Food, Fun, NYC, recipe, Sweets, Uncategorized

Cranberry Bliss Bars- Starbucks Knockoff

I figured I would continue on the quest for cranberry cooking this time using only dried cranberries.  Many are aware and addicted to the amazing Cranberry Bliss Bars at Starbucks.  Unfortunately they are far from homemade and come frozen in a package.  I found this recipe online and followed it pretty closely.  My only changes would be to bake the bars longer than stated in the directions and use the orange flavored cranberries from Trader Joe’s for additional flavor.



  • 2 cups all purpose flourIMG_3168
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar, unpacked
  • 1/4 cup melted unsalted butter
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup white chocolate chips or chopped white chocolate (I used one 4oz. bar)
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries, chopped

For the Frosting:

  • 8 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350°F.  Lightly spray a 9 x 13 inch non-stick baking pan with cooking spray.  I had trouble removing the bars and would recommend parchment paper next time. *IMG_3167I read that if warm bars are not removed after 10 minutes they will stick to the pan…I waited an hour and wondered why they were stuck.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon and stir to blend.

In another bowl, whisk the sugars with the butter, egg whites, applesauce and vanilla until light and fluffy.

Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in two additions until the batter is very well blended. Batter should be thick. Fold in white chocolate chips and 1/3 cup cranberries. Spread batter onto the baking pan using the back of a measuring cup to smooth evenly.

Bake 15-18 minutes, until the edges are light brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Don’t over-bake or your bars will be dry. Let it cool completely on wire rack.
Meanwhile, prepare the frosting; in a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla until well-blended. Frost bars and sprinkle with remaining cranberries.

When the chocolate sets, cut into 15 large squares (5 cuts by 3 cuts with the knife). Then cut each square in half diagonally to create triangles. Keep at room temperature unfrosted, or freeze frosted for later consumption.

I am heading to a holiday party tomorrow evening and think they will be a great holiday treat to share.  I think I could make a few revisions, but overall very pleased with the little triangles of joy!IMG_3174

Food, Fun, NYC, recipe, Sweets

Pumpkin Post 1- Pumpkin Cake Roll unrolled

I need to dedicate just a bit more attention to pumpkin season before it slips away.  One of my favorite blogs skinnytaste recently posted 50 different pumpkin treats.  Gina adapted this roll from the Joy of Baking and I adapted the icing a bit from both based on the ingredients I had on hand.  Although I have not posted 50 pumpkin recipes, I picked one that I thought was fun and different.  This pumpkin roll is super decadent and still uses butter, fat, and sugar, just not as much as the traditional recipe.  I thought this would be the perfect treat to bring over to a friend and fellow blogger’s apartment as it looks more impressive than it is.

I followed the recipe pretty close to what is suggested as I needed to ensure the ratios were correct in the cake to ensure a roll without cracking.  As mentioned above I did change the icing and added pumpkin to that because there was still some leftover from the cake so why not amp up the flavor.  As per usual I doubled the cinnamon and vanilla in the cake to ensure the extra punch of flavor and I did not have any allspice!

The roll unrolled before and after baking.  Te cake was easily removed thanks to the help of parchment paper.IMG_2861 IMG_2862


In this recipe patience is key.  You must cool the cake completely before adding the frosting.  It should be rolled then chilled then filled and rerolled.

okay so one end of mine cracked but no big deal.  The bigger problem is you must cool or freeze the cake before slicing to let the filling set.IMG_2864 IMG_2865



This recipe is a great one to have over the holidays as it can and should be prepared well in advance.IMG_2880 IMG_2881

I sprinkled it in cinnamon sugar and served it up!  Here it is in action. * Note: I used a smaller jelly roll pan and loved my results.



  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup canned pumpkin
  • non-stick spray
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar (to sprinkle on towel)