First, I have to admit that this is not a picture of the cranberry bliss bars I made. I'm pretty good about writing stuff up on my blog, but horrible about taking pictures of the process or the final product.
The back story of this project went like this. My workout buddy called me yesterday, and told me that I shouldn't expect her at the gym for a while. She was in a car accident about two weeks ago and is suffering from some bulging discs in her back. Personally, I have no experience with this injury, but my mom does. She was in a car accident 30 years ago, and has had other accidents since then (never her fault) and has suffered with this condition since then. So, I know how debilitating this injury can be. When she asked me for a favor I was happy to serve.
Tami had promised to make some treats for the friends of her daughter for a church activity. I am lucky enough to have a workout buddy that shares some of the same food allergies that I endure. She asked me to make the Starbuck's Cranberry bliss Bars. She even e-mailed me a video of how to make them. The trick was to convert the recipe to gluten free and dairy free. And I did. I had one little bar before her husband whisked them away to her daughter's young women's activity, and I have to say, I WILL be making these again.
So, I'll bet you'd like the recipe, right? Well....Let me get right to that!
First of all I should tell you about some of the special ingredients you'll have to pick up. The first one is a crea cheese substitute that is made from soy. It's called Tofutti. You'll only need half the tub, so there's enough there for a double batch! Bwahahahaha!
The other thing you'll need is a gluten free flour. I used a GF bread flour that I get at Sprouts. Any GF flour will do. I just get the biggest cheapest bag.
The other thing is xanthum gum. You've probably read that this is an ingredient in some processed foods.
Wickapedia has this to say:
Xanthan gum is a polysaccharide, derived from the bacterial coat of Xanthomonas campestris, used as a food additive and rheology modifier, commonly used as a food thickening agent (in salad dressings, for example) and a stabilizer (in cosmetic products, for example, to prevent ingredients from separating). It is produced by the fermentation of glucose, sucrose, or lactose by the Xanthomonas campestris bacterium. After a fermentation period, the polysaccharide is precipitated from a growth medium with isopropyl alcohol, dried, and ground into a fine powder. Later, it is added to a liquid medium to form the gum.
It's used to bind the ingredients together. Since we don't have gluten, you'll need something to do this. If you don't want to buy a whole container of the stuff, since you'll only need a teaspoon, you cam leave it out, but your cookie won't hold together as well.
The other ingredients, you'll be able to find at your grocery store.
CRANBERRY BLISS BARS
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
3/4 cups (or 1 1/2 sticks) softened margarine
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt (sea salt preferred)
1 Tablespoon fresh grated ginger (or 1 tsp ground ginger)
1 1/2 cups gluten free flour
1 tsp xanthum gum
Mix with a wooden spoon until ingredients are incorporated, then add:
3/4 cups dried cranberries
4 oz white chocolate chips
Spray a 9"x 13" pan with nonstick spray, and then spread the cookie dough evenly into the pan. Bake in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.
While your cookie bakes, make the
4 oz Tofutti cream cheese substitute
4 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
Mix together above ingredients with a whisk, and then add 1 cup at a time:
3 cups confectioner's (powdered) sugar
When your cookie is cooled, frost the top.
Next, sprinkle, 1/4 cup chopped, dried cranberries.
(I used more than this and didn't chop them. I LOVE Craisins!)
Then make the
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 Tablespoon soy milk
2 tsp vegetable shortening
Cut the very tip off of a plastic sandwich bad, and load the icing into it. Drizzle over the top.
The original recipe said to chill before cutting, but in my house we're luck enough for the cookie layer to cool before getting the other toppings on. And to tell you the truth, I think the cookie layer by it self is pretty darn good!
Hee hee! I just a got a text from Tami, she says:
"Oh my heavens!!! You knock their socks off at Starbucks, this is 10x better!!! Thanks a million