Thursday, December 23, 2010


Cranberry bliss. 

Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars.

Craig's work had a potluck yesterday; naturally, he signed me up to make a dessert. I've trained him well He knows me well.  Actually, I've done plenty of cooking  (real, dinner type food) for his co-workers, but I'm a baker at heart.  I once made a ginormous chicken pot pie; another time I made a quadruple batch of bourbon chicken (the stains on my car upholstery still remain); I've made bbq pork and white chicken chili, baked ziti and enchiladas.  It's been a long time since I cooked them real food.  I can't help it; baking makes me happy.  Creaming butter and sugar and melting chocolate fills me with so much more joy than browning meat and topping a casserole with cheese ever will.

I mentioned earlier that, particularly in the winter, I adore the white chocolate/dried cranberry combo.

When you add those two ingredients to a base of butter, brown sugar and vanilla, which has been spiced with a heavy teaspoon of ground ginger,

smear it with cream cheese frosting, flavored with the faintest hint of lemon,

and stud it with some more bejeweled dried cranberries,

you've got yourself bliss on a plate.

That's what Starbucks says, anyway.  They oughta know; these bars are a favorite to many.

I've made this copy cat recipe for the Startbucks holiday treat for a few years now.  I omit the final step of an additional, thicker drizzle, but it doesn't seem to matter much.  They do not disappoint.

I've only had a cranberry bliss bar from an actual Starbucks establishment once, several years ago.  I was at a mall in Leesburg, Florida with my mom and a nearly 3 year old Caroline.  I don't know why we were there, but we were.  Believe me, if you've been to the mall in Leesburg, Florida, you'd be wondering the same thing.  Whatever the reason, on that very day, I was introduced to both the eggnog latte and the cranberry bliss bar. 

Please forgive the shadowy pictures.  The sun is playing peek-a-boo with the clouds and I gave up trying to get a shadow-less picture.  I am unamused by the picture quality, but still very much enamored by the blissfulness of the cranberry bliss bar.

Likewise, I'm very much enamored by Heath bars.  Chocolate and toffee are another winning combination.  If a recipe calls for Heath bars, chances are, I have it bookmarked.

Because two desserts are better than one, I made a batch of toffee bars for the potluck, as well.

A base of melted butter and brown sugar, mixed with flour, milk chocolate chips and chopped Heath bars.

I took the liberty of topping the hot toffee bars with a coating of melted chocolate and an additonal sprinkle of Heath bars.

More is better, right?

I've had so much fun baking lately.  I'll be sad when the holidays are over and everyone starts their new year resolutions to lose weight.  Somehow butter, sugar and chocolate don't easily fit into that lifestyle. 


We're going to see ICE! at the Gaylord National tonight.  Hopefully I'll get some fun pictures of our experience.  I hope we don't get frostbite!


Sugar Shocked said...

We got your Box of Deliciousness and Other Assorted Goodies yesterday. Thanks muchly!
My friend Khuong came to visit from NYC bearing NYC treats. He does PR work for lots of hugely famous chefs and restaurants and, among other things, brought us cookies and cake truffles from Momofuko Milk Bar (Google it and drool). Corn cookies! So good.
He said one of their specialties is "cereal milk." They'll have a batch of milk with like Frosted Flakes soaking in it. Pour out the cereal and sell the milk as a beverage.
Only in NY.

Alison said...

I've heard of Momofuko. The Momofuko guy (uh,I can't remember his name) was a guest on Top Chef recently. Selling cereal milk is kind of bizarre, but people are dumb enough to buy it, so more power to them. I guess slurpring the milk from your cereal bowl isn't good enough in NYC.

Corn cookies sound intriguing.

Not so food phobic said...

P.S. You will be so proud of me! Remember when you were here--was it this summer? Anyway, you baked stuff and bought butter. There was one cube left over....and I threw it out today. I'm guessing it's not good to use after, like, a dozen months. Right?

Alison said...

Yay!! I'm so proud of you!