Cranberry Bliss Bar Wannabes

Last week I was at Starbucks and they had one sad looking Cranberry Bliss Bar sitting in their display case. Naturally, I liberated it, but it was a stale and disappointing. Really, I should of known better, because Starbucks doesn’t sell Cranberry Bliss Bars in January. Although this experience did get me thinking: why can’t I make these myself?

After some scouring of the internet I discovered that I can, in fact, make them myself. This is one of those recipes that creates a pile of dishes and takes a couple of hours (including the waiting around time) but don’t let it deter you because these are delicious, gourmet-looking and really pretty easy to make.They’re perfect for sharing with people or taking to a party. Realistically that’s what I probably should have done with these, but instead my husband and I just ate them all.

Cranberry Bliss Bar Wannabes

(originally from http://www.the-girl-who-ate-everything.com/ although modified a bit)

Bar Layer

  • 3/4 cup salted butter, cubed
  • 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 3/4 cup white chocolate chips

Topping

Now you could make a cream cheese frosting from scratch, but I was lazy so I modified a jar of frosting.

  • 3/4 can of cream cheese frosting
  • 1/2 cup melted white chocolate, divided
  • 1 tsp grated orange zest
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries

1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 13×9 baking pan.

2) Melt butter in microwave for about a minute, then stir in brown sugar. Let it cool until room temperature.

3) While the butter/sugar concoction is cooling, in a separate bowl whisk flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon then set aside.

4) Once the butter/sugar is cooled, use an electric mixture and mix in the eggs and vanilla.

5) Add the dry ingredients to the wet in small batches making sure that the dry ingredients get fully incorporated before adding more.

6) Using a wooden spoon, fold in the cranberries and white chocolate chips. The batter is going to be very thick.

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7) Spread the batter into the greased pan and bake for 18-21 minutes or until the tooth pick comes out clean. Set on a baking rack and let cool completely.

8)While the bars are cooling, mix the frosting, 1/2 the melted chocolate and the orange zest together.

9) When the bars are cooled spread the frosting on top, sprinkle the dried cranberries and drizzle the rest the melted chocolate across the top. Stick in the fridge to let the frosting harden. When the bars are cooled, cut and enjoy. They last in the fridge for about a week.

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Enjoy!

 

 

Deep Dish Pizza Dough

I have an obsession with pizza. It’s not one of those all-consuming, restraining order from Papa Murphy’s type obsessions, but I really do love pizza. Now if I’m making pizza, I’m making the dough. Store bought doughs tend to lack flavor and can be tough to work with. (The exception, for me at least, is Trader Joe’s dough – that stuff is delicious!)

So in my quest for the perfect pizza dough, I stumbled upon a deep dish recipe that is heavenly. This dough has it all, its buttery, flaky, crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside and to top it all off easy to work.

Chicago Style Deep Dish Dough 

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  • 2 1/4 tsp dry active yeast
  • 1 1/2 tsp white sugar
  • 1 1/8 cup warm water (between 110-115°)
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 cups olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  1. Mix the yeast, sugar and warm water together and let stand for 5-10 minutes until the mixture starts to get foamy.
  2. Mix in the rest of the ingredients and knead together. Do this until a slightly sticky dough begins to form. I used my mixer’s hook attachment and it took about two minutes for the dough to form.
  3. Place the dough in a buttered bowl, cover and let rise until its doubled in size, about 2-4 hours.
  4. Once the dough has risen, press the dough into a well oiled cake pan, add toppings and bake for 30 minutes in a 450° oven.
  5. Enjoy!

We put chicken, bacon and artichokes on ours and it was delicious!

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