White Chocolate Cranberry Orange Bliss Bars

White Chocolate Cranberry Orange Bars - 2Teaspoons

 

When I was in San Francisco I discovered Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars! They are sweet, tangy, and bright…pure bliss :-)

 

White Chocolate Cranberry Orange Bars - 2Teaspoons

 

I love citrus desserts! They can be sweet but also still taste light and refreshing. These bars walk that line perfectly, merging the sweet Christmasy tastes of cranberries and white chocolate with the summery tanginess of oranges and cream cheese.

 

White Chocolate Cranberry Orange Bars - 2Teaspoons

 

I baked a slightly lightened version from Mel’s Kitchen Café, where the sugar and butter have been reduced and the full fat cream cheese has been swapped for the reduced fat version. The result is just as rich and fantastic as the one I had at Starbucks!

 

White Chocolate Cranberry Orange Bars - 2Teaspoons

 

These bars start with a sweet buttery blondie cookie bar speckled with cranberries, white chocolate, and orange zest. They are covered in white chocolate cream cheese frosting, sprinkled with cranberries and orange zest, and finished off with a generous drizzle of melted white chocolate! Mmmmm…Bliss never tasted so good! 

 

White Chocolate Cranberry Orange Bars - 2Teaspoons

White Chocolate Cranberry Orange Bliss Bars
 
Sweet blondie cookie bars covered in tangy cream cheese frosting, cranberries and orange zest, and drizzled with melted white chocolate
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 16-24
Ingredients
BARS
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1⅓ cups packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest*
  • 2⅛ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup dried cranberries, coarsely chopped**
  • ½ cup white chocolate chips or 4 ounces white bakers chocolate, coarsely chopped
FROSTING and TOPPINGS
  • ½ cup white chocolate chips or 4 ounces white bakers chocolate
  • 8 ounces full fat or reduced fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest, divided*
  • ½ cup dried cranberries, coarsely chopped**
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9”x13” baking pan.
  2. In a large bowl melt butter in microwave. Stir in brown sugar until fully dissolved. Set aside to slightly cool. Once cooled, whisk in eggs, one at a time. Then whisk in the vanilla and orange zest.
  3. In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Gradually add flour mixture to butter-sugar-egg mixture until combined. Fold in the cranberries and white chocolate. Spread batter evenly in the prepared baking pan. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Let bars cool completely in pan before proceeding.
  4. Once bars are cooled melt white chocolate in microwave on 50% power stirring every 30 seconds. Using an electric mixer beat cream cheese and powdered sugar until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Stir in vanilla, 1 teaspoon of orange zest and half of the melted white chocolate. Spread the frosting evenly over the bars.
  5. Sprinkle bars with cranberries and remaining orange zest. Drizzle with remaining melted white chocolate. Cover and refrigerate until chocolate is set, at least 30 minutes. Cut bars to serve. They are best served cool and should be stored in the refrigerator.
Notes
*I found that zesting one orange gave me about the 3 teaspoons needed for the total recipe.
**I found that 1 bag of craisins was perfect for the 1 cup of cranberries needed for the total recipe.

 

 

Comments

  1. says

    Wow, Karen…these are gorgeous! Honestly, they look much better than the ones sold at Starbucks (and I love their cranberry bliss bars). These are definitely bumped up on my ‘must make’ list! Beautiful photos, too! : )

    • says

      Hi Anne! Thank you so much for your kind words! I definitely recommend making these bars and would love to hear about how they come out when you get the chance :-)

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