Friday, November 20, 2009

These Bars Are So Cool

If you knew my husband and I, you would know that we are not main stream. We do not have cable, we do not have cell phones. We watch primarily PBS. We rarely go out to restaurants which is why I make so many different things at home.

After having my kids, I have to say that I have turned into a total nerd. I don't know what is cool anymore, what to say that is cool, what to listen to that is cool, what to wear that is cool. I mean I may have a little sense of this stuff but just a little. I would need a whole course on how to navigate any of the modern electronics that are out there, Blackberries, I-pods, MP3 players. When I say out of the loop, I mean out of the loop.

Some years ago I went to Starbucks with a friend of mine. Yes you heard that right, some years ago. She said let's meet for coffee. I stood there in line as she ordered her coffee, ---- ,----, whatever the heck that was. I just stared at that menu. Your kidding me, right 3 dollars for a coffee. What can I order that is not 3 dollars. Maybe it was written all over my face because the girl at the counter that just finished whipping up my friends coffee said to me, you want a free ----, ----, whatever she was having. OH YES. Thank you. Thank you ever so much. What good fortune I had at that moment. I still remember that. I think I will for a while. So timely, so perfect, so wonderful.

So when I saw on Serious Eats, this recipe by Cakespy for Cranberry Bliss Bars- a mock recipe of Starbucks seasonal treat, I was totally unknowing. I had never seen or heard of said bar. But I knew with those flavors that I just couldn't go wrong.

Vini, Vidi, Vici!
I saw, I made, I ate!

It was superb. Dare I say it is my favorite bar of all time! From every angle, texture, taste, preparation,... I love every aspect of this bar.

A free coffee from Starbucks and now a recipe for free. How can a girl go wrong?

adapted from this recipe from Cakespy, who got it from Mr. Breakfast

2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup white chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used Ghiardelli)
1/4 cup candied ginger, finely chopped

Ingredients for frosting
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest (optional)
dash of salt

Ingredients for garnish
1/3 cup white chocolate (either chips, or coarsely chopped bar chocolate)
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 350°F and lightly grease a 9x13 pan.

Beat butter and sugar together until fluffy; add the vanilla and eggs, one at a time, stirring well after each addition. Sift together flour, baking soda, ground ginger, nutmeg, and salt and then add to the butter and sugar mixture, beating until fully incorporated. This will be a very thick batter. Fold in the cranberries, chocolate and ginger. Spread the batter in the pan and bake for about 30 minutes or until light golden.

Let the cake cool before spreading on the frosting.

Beat the butter and cream cheese together until fluffy; add the lemon zest, vanilla, and salt; add the confectioners' sugar bit by bit until the frosting has reached your desired consistency. Spread the frosting evenly over the cake, and scatter the cranberries on top of the frosting immediately.

In a double boiler, melt white chocolate; once it is smooth, use a spoon and drizzle across the top of the frosted and cranberry-festooned cake.


Cakespy said...

So glad you enjoyed the recipe!! They are pretty yummy, aren't they? I love that: "I saw, I made, I ate!"

-K said...

I must say that I made these a couple years ago, and they are BETTER than the ones from Starbucks.

And, I had one at Starbucks yesterday (we do live in Seattle), and the homemade version is definitely better than the "original."

Thanks for the recipe, I was going to look for it this weekend, so I could make a tasty version of this bar.

Shelly said...

Oh....I love the Bliss Bar!
Almost bought them yesterday...and then I thought about how snug my jeans are.
If a Bliss Bar is in the fridge - I can't resist.

Chow and Chatter said...

are these are cool just be yourself as thats cool!

Mary said...

These look and sound wonderful. I'll have to try them.

Ingrid said...

Lori just you wait until your girls are older. They'll have you schooled in no time! :)

Thanks for the recipe you know I love me some bars! LOL!

Happy Friday!

Donna-FFW said...

Goodness, these sound delightful!! So pretty too.

Robin Sue said...

Yes a free recipe! And a good one too. I usually go to Starbucks on gift cards given to me by family at Christmas.

kat said...

Oh my gosh thank you for this! Matt was just telling me the other evening how much he loves Starbucks cranberry bliss bars & now I can surprise him with some.

Laura [What I Like] said...

Hysterical! That is usually my reaction if I go into Starbucks as well...the $3 shock, not the free coffee. Glad the bars were a success!

Grace said...

this is one of the best copy-cat recipes i've ever tried, and the results are outstanding. forget starbucks!

Murasaki Shikibu said...

This sounds really good but I need a recipe I can make tomorrow - which means I've got to have all the ingredients already! I might make this later on this week though - it sounds too good to not make!

Katy ~ said...

Lori, these look decadent and delicious.

PS Nerds are the new cool.

Lucy said...

These bars are looking mighty good!!

My DS is a Starbucks fanatic, but I'm not... but when we went to one together, I basically had the same experience. Clueless!! LOL!