Copycat Olive Garden Breadsticks

I’m not sure if this is really a secret or not. Let me pretend that I’m the first person to ever tell you this anyway. You can make breadsticks that taste just like your favorite unlimited basket at the Olive Garden. It’s true. And, it is not hard. Really, it is too easy. Cause, I love love love the Olive Garden’s breadsticks. And now I can make them at home. Which I’ve done three times in the past week. Bad. Very bad.

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Cranberry Bliss Bars

When I was doing some research for Pastor Phil’s Double Chocolate Brownie Cookies, I saw a photo online of Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars. Wow. I’m really glad I don’t drink coffee, because those baked goods would just about kill me I think. After finishing my Brownie Cookie digging, I started looking into recipe knockoffs for the bliss bars. I found this one at a delightful little blog and thought I’d give it a whirl for our yearly Haunted Corn Maze get together. These are beautiful and I think they’ll taste like heavenly bliss with my Bailey’s and Hot Chocolate tonight. I think the next time I make these, I’ll tweak a bit though – they seem just a bit skimpy on the chocolate and cranberries in the bar. I think 1/2 c each of the cranberries and chocolate would have been better.

 

Cranberry Bliss Bars

 

Cranberry Bliss Bars (Copycat of Starbucks)

Cake Base:

2 sticks (1 C) butter, softened
1 1/4 C brown sugar, packed
3 eggs
1 tsp ground powder ginger
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 C flour
1/4 C minced dried cranberries
1/4 C quality white chocolate, chopped
1/4 C minced candied ginger (make sure you mince it very fine)

Frosting:

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 C powdered sugar
2 Tbsp butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp orange zest

Drizzle:

2 Tbsp minced dried cranberries
1/3 C white chocolate, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9 x 13 pan

Beat together butter and sugar and then add eggs and vanilla beating until light and fluffy.  Add flour, powdered ginger and salt.  Beat well.  Fold in the cranberries, chocolate chunks and minced candied ginger.  Spread batter in pan and bake for about 20-25 minutes or until light golden brown.

After cake cools, mix all frosting ingredients together and spread over top of cake.  Sprinkle with minced cranberries.  Use a Ziploc bag of melted chocolate with a small corner cut off to drizzle the chocolate over the cake.

Allow cake to sit for several hours, then slice the cake lengthwise (the long way) through the middle.  Slice the cake across the width three times making a total of eight rectangular slices. Slice each of those rectangles diagonally creating 16 triangular slices.

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