(mock) cranberry bliss bars

by Patricia on December 4, 2009 · 25 comments

12 days of cookies: (mock) cranberry bliss bars

A few of you mentioned the cranberry bliss bars from Starbucks when I asked about your favorite holiday treat. And while I’m not sure it is technically a cookie, I’ve decided to include it in the 12 days of cookies… I was going to make them anyway, so why not?

[Note: this recipe is in no way affiliated with Starbucks and any resemblance to a Starbucks’ product is purely, blissfully coincidental].

I ran across this recipe a couple of years ago on My Little Mochi. Have you seen her site? I love all of the cute things she makes. So talented. And the bunny bowls she used to eat her cranberry bliss bars from are adorable.

12 days of cookies: (mock) cranberry bliss bars

Anyway, back to the recipe. It is goood. I make one pan of these each holiday season. I. Must. They are rich enough that a little really goes a long way, but I love to have one with an afternoon cup of tea. The ginger, white chocolate, cranberry, and cream cheese-lemon frosting all come together to create… bliss.

Take that Day 5.

12 days of cookies: (mock) cranberry bliss bars

Mock Cranberry Bliss Bars

(adapted from My Little Mochi)


1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped
6 ounces (about 3/4 cup) white chocolate chips (or chopped white chocolate)


4 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
4 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup dried cranberries, chopped

drizzling icing:

1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
1-2 tablespoons milk

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the butter and brown sugar until smooth. Add eggs, vanilla, ginger, and salt. Mix well.
  3. Gradually add flour. Mix until smooth. Stir in cranberries and white chocolate.
  4. Pour the batter into a well-greased 9×13-inch pan. Use a spatula to evenly spread the batter in the pan.
  5. Bake 30-40 minutes, until edges are light brown. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
  6. Make the frosting: Mix together the cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla and lemon juice until completely smooth. Set aside the cranberries.
  7. Make the drizzling icing: In a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, milk and vegetable shortening. Use enough milk to make a thick but drizzly consistency. I used closer to 2 tablespoons. [at first it will seem like the vegetable shortening is just going to clump things up, but if you mix the milk in first it will all whisk together smoothly].
  8. When the cake (er, cookie?) is fully cooled, frost. Sprinkle the top with cranberries.
  9. Put the drizzling icing into a ziploc bag and snip off a tiny bit of the corner (or use pastry bag fitted with small tip). Drizzle the icing on top in zig-zags or whatever pattern you like.
  10. Cut into squares or triangles. And enjoy it with a good cup of coffee…


1 Sydney December 21, 2010 at 7:32 am

I just had my first bar from Starbucks…the only reason I allowed this to happen was because they claim to have 280 calories in them (the lowest of any baked food item Starbucks had)…
Was that calorie count just a lie?? How could this be?

2 megan @ whatmegansmaking December 8, 2010 at 11:59 am

oh my gosh I LOVE these. Seriously, if anybody reading this has any doubts, make them. They’re incredible. I’m actually posting about them in a couple days – for this year’s 12 days of Christmas Treats! :) Thanks for a great recipe!

3 sheila @ Elements November 11, 2010 at 10:18 am

Wow!! Looks fantastic!!!! :)

4 Veronica December 26, 2009 at 10:14 pm

Everyone at the party loved these and I can now officially tell you they freeze very well! After a few weeks in the freezer, the texture was just as good as the day I baked them

5 Veronica December 15, 2009 at 5:34 pm

I made a batch of these to include in the holiday spread at our family’s big Christmas eve party. They are so fabulous! Right now the ones I didn’t eat are hanging out on the freezer so I’ll let you know how that works–I’m sure they’ll be just fine after defrosting. I CAN tell you that even fully frozen, they are still soft enough to eat straight out of the freezer. Not that I speak from experience or anything. ;)

6 allison December 14, 2009 at 7:04 pm

so i made these for a bridal shower this past weekend and they were AMAZING!..i’ve never had the real ones from starbucks, but i don’t see how they could be any better than these. :)

7 megan December 7, 2009 at 10:33 am

I LOVE cranberry bliss bars. I am so definitely making these! And coincidentally, I’m doing the 12 days of Christmas (cookies) as well! how funny is that? :)

8 Patricia December 7, 2009 at 4:29 pm

That’s awesome megan! I’ve been checking in your 12 days of cookies too :)

9 Teanna December 7, 2009 at 8:10 am

I just printed this recipe out! I can’t wait to try it!

10 Patricia December 7, 2009 at 4:28 pm

Awesome Teanna, can’t wait to hear how it turns out!

11 Danica December 6, 2009 at 9:34 pm

OMG – This is by far my FAVORITE thing that Starbuck’s makes during the holidays. I remember seeing a recipe online for creating it and knew I needed to stay away from butter plus cream cheese, plus butter LOL…but, it’s soooo good. I LOVE how yours turned out – maybe I should try making them to take somewhere so I don’t eat them all :)

12 Patricia December 7, 2009 at 4:28 pm

Danica – I would love to see you work your magic on this recipe and make it lighter. Even I sometimes have a hard time turning a blind eye as the butter-shortening-cream trifecta are being combined :)

13 Natalie December 6, 2009 at 3:55 pm

I ate a cranberry bliss bar from Starbucks less than an hour ago. I should totally make some at home. They are my favorite holiday treat.

14 Patricia December 7, 2009 at 4:26 pm

These are really good, but definitely not something I want to be left alone with for too long (13×9 inches of bliss bar is just a little too much for me).

15 Lucy December 6, 2009 at 1:59 pm

Bliss bars – what a fitting name! Beautiful cookie.

16 tovie December 6, 2009 at 1:41 pm

Cranberry Bliss Bars are to die for! I’m going to try these. But I would swear the Starbuck’s version have oatmeal in them but none of the mock recipes seem to have oatmeal in them. Maybe I’ll have to try the recipe as is and then make it again and sub some oatmeal in. In which case I’d better find someone to share with :D

17 Patricia December 7, 2009 at 4:26 pm

To be honest, tovie, I’m not sure I’ve actually had a “real” one from Starbucks since I found this recipe 2 years ago, so you may be right about the oatmeal. Maybe I should go back and do a taste test…

18 lisaiscooking December 6, 2009 at 9:35 am

These look amazing! I wish I had a pan of them in my kitchen right now.

19 Rachel Cotterill December 5, 2009 at 3:54 pm

Can you do 365 days of cookies next year? Puh-lease? You have no idea how much I’m getting to look forwards to reading these recipes.

20 Patricia December 7, 2009 at 4:24 pm

If I had a full-time dishwasher and someone to come take away the cookies once they’ve cleared “quality control”, … maybe. But I think I’d drive Dan crazy doing this all year. Haha. It’s been fun so far though :)

21 Lisa December 5, 2009 at 9:11 am

Anything with cranberries has to be good!

22 Patricia December 7, 2009 at 4:22 pm

I agree completely Lisa… and it’s definitely the season for it!

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