Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Another Cranberry Moment

I must really have cranberry on my mind because this next post is also cranberry-related and about a very favorite treat of mine from a very famous coffee shop. One of my very favorite things about going on vacation is that I don't have to get up to make coffee or even remember to prepare it the night before. It makes no difference to me if my coffee is being poured from a waitress, a barista, or a hotel coffee dispenser, as long as it's rich, dark, and hot, I am a happy person. Now, I live in a town of wonderful local coffee shops and I will make every effort to support them when I have time to choose. However, it's no secret that the famous Starbucks is seemingly on every corner and always seems to be closer to where I'm going. I rarely take the time to go inside because the drive-through is simply too convenient, but when I do go in it's usually during the holidays because I just love to drool over their holiday desserts shining behind that sparkling glass counter. They generally taste as good as they look and I often try to re-create those sweet treats at home. One of these days I may just have to go get a job there so I can delve into the "secret" recipe folder - even though I know that most of them are outsourced.

As I alluded to previously, my last post was about cranberry orange muffins (a muffin they make at Starbucks too) and it would appear that I have not quite squelched my cranberry fix. I was looking through my boards on Pinterest.com when I remembered pinning this yummy recipe last Christmas. I wanted to bring something into the office for the staff and this seemed to be the perfect recipe since I know they frequent the above coffee shop as well. This recipe was adapted from the Lovin From The Oven blog, who adapted it from another blogger. I take no credit in creating this recipe other than adding a little orange zest in the final icing. However, I will take full credit for indulging in each bite... I'm jus' sayin'!

Cranberry Bliss Bars adapted by Lovin From The Oven

2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1–1/4 cups brown sugar, packed
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1–1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons dried cranberries, minced
1/4 cup plus 1/4–1/3 cup white chocolate chips
1/4 cup crystallized ginger slices, minced
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp. grated orange zest
2 tbsp. of milk
1–1/2 cups powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly grease a 9×13 pan or line it with parchment paper for easy removal.
Beat together the butter and sugar. Mix in the eggs and vanilla.
Add the flour, ginger, and salt into the batter. Beat well. Lightly stir in the 1/4 cup cranberries, 1/4 cup chocolate chips and minced ginger.
Pour the batter into the pan and bake for about 20-25 minutes, depending on your oven.
Make the frosting by beating the cream cheese, butter, and orange zest and milk until smooth. Slowly add the powdered sugar and beat until you reach the desired consistency.
Spread the frosting onto the cooled cake.
Cut the frosted cake as desired into bars or triangles. Sprinkle the remaining minced cranberries and chocolate chips on the top.

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