Another month, another Chocolate Party challenge. This month, we’re combining chocolate with cranberries. I really wanted to do something big, eye catching and decadent, like a white chocolate cheesecake with a homemade cranberry coulis swirl. Alas, time was not on my side so I had to dial it down a bit.
As of November 1st, Starbucks rolled out their Christmas cup and Christmas menu. I’m a total dork and this brand of blatant marketing really sucks me in. Staring at that big red menu board filled with treats such as peppermint mochas, egg nog lattes and gingerbread loaves really gets me in the holiday spirit. I’ve never had Starbucks’ cranberry bliss bar but I’ve heard they’re amazing. Plus, every year numerous blogs roll out copycat versions that claim to be not just as good but better than the store bought one (which I totally believe because in my opinion, homemade always trumps the commercial).
I was drooling over photos on Foodgawker last week when a gorgeous photo of a copycat cranberry bliss bar caught my attention. I knew it was the perfect item to make for this Chocolate Party. The recipe is from the beautiful, delicious blog Averie Cooks. I didn’t alter a thing from Averie’s recipe so please click here to view it.
Please don’t look at her photos until you’ve scrolled through mine. Averie’s bars and photography are so stunning, you’ll laugh at my pathetic attempt to recreate them. In my defence, I made these in a hurry and then assembled them at my mother-in-law’s house under not-so-optimal lighting. Needless to say, the frosting job and the photography are not my best work but hey, the bars tasted phenomenal. I’ll take success where I find it.
These bars were absolutely delicious. Perfectly moist, dense, chewy and not too sweet. The flavours of the dried cranberries, smooth white chocolate and caramel tones of the brown sugar meld together so beautifully. And the white chocolate cream cheese frosting is to die for. Mine was a bit liquidy because I didn’t put in that much powdered sugar (maybe a cup?) since I hate too-sweet icing. I can’t compare these to the Starbucks version but after eating these, I don’t think I’ll ever need to.
I want to give the lovely Carrie of Bakeaholic Mama a shout-out – she’s got a post (see here) on how to make your own Craisins. It’s much healthier than buying commercial since you know exactly what you’re putting into these babies. I haven’t tried it yet but I want to.
If you want to join in on the party, check out the info at Roxana’s Home Baking, the blog of our wonderful hostess, Roxana.