Perhaps these bars look a tad bit familiar to you, but Starbucks ain’t got shit on me. These browned butter cranberry white chocolate cookie bars are thiccc with a capital T. They have a better ratio of bar to frosting, in my opinion, and because the bar portion is so delicious it doesn’t need so much frosting to make it taste good. I actually worked at Starbucks over a decade ago and damnit if those cranberry bliss bars weren’t my favorite holiday treat. But I can say with enthusiasm that these are 100x better (sorry, Starbucks). The recipe makes 8 large bars but they are very rich. They could easily be cut into small squares or smaller triangles to yield 16 pieces. No holiday party or cookie swap is complete without these bars, I swear! Happy baking!
If you love the cranberry bliss bars from Starbucks, these cranberry white chocolate cookie bars are going to change your life!
Cranberry White Chocolate Cookie Bars
- 2 sticks (8 oz) unsalted butter, divided
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 2/3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- pinch of kosher salt
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 3/4 cup white chocolate chips
White Chocolate Frosting:
- 4 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream, at room temperature
- 5 oz white chocolate, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- melted white chocolate, for drizzling
- dried cranberries, for sprinkling
- To make the browned butter: add 1 stick of the butter to a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Allow the butter to cook until medium brown in color and nutty smelling. The butter turns from brown to burned quickly, so keep an eye on it always and only cook over low heat. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
- Grease and line an 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the browned butter, remaining stick of butter, vanilla, cinnamon and brown sugar. Beat on medium speed until well combined, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs and beat for another minute. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, along with the cranberries and white chocolate and mix until just combined. Press the batter into the prepared pan and freeze for 15 minutes. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F and bake for 35-40 min, until golden brown on top. Allow to cool completely to room temperature.
- To make the frosting: in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a bowl using a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth. Add the heavy cream and vanilla and beat until smooth. Add the melted white chocolate and beat for 1 minute, until completely combined. Spread the frosting on the cooled bars and refrigerate for 30 min. Cut into triangles and top with more cranberries and drizzle melted white chocolate on top, if desired.