baking · cooking · Dessert

Cranberry Bliss Bars Revisited

This recipe has zero redeeming health values. Zero. On the other hand, it has enough flavor to more than make up for that 😉 I did this recipe originally back in 2011, but decided to revisit it this winter, updating it so Alistaire could try them (which he will never be able to at Starbucks with his allergies…). Egg-free, with a vegan option  and the recipe makes a whole tray for less than the cost of two tiny, meager slices at the Green Apron…and oh, way more flavor!

BlissBars

Cranberry Bliss Bars

Ingredients:

Bars –

  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 4½ tsp Ener-G Egg Replacer + 6 Tbsp warm water, or 3 large eggs
  • 2 tsp pure orange extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp fine sea salt
  • ¾ cup dried cranberries
  • ¾ cup white chocolate chips

Frosting –

  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp orange extract

Topping –

  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup white chocolate chips + 2 Tbsp for topping
  • ½ tsp oil, such as sunflower or safflower

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 325° and lightly oil a glass 9×13″ baking pan.

Mix the Ener-G and warm water in a small bowl, let sit for 5 minutes.

In a stand mixer bowl add the butter and sugars, beat until light, about 5 minutes. Turn to low and add in the Ener-G mixture and orange extract, beat until smooth. Add the flour, baking soda and ginger, beat in till smooth. Take the bowl off the mixer and add the cranberries and chips by hand.

Spread the very thick batter into the prepared pan and bake till golden brown on the edges and a toothpick comes out clean in the center. My pan took 39 minutes, I would start checking at 25 minutes to make sure it doesn’t over-bake.

Let cool on a wire rack completely, then run a spatula around the edges to loosen.

For the frosting and toppings:

Beat the butter and cream cheese in a stand mixer until smooth, add in the flavoring and the powdered sugar, beating till smooth. If needed add milk 1 teaspoon at a time till spreadable. Frost the pan evenly.

Sprinkle the cranberries on top, pressing down gently, the top with the 2 Tablespoons chocolate chips, pressing down as well.

In a small bowl combine the white chocolate and oil, microwave for a minute, stir until fully melted. Using a fork, drizzle the chocolate all over the top.

Let sit for at least an hour for everything to set up.

Cut into squares and then into triangles, if you want. Store tightly wrapped in the refrigerator.

Notes:

You will need one standard bag of white chocolate chips for the recipe.

To make these bars vegan-friendly, use Earth Balance Buttery Stick for the butter, vegan “cream cheese” and vegan friendly white chocolate chips.

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