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Making this recipe as stated (except for the Icing which I thought was just toooo much sugar), I was very disappointed that the cranberry and ginger flavors were hidden by the overpoweringly sweet taste from the white chocolate chips and the frosting. I though with the lemon juice added to the frosting, it would cut a bit of the sweet taste, but all it did was give it an interesting "tang" that really didn't sit well with the cream cheese. I made these for family get together for Christmas. I'll take them because I know there are some there with an extremely sweet tooth, but I won't be making them again.
Never having tasted the original they these were made to taste like, I can't tell you how close the taste is.
If I do make it again, I will leave off the frosting and not put the chips in either. Will probably drizzle a lemon juice/powdered sugar icing over the top, but nothing else.
So many problems with this recipe! This is NOT like the actual Starbucks cranberry bliss bars. The one thing this gets right is the sweetness of the Starbucks version. Otherwise, this is pretty far off the original bars,
Things that need to be corrected to make this recipe like the Starbucks:
~orange in the cream cheese frosting, NOT lemon. You can use grated orange peel (1 - 1 1/2 Tablespoons, or to taste) or orange extract (maybe about 1/2 teaspoon), or a combination of the two.
~There is no whipped cream topping on the Starbucks version--it is melted and drizzled white chocolate only.
~There is no ginger on top of the Starbucks bliss bar--only in the bar itself. The frosting should only have chopped cranberries and then a white chocolate drizzle on top.
~The texture of the bars can be improved by using 2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 cup of butter (melted, not softened), and 2 eggs.
The above changes will get you a much closer version of the Starbucks bars. I also make additional changes based on my personal preference, so stop reading if you want exactly the Starbucks version.
Things that I change based on my personal preferences:
~Add a little orange flavor to the bar batter. 1/4 teaspoon orange extract (in addition to the vanilla extract) or about 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice (I live at high altitude so I need to add more liquid). You could also used grated orange peel--maybe about a Tablespoon.
~I think the Starbucks bars are too sweet--in additi
This is a really sweet treat, but if you have had the one from Starbucks, this one should be no surprise. I would recommend cutting differently so that you get several small bites, rather than bars. Makes a great holiday treat to give away!
I accidentally added 2 full sticks of butter (whoops) = 1 cup butter rather than 3/4 c like it calls for. No biggie. I just added a tiny bit of water to even out batter.
I didn't have minced candied ginger on hand, so I used a combo of orange peel and ground ginger instead.
I also omitted the drizzle on top per reviews saying it was sweet enough without it, and it is.
I actually enjoyed the combo of ginger and orange with the cranberry flavor. Yum! I will make this again ... and again... and again.
This recipe is great - they taste just like the ones at Starbucks! The best part is you can make them anytime of year to enjoy - not just Christmastime. I didn't find them to be too sweet, but then I have quite a sweet tooth. I skipped the drizzle over the top. Do not skip the candied ginger - it gives these bars great flavor.
I made this for our Christmas gathering and my family also found this recipe way too sweet except for the younger children. I probably will not make this recipe again. If I do I will decrease the sugar in the cake by a quarter cup and the powdered sugar in the frosting by half as it was not spreadable and far too sweet. I would not use the final drizzle at all.