I don’t know if they do them anymore, but every Christmas Starbucks used to sell these ‘White Chocolate and Cranberry Bliss Bars’ and they were amazing. And I know what you’re thinking, trust a company like Starbucks to call something a ‘bliss bar’.. well, in this case they really were blissfully good: gooey, cranberry encrustedblondie triangles, topped with a white chocolate cream cheese frosting and a drizzle of rich white chocolate. I rarely visit Starbucks these days, but when I was a teenager I loved it. It wasn’t Christmas until my friends and I had sat in a Starbucks all day sipping a painfully sugary festive Starbucks coffees from the infamous red cups.
When I was 20 I spent a year in Australia. Now, I don’t know if the rest of the world is aware, but Aussies don’t put up with Starbucks. They’re coffee purists. And I have to say, some of the best coffee I’ve had in my life, I’ve had in Australia. So, Christmas rolled around and I was pining for a little bit of Starbucks Christmas tradition… so what did I do? I attempted to recreate their festive Bliss Bars.. to bring a little bit of commercial northern hemisphere Christmas to the southern coast of Oz. And they were amazziinnnggg. Seriously. If you try any of my Christmas recipes this year, try this one. The best thing about these home made bars is you can eat them hot (because let’s face the facts, Starbucks’ fare, whilst delicious, isn’t entirely fresh) and they’re so incredibly easy to make. The worst part about this recipe is I cannot be trusted to be left unsupervised with melted white chocolate… I will have to go out and buy more because I’ve eaten it all.
For the Blondies
- 170g unsalted butter – cubed
- 300g brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2/4 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 280g plain flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 170g white chocolate – broken up into small chunks
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
PREHEAT OVEN TO 170˚C | GREASE AND LINE A LARGE BAKING TRAY
- In a suitable bowl, melt the butter in the microwave
- Stir in the sugar, and allow to cool to room temperature
- Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and add the vanilla essence.
- In a separate mixing bowl, sift in the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon, and stir together.
- Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.
- Stir in the cranberries and chocolate chunks into the mixture
- Spread evenly over the lined baking tray and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick or similar comes out clean.
For the frosting
- 225g cream cheese
- 125g icing sugar
- 170g white chocolate – melted
- 1/2 cup of dried cranberries – chopped
- Beat the cheese and icing sugar together
- Add half of the melted chocolate and continue to beat.
- Once the blondie base has cooled enough to frost, spread over the white chocolate frosting (this doesn’t have to be neat, Starbucks’ certainly don’t bother, and the rough icing makes the bars look all snowy)
- Sprinkle over the chopped cranberries and drizzle with melted chocolate.
- Once the frosting has chance to set slightly, cut the blondies into triangles, how big is up to you, and enjoy with a hot coffee on a wintery day.