Cranberry Bliss Bars with Coconut

Popular Starbucks bars copycat – these Cranberry Bliss Bars are even better with the addition of coconut!

bliss bars 2a Cranberry Bliss Bars with Coconut

When it comes to cranberries and chocolate combo I have no strong will. Not a bit. I won’t even try to resist it. It’s a real mission impossible. And you know what? I don’t mind a bit! icon smile Cranberry Bliss Bars with Coconut

Here is my defense.

bliss bars 4a Cranberry Bliss Bars with Coconut

This bar was made for me. Cranberries, white chocolate, coconut – all on a ooey gooey blondie base. My favorites – married together in a delightful bliss.

This is the definition of simple deliciousness. The word exists and this is the proof.

bliss bars 1a Cranberry Bliss Bars with Coconut

If anyone wants to ever prove to me their strong-willness, I will ask them to have a plate of Cranberry Bliss Bars with Coconut on a table in front of them. I will delightfully watch them sweat, pull their hair out and after 2 seconds – devour a piece like a starved animal. No strong will left.

bliss bars 5a Cranberry Bliss Bars with Coconut

The blondie base is truly ooey gooey. So soft it melts in your mouth. The combination of cranberries and white chocolate is not overwhelming but perfectly balanced. The cream cheese frosting is absolutely delicious! If you love white chocolate, you will love it! The addition of coconut does not make them too sweet. I happen to love coconut and I would put even more of it, but I figured 1/2 cup would be just fine. The combination of melted white chocolate and coconut oil makes a drizzle with a little crunch.

Pair with a cup of coffee and enjoy.

Cranberry Bliss Bars with Coconut

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 18 minutes

Cranberries, white chocolate and coconut atop gooey blondie base make this truly irresistible treat for this holiday season.

Ingredients

  1. 3/4 c ( 1 1/2 stick ) unsalted butter
  2. 1 1/2 c packed brown sugar
  3. 2 large eggs
  4. 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
  5. 2 1/4 c all-purpose flour
  6. 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  7. 1/4 tsp salt
  8. 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
  9. 1/8 tsp ground cloves ( optional )
  10. 1/2 c dried cranberries
  11. 1/2 c shredded coconut ( sweetened or unsweetened )
  12. 6 oz. white chocolate chips or baking chocolate
  13. 1 pkg ( 8 oz. ) cream cheese, softened
  14. 1 c powdered sugar
  15. 6 oz. white chocolate chips or baking chocolate
  16. 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil
  17. 1/2 c shredded coconut ( sweetened or unsweetened ), divided
  18. 1/2 c dried cranberries

Instructions

  1. Line 13"x9" baking dish with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Set aside.
  2. Melt butter in a microwave safe dish. Pour into a mixing bowl of your stand mixer. Add brown sugar and stir until combined. Let cool to room temperature.
  3. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until combined.
  4. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together dry ingredients ( flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and cloves ). With the mixer on low, gradually add the dry ingredients. When there are still few flour lumps in the batter, add cranberries, white chocolate and coconut. Fold in. Spread the batter in prepared dish. Bake in 350 degree F oven for 18 to 20 minutes. Cool completely.
  5. Meanwhile, melt white chocolate with coconut oil. Stir until smooth.
  6. For the frosting: beat cream cheese until smooth, add powdered sugar and beat until fluffy. Add half of the melted chocolate and beat to combine. Stir in half of the coconut. Spread over cooled blondies. Sprinkle with cranberries and remaining coconut. Drizzle the remaining chocolate over the frosting. Cut into triangles. Store in refrigerator.

Notes

It is best to underbake the blondie base, as even few more minutes in the oven can result in a tough bar. As soon as you see the edges set, pull them out and let cool completely on the counter. They will set. The addition of coconut and coconut oil is optional, yet recommended. The original Starbucks recipe doesn't include it.

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 Cranberry Bliss Bars with Coconut

The recipe comes from a little recipe booklet from Taste of Home “Best Loved Cookies and Bars”. I know that Starbucks serves these bars during holiday season. All in all, their fame is deserved.

chocolate party logo 2 Cranberry Bliss Bars with Coconut

This month, all participant in Roxana’s Home Baking Chocolate Party were pairing chocolate with cranberries. To see more entries and learn more about this fabulous group, visit Roxana’s blog.

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What is your favorite combination you can’t resist?

xoxo,

Anna

 


36 thoughts on “Cranberry Bliss Bars with Coconut

  1. Your eloquent post makes want to try this right now! Too bad we don´t have cranberries here, and I yet have to find the right tangy replacement. Gorgeous Anna!

  2. Great minds think alike – we both brought these phenomenal bars to the Chocolate Party this month. Kudos on the coconut – what a fabulous flavour and texture addition! Your bars and photos are beautiful.

    • Great minds indeed. :) These bars are sooo goood – I hope you will try adding coconut next time. LOVE it! Thanks, Nancy!

  3. Yum. I’ve had these at Starbucks and I absolutely love them! I’m so glad to finally have a recipe! They are sooooo good! And look very pretty on the holiday table : )
    Can’t wait to make these!
    Danielle

    • It’s the most delicious bar dessert recipe I have tried to date! Thank you, Laura!

  4. These looks AMAZING sweets! I will have to add these to my Christmas baking list! Have a fabulous week!

  5. These look so delicious! Just a quick question about the coconut: it looks like it is used three times in the recipe. In the blondie batter, the frosting, and sprinkled on top. How is the half cup divided among those three areas? Thanks.

    • Oh no! Looks like 1/2 c of coconut escaped from my list of ingredients. Correcting ASAP. Thank you so much for pointing it out, Rachel!

      • Thanks for the quick response. That makes sense now! :) will be making these for Christmas. Can’t wait!

          • I made these and ended up leaving off the cream cheese frosting. They seemed sweet enough as they were. I still melted the chocolate and poured it on top and added the additional cranberries and coconut. They were delicious! I wish I had noticed the note to underbake them sooner. Probably left them in a minute or two too long. But still delicious. And very rich! Thanks for the recipe!

            • Yay! I am so glad you gave them a try! Here is the thing with blondies: they are very easy to overbake, even a minute can make a difference. Thank you so much for coming back and leaving comments, Rachel!

  6. Can you believe I have never tried a Cranberry Bliss Bar? This morning I bought one at Starbucks to see what all the rage was about…now I can’t wait to make them! What a beautiful recipe you made for our December Chocolate Party!

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  8. Thanks for relinking to these! I am in love with Cran Bliss Bars and yours with the coconut sounds so fun. Love that idea! I could go to town on these!

  9. Made these for the first time and, running late, I brought them to my work Christmas party without even having cut them yet, much less try one… They were a HUGE hit, coworkers that were still on the clock were sneaking into the party to try them as they were hearing about them inside! They were gone so fast, I only got try the little piece left in my pan that had fallen apart when I was cutting it. Thank god for that! The second time I tried to make this I was again, running late, and decided I had to ditch the frosting, so instead I chopped a bunch of random candy bars I had and mixed in before baking- just as big of a hit, and no one knew that wasn’t the intention, or even that it was the same recipe for those that had seen the 1st batch. My all time favorite Blondie recipe. And EASY, I don’t even bother with the mixer.

    • Hi DeeDee! I LOVE your story! Thank you so much for sharing! I am so glad you like this recipe! I love the idea of using chopped candy – I need to try it!

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