- Hand mixer
- Rubber spatula
- Cooling rack
- Large knife
HOW TO MAKE CRANBERRY BLISS BARS FROM SCRATCH
- Prep - Preheat the oven and line your cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Make the Blondie Bars – Blend all ingredients in a hand mixer before folding in white chocolate chips and dried cranberries.
- Bake – Press the mixture into your parchment lined cookie sheet then bake for 20 minutes or until set and golden brown at the edges.
- Prepare the Frosting - While the bars cool, combine the frosting ingredients and beat until smooth and creamy.
- Add the Topping – apply the frosting with a spatula before adding a sprinkling of dried cranberries and a drizzle of white chocolate.
- Chill - Place the bars in the refrigerator for about an hour to help them set up before cutting. Cut into triangles and enjoy!
TIPS AND VARIATIONS
- Cookie Sheet – A 13x9 inch rimmed cookie sheet creates the perfect-sized cranberry bliss bars. However, if you prefer a thinner bar, experiment with different sizes such as a 15x10 jelly roll pan or a 13x9 casserole dish.
- Parchment Paper – Whatever sized dish you choose, ensure the parchment paper overlaps the edges. This will help avoid the bars sticking to the sides, helping you cut Starbucks worthy triangular bars.
- Chill – Refrigerate the bars for an hour or allow them to set at room temperature for at least 2 hours until the cream cheese frosting is not sticky to the touch. This will make it easier to cut the bars.
- Melting Chocolate - To create the white chocolate drizzle garnish you will need to melt the chocolate. To avoid burning, the easiest way to melt it is in the microwave in 10 second increments.
- Dried Cranberries – Cranberries are a Winter fruit, but by using dried cranberries you can make this recipe all year round.
- Sodium - If you prefer less sodium, reduce the amount to ¼ teaspoon.
- Orange Zest – Add orange zest for some extra festive flavor.
- Cream Cheese - Depending on your tastes, both reduced-fat or fat-free cream cheese can be used instead of original full-fat.
- Gluten-Free – To make these cranberry bliss bars gluten-free, simply substitute all-purpose flour with a gluten-free baking blend
COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT CRANBERRY BLISS BARS
How do I store my Cranberry Bliss Bars?
Refrigerate: Once sliced, store the bars in an airtight cake container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. To avoid the bars sticking together, use wax paper between each layer.
Freeze: These cranberry bliss bars can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months, meaning you can satisfy that cranberry craving all year round. Allow the cream cheese topping to be fully set before freezing. As with refrigerating, add to an airtight container with wax paper to keep the bars separate. For best results, allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
What is the best way to slice?
Firstly, make sure the slab of blondie is completely cool. Lift the sides of the parchment paper to remove the slab of cranberry bliss bar from the baking sheet. Place it onto a cutting board and using a sharp knife begin slicing into long strips. Then, slice in the opposite direction to create squares and finally, diagonally to create triangles. Clean your knife after each cut to ensure a smooth cut each time.
Can I add nuts to these Cranberry Bliss Bars?
Yes! Nuts are a great addition to this recipe as they add both flavor and texture. For best results, I recommend a half cup of pecans but other varieties such as walnuts or macadamia will also work.
Did you enjoy making (and eating!) these Cranberry Bliss Bars? Let me know in the comments below or on social media!
Other Cranberry Recipes You'll Love
- Cranberry Sauce Coffee Cake
- Cranberry Christmas Cake
- Cranberry Baked Brie
- Cranberry Orange Cake
- Cranberry Orange Pound Cake
Holiday season and sweet treats go hand in handwhich is why these Cranberry Bliss Bars are top of the nice list. Each bite showcasesyour favorite festive flavors thanks to a cranberry studded blondie base and acream cheese frosting drizzled with white chocolate.
- ½ cup unsalted butter melted
- 1 ¼ cup light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ cup white chocolate chips
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- 8 ounces original cream cheese room temperature
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon lemon juice
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- 2 blocks of white almond bark
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Line a 13x9 rimmed cookie sheet or jelly roll pan with parchment paper.
Blend melted butter and brown sugar using a hand mixer on low speed.
Add the eggs and vanilla extract then beat until well blended before adding cinnamon, baking powder, salt, and flour. Continue to mix until just blended, being careful not to over mix.
Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in white chocolate chips and dried cranberries by hand.
Add the mixture to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Then using wax paper press the dough evenly into the baking sheet. The wax paper will save you sticky hands and give you an even layer of dough.
Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees or until set and golden brown at the edges. To ensure chewy, soft bars be careful not to overbake.
Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan on a wire rack. The sheet of blondie base will need to cool completely before topping with frosting.
While the blondie base cools, prepare the frosting. Combine cream cheese and powdered sugar in a medium mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and creamy.
Add lemon juice and vanilla extract then mix well.
Once the frosting is smooth and creamy, apply with a rubber spatula to the top of the cooled bars.
Once frosted, sprinkle the frosting with dried cranberries, then drizzle with melted white chocolate using a spoon or fork.
Place the bars in the refrigerator for about an hour to help them set up before cutting. Slice into triangles and enjoy!
A 13x9 inch rimmed cookie sheet creates the perfect-sized cranberry bliss bars. However, if you prefer a thinner bar, experiment with different sizes such as a 15x10 jelly roll pan or a 13x9 casserole dish.
Whatever sized dish you choose, ensure the parchment paper overlaps the edges. This will help avoid the bars sticking to the sides, helping you cut Starbucks-worthy triangular bars.
If you prefer less sodium, reduce the amount to ¼ teaspoon.
To make these cranberry bliss bars gluten-free, simply substitute all-purpose flour with a gluten-free baking blend
Depending on your tastes, both reduced-fat or fat-free cream cheese can be used instead of original full-fat.