Yes, thanks, I’ll take a venti skinny cappuccino, extra foam, extra hot with sugar free caramel and those little peppermint sugar crystals. On the side.

For the full effect, you have to make sure you get this impatient look on your face. Raise your eyebrows. Look at your watch. Shake your head slightly. Grimace. Speak authoritatively. Condescendingly, almost. Commiserate with the suit standing behind you about how service used to be so much better in this town, and no you can’t imagine what the hold up is either.

“Hold up” of course being a relative term. It has been about thirty seconds. But time is money. Not that you are making any. But that guy behind you sure is.

You, on the other hand, are fourteen. Getting your daily dose of caffeine at one of the, not one, not two, but SIX Starbucks that exist within a four block radius of your high school. (Maybe you could resist the first five, but by the sixth one you pass, there is no way you are not going in. It is 7AM after all and you have been up since 5:45. Willpower? Unlikely.)

You are also pretty sure that you are single-handedly keeping the Starbucks corporation in business (hence the self-important demeanor described earlier). And, not to brag or anything, but retrospectively this actually might have some basis in reality. Let’s add it up shall we: At least one cup of coffee. Every weekday. For four years. Throw a scone or muffin or croissant in there at least once a week. And an after-school caramel macchiato. More often than not.

Combine that with the fact that after you went to college and essentially stopped drinking Starbucks altogether, they had to close 5% of stores nationwide. (Apparently the store owners wanted to have more time to “spend with their families”. But you’re not buying it.)

And now, as if you haven’t been destructive enough. Haven’t ruined enough lives. You are going to share this copycat recipe for Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars with the blogworld. So that there will now be absolutely no reason for anyone to go to a Starbucks ever again. Except maybe for their apple fritters. Because damn those were good.

Yes, actually. That is exactly what you intend to do.
Cranberry Bliss Bars
Makes 32, adapted from Good Things Catered

1 cup butter
1 1/4 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp orange extract
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp salt
1 2/3 cup flour
3/4 cup dried cranberries, diced
3/4 cup white chocolate chunks
8 oz cream cheese (I used light cream cheese)
1 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 tsp vanilla
cranberries for topping

1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9×13 inch pan. (Best bet would be to line it with parchment paper and call it a day.)

2. In a bowl, beat butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, ginger, vanilla, and salt. Beat well.

3. Gradually mix in the flour until just combined. Fold in the cranberries and white chocolate.

4. Pour batter into prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until cake is barely brown on the edges.

5. Remove from the oven and let cool. In the meantime, make the frosting. Whip together the cream cheese, lemon juice, vanilla, and confectioner’s sugar until smooth.

6. When the cake has cooled, invert onto cutting board. Spread frosting over the top. Sprinkle with cranberries. Using a long, serrated knife, cut into 32 squares. Serve immediately or refrigerate until needed.

You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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51 Responses to Cranberry Bliss Bars

  1. great minds think alike, i made these for my housewarming and i’m about to post them 😉
    i love them. it’s always hard for me to not buy a whole tray at starbucks!

  2. Erica says:

    I love white chocolate!!They sound fantastic.

  3. I LOVE those bars. Such a great eat with a holiday flavored coffee….:)

  4. Mari says:

    HA I love this post…and love the recipe even more =)

  5. 14 year old caffeine junkie… no wonder you are a runner

    I gained weight reading this recipe

  6. Megan says:

    So let me see if I’ve got this straight – it’s YOUR fault Starbucks stock tanked, they had to close over 600 stores, and their recipes are running rampant?

    I like that in a person.

  7. SE(Denufood) says:

    wow…a good one and perfect for the holiday season..and as long as I can make coffee myself..not worried about the starbucks..err 4 buck coffee

  8. Pam says:

    I never fell into the whole Starbucks thing, so I’ve never had these bars. But they sound wonderful!

  9. Oh my goodness, I could hug you! I LOVE those Starbucks bars!! I’m so excited to have a recipe! 🙂

  10. Oh yeah-give in @ 5th,i aint going to propably give in even at the 10th where leav’n ya a note comes :-)))
    Honestly dont know if its blogger or my internet or mini laptop thats the culprit or who’s buggin-need to switch windws xp to the newer version maybe-but am jus havin a time since the last few days-cant leave in a few words @ many sites,takes me ages to upload and well wont go on and on….maybe will vent out with a post on this….
    and i could do with a starbuck with ‘with sugar caramel’-loads of it @ cream too,rite now!!!
    And if this doesnt go thru i’ll get a break from blogosphere for a while-thats mission impossible aint it?
    And yeah Joanne-great recipe ….love this one and i actually went to the importer today(had to wait an hr coz they were on delivery and wished had carried my laptop)from cranberries and came back dissapointed….yet again…..

  11. whoppie i did it-though it said i ddn with a big ‘error ‘ message…..
    bejinhos e boa semana para Joanne,
    sugar plum…

  12. Faith says:

    Such a funny post…you’ve got a great sense of humor Joanne! And I love a good copycat recipe myself (I almost feel like it’s a challenge to try and recreate my favorite restaurant goodies!). The white chocolate/cranberry combo is fabulous!

  13. Kris says:

    they look gooey and amazing!

  14. Ben says:

    LOL, this post is hilarious! I do not like Starbucks but I could eat these bars everyday, making them myself, of course. Great recipe 😀

  15. Amy says:

    I am not a coffee drinker (don’t hate), but Paul is big time. And I have been known to visit a Starbucks, so I can appreciate this story.

    And you know I still have a huge supply of dried cranberries, so I guess some of them just found a new home!

  16. Bob says:

    Ha! Awesome post. But I used to work at a Starbucks, so I’m getting flashbacks to repressed rage… 😉

  17. Toni says:

    I had just started working at a coffee shop when Starbucks closed those stores. I heard every. single. day. about how people felt about it. I didn’t care. Really. I live in Portland, OR. I know coffee.

    And these bars look really good but I think I’m a pound heavier now having looked at the pictures.

  18. teresa says:

    i think the word “bliss” in these bars is rather appropriate!

  19. Shannon says:

    never had s*bux version, but bliss indeed 🙂

  20. never tried this thing from sbux!

    omg. you just described my relationship with my moms! too bad i have to live with her right now. UGH.

    thanks! i hope i do well tomorrow on my test~
    =D glad you think so re: my food choices!
    someone said my diet was rusty. i don’t know if he meant my diet was not healthy, or bad as in BORING. =/

  21. Catherine says:

    These bars look delicious, Joanne. I wish I could reach into my screen and take one! 🙂

  22. Karen says:

    Oh, these are so good! Cute post 🙂

  23. burpandslurp says:

    nice! They charge WAY too much for their coffee and baked goods, in my opinion.

  24. I’ve never eaten one of these but have heard how yummy these are. I’m sure yours are way better! Home-made always is. I really love these – the cranberries and the frosting are the clincher.

  25. monicajane says:

    hi Joanne,
    just want to let you know I’m reading and looking at the beauty you’ve been creating. I don’t eat the stuff you’ve been posting the last few days but it’s gorgeous!

    I need to put some effort into learning how to bake wheatless…

    I did make a heavy bread a week or so ago…with Rye and muesli…it was a first…oh I think I mentioned that to you already..I haven’t posted it yet though.

  26. I think everyone comes here to read your “stories”. On the other hand, I have already printed the recipe and I have a few days off from work and this is not chocolate so hubbby might like it and and and I plan to make it.

    I plan to return for the next installment.

  27. Nice! A copycat cranberry bliss bar recipe! Although I’ll still go to Starbucks because I love love love their pumpkin spiced latte.

  28. this post was so much fun and those bars look awesome he he coffee is good for ya

  29. Lea Ann says:

    I don’t go to Starbucks even though we have one on every corner. These sound wonderful. Have got to make them. Thanks for the post.

  30. Karine says:

    I have also never had these bars at Starbucks but they sure do look delicious!

    As for Starbucks, I have to admit that on my walking way to work I must come across a couples. But I admit the density of Starbucks is higher in NYC than Toronto. In Toronto, we have to cope with Tim Hortons too (I better not make any comments on this one lol) 😛

  31. Sophie says:

    MMMMMMM,…these bars look so delectable & delcious, Joanne!

    Very festive too!


  32. Debinhawaii says:

    Ahh,Cranberry Bliss Bars–gotta love them and yours don’t have all the preservatives and junk that the ones SBUX gets from Sweet Streets (so they last forever and can be shipped to all the stores), so good for you! 😉

  33. Donna-FFW says:

    Love the post Joanne.. so true about the money spent. I spend 2 on an Large DD coffee every day, sometimes munchkins for the kids, ugh..

    The bars sound like a perfect imitation of what you like! Terrific adaptation!

  34. I am with Deb, I love that you made your own! So much better for you, and so delicious looking too!

  35. Debbie says:

    Joanne, I love Starbucks Mocha’s and am addicted to them but can’t afford to get them except for once in a while. Your post is sooo funny! I love it! I’ve not had their cranberry bliss bars. Yours look delicious! I’d love to try them.

  36. Kim says:

    Are you ready for this? I have never seen these in my Starbucks! Are they holding out on us here in KY? I mean these sound delicious. Cranberries, white chocolate and cream cheese – hello, I’m yours! Sounds like an awesome holiday treat to serve anytime as a treat on Christmas.

    I’m a big fan of that reduced-fat berry cake that they have. It’s really good, even though I’m sure it’s still terrible for you!

  37. Barbara says:

    Love your posts! Too funny.
    And wow with this cranberry bar! Never had one (would you believe I don’t drink coffee???) and the only times I’ve been in a Starbucks is with a friend in Michigan who cannot live until she has some concoction I can never remember the name of except there is a grande at the end of it!
    But that doesn’t mean I won’t take your word for it and try these. I will.

  38. chrystad72 says:

    OMG! Thanks so much for that recipe. I freakin love these things. So awesome I can make them at home now! GOrgeous pics too!

  39. chrystad72 says:

    Hey girl! Sorry to double post, i was trying to find your email address but couldnt locate it. You were asking how to make the PB tofu pudding? Easy! <--step by step. you can also just sub some regular PB too or almond butter. My mom also uses some Mori-Nu vanilla pudding mix in it , with the PB (That is just 2 boxes silken tofu, one pack Mori-Nu vanilla pudding and like 1/2 c. peanut butter) something like that. Its basically just made to taste, so no exact ingredients. Its awesome! Enjoy!

  40. Jenna says:

    How funny!! And these look amazing!! Thanks for sharing with Holiday Treats week.

  41. Katy ~ says:

    Joanne, you are such a temptress with this sweet thing. I’m wanting to cut back on the sweets and here you go and post something that looks crazy good. You are very bad to me.

  42. How is it that as I sat in your kitchen watching you make these, I didn’t notice any photography going on? You make blogging look easy, my dear.

  43. Chef Aimee says:

    I am sure these are SO much better than the one at the Bux! 🙂

  44. Velva says:

    A good pikes roast in the morning from Starbucks is unbeatable. Yours/starbucks recipe for the cranberry bliss bars look amazing. Yum! Perfect with my cup of coffee.

  45. I’ve been doing all my coffees at wegmans lately and so I have never tried these bars, they sound really great!

  46. theUngourmet says:

    Love these bars! I can’t believe you are just giving away the secret recipe like this! Poor Starbucks!

  47. Kerstin says:

    I keep hearing about these bars, but haven’t tried one yet! Yours look amazing – yum!

  48. Jerri says:

    Great recipe! Looks yummy!

    I hope you’ll stop by and link up today at my Christmas recipe party!

  49. Michelle says:

    WOW…so ooey gooey and rich! J. would love these.

    I’m on a first name basis with at least 3 Starbucks in my area and I’m at one or the other almost daily. And I have my own espresso machine too. I’m addicted, I admit it!

  50. Oh I can just imagine the heaven that cranberries+white chocolate+cream cheese must be! I actually just had a bad experience with dry scones from Starbucks, so I’m glad that I can experience these bars without going there thanks to you.

  51. Memória says:

    These look fantastic. I must try these out. I love your blog!

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