So My Official Treat Taster's mother has only been here 24 hours and she's already kind of ruined Christmas. Is that a mean thing to say? Basically, My Official Treat Taster was showing her something on the computer yesterday evening and she started reading out loud one of his emails for absolutely no reason whatsoever...
Her statement was along the lines of "Ooh. What's this? 'Don't forget to pay for your purchase of -insert the name of Nicola's main Christmas present from Her Official Treat Taster here-. What does that mean?" We both saw it coming, but we were literally too shocked at what she was doing to stop her before it was too late. On the plus side, I'm getting a Jawbone! On the bad side, I'm going to have to fake a surprised face on Christmas morning when I'm not the least bit surprised.
It's not even that my Christmas morning surprise was swiped away that was the worse thing. The look on My Official Treat Taster's face was devastating. Seriously - he looked like a puppy who had just been slapped and told he was naughty. In an effort to cheer him up, I pulled these Skinny Copycat Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars out of the fridge. Although they didn't make him grin from ear to ear, they did take the edge off his sad face!
Last year I made a Cranberry Bliss Bars Starbucks Copycat Recipe and since then I've been totally hooked. There's something so moreish and delicious about the dense and chewy blondie base when it's combined with the sweet, thick icing on top liberally loaded with dried cranberries. Heaven! But one of the worst things about baking at home is that you know exactly what goes into your baked goods. You know exactly how much butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and icing sugar has gone into the treat that you're so gratefully devouring.
And when you're eating a full-fat full-sugar snack, that's never a good feeling. Which is why I decided to make a skinny version of the Starbucks classic! My recipe is based on Skinny Taste's recipe which is the only Skinny Starbucks Copycat Cranberry Bliss Bar recipe I'd seen online, prior to this one. My recipe makes fewer bars compared to Skinny Taste's and it also has less sugar. I had no apple sauce to hand when I was making this recipe (and simply couldn't be bothered to make my own apple sauce) so I skipped it and used all butter instead. But don't let that freak you out. There's only ¼ cup of butter in the whole recipe. That's just ½ a tablespoon of butter in each bar.
Most Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars are baked into a square tin and then cut up into triangles. I went for a slightly different method with this recipe. I baked my Skinny Starbucks Copycat Cranberry Bliss Bars into this 9" round silicone cake tin. Not only can you easily tip the cookie base out of the tin without any fear of it sticking whatsoever, but the round shape makes it really easy to cut into equal-sized pieces, too. Awesome, right?
Skinny Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars Copycat
for the bars
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup brown sugar unpacked
- ¼ cup melted butter
- 1 egg white
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup white chocolate chips/chopped white chocolate
- 3 tablespoons chopped dried cranberries
for the icing
- 4 oz /113g fat-free cream cheese at room temperature
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons chopped dried cranberries + extra for decorating
for the bars
- Preheat the oven to 350F/175C and stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and both sugars together in a medium-size bowl.
- Pour in the melted butter and egg white and mix until a stiff and fairly sticky dough comes together.
- Sprinkle over the white chocolate chips/chopped white chocolate and chopped cranberries and stir them into the dough until they're evenly dispersed.
- Press the cookie dough into the base of a 9" round cake tin and bake in the preheated oven for around 20 minutes, until golden brown.
- Remove the cookie base from the oven and tip it out onto a wire baking tray. Leave to cool fully before spreading on the icing.
for the icing
- In a small bowl, beat together the cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla extract.
- When the cookie base is cool, spread it over the icing, making sure you cover the edges as much as possible.
- Sprinkle on a few extra chopped dried cranberries for decoration then cut into 8 slices.
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