I’ve heard some people say that their favorite part about holiday treat time is when Starbucks starts putting out their Cranberry Bliss Bars.
I’ve never had one.
BUT I made one! Here you go!
With this lightened-up version, I won’t ever feel that need to test the waters (don’t hold me to that though). Plus, I’m pretty sure that for the cost of just one or two of those at Starbucks, I made this whole batch and can dole them out to all my peeps around Christmas time (or, you know, leave a ton of them in my parents’ fridge when I visit them…they love it when I visit…).
Fa la la la la…
Healthier Cranberry Bliss Bars
(makes 16 generous bars)
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
½ cup boiling water
1 cup brown sugar
2 egg whites + 1 whole egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 ¼ cup flour (I used a mix of whole wheat and all purpose)
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. cinnamon
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup white chocolate chips
topping: ¼ cup white chocolate chips
~Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9×13” baking dish with nonstick spray.
~In a small bowl, combine the applesauce, brown sugar, and boiling water. Stir until the sugar starts to dissolve and it’s all well combined. Set aside.
~In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Stir the ingredients together. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Add the egg whites, egg, and vanilla. Start incorporating the dry ingredients. Then, add the bowl of wet ingredients. Mix until JUST incorporated (you may still have dry ingredients streaked, and that’s ok! The less mixed, the better!). Then, add the cranberries and white chips and stir them in.
~Pour the batter into your baking dish. Bake for 20 min or until a toothpick comes out clean (do not overbake!). Pull the dish out of the oven, sprinkle on the ¼ cup of white chocolate chips, then let the baked blondies cool completely before cutting and serving. Enjoy!
*Recipe inspired by Starbucks and adapted from Recipe Girl: Cranberry Bliss Bars