It is that time of year again where I find myself wanting to stop by my neighborhood Starbucks for a peppermint mocha and a cranberry bliss bar. I cringe each time I have to pay $2.95 for that little triangle of heaven, but damn, it tastes so good! So, me being me, I decided that I was sure that I could duplicate that devilish little bite of deliciousness, and about three years ago I began combing through several “copy cat” recipes on the internet. Some recipes were too lemony, some too gingery… some the taste was right, but the texture was off. At long last, after pulling bits from one recipe and some from others, and tweaking and trying as I went along, I have finally come up with a recipe that I feel is pretty spot on, both in taste and texture. The best part is, that with just a little effort, and for about $6, I am able to create a whole sheet pan (around 24) of what I will dub “Teresa’s Cranberry Delight Bites”! Enjoy!
Teresa’s Cranberry Delight Bites (Akin to Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars)
¾ cup (1½ sticks) butter, melted
1¼ cups packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons minced crystallized ginger
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup chopped sweetened dried cranberries
4 ounces white chocolate, cut into chunks (recommend Baker’s Squares)
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1½ cups confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon lemon zest
pinch of salt
⅓ cup white chocolate (recommend Baker’s Squares)
½ cup dried cranberries
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Make cake by mixing the butter and brown sugar together with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the eggs, ginger, vanilla, and salt and beat well. Gradually mix in the flour until smooth. Mix the chopped dried cranberries and white chocolate chunks into the batter by hand. Pour the batter into a buttered 9 × 13-inch light colored metal baking pan. Spread the batter evenly across the pan. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out cleanly from cake. Allow the cake to cool.
3. Make the frosting. Using the paddle attachment on an electric mixer, 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.
4. Make the drizzle. In a double boiler, melt white chocolate; once it is smooth, use a spoon and drizzle across the top of the frosted cake.
5. Cover the cake and let it chill in the freezer for a couple hours, then turn the cake horizontally and slice the cake into thirds. Then cut each third into 8 squares.
Yields 24 Squares
*Delight Bites keep well in the freezer.