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Cranberry White Chocolate Cookie Bars

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
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Cranberry White Chocolate Cookie Bars

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These cranberry white chocolate cookie bars are a total Starbucks copycat recipe, but better! These browned butter cranberry white chocolate cookie bars are thick 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.

cranberry bliss bars

How to make Cranberry White Chocolate Cookie Bars

There are a couple of components to these cranberry white chocolate cookie bars, but they are so worth it!

Tools Needed

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Butter
  • Vanilla Bean Paste
  • Spices
  • Sugar (Brown, White, and Powdered)
  • Eggs
  • Flour
  • Baking Powder
  • Dried Cranberries
  • Cream Cheese
  • White Chocolate
  • Heavy Cream

How to Brown Butter

Making brown butter is so easy and it’s the perfect way to level up your baking.

  1. Melt the butter. Start with a shallow saucepan and melt your butter over low heat.
  2. Bubbling. After the butter is melted, it’ll start to bubble a bit. You’ll notice the color will change and the butter will get much clearer.
  3. Foaming. Next, your butter will start to get foamy. I like to swirl the pan every minute or so while this is happening. The butter will start to brown and you’ll smell the change.
  4. Browning. Keep a close eye at this stage because it’s easy to burn! You want the butter to just be golden brown at this point.

brown butter

Once the butter is golden brown, remove it from the heat immediately. Transfer it to a heat-proof bowl and let it cool to room temperature. From here, it’s ready to use in a variety of baked goods! Don’t leave the little browned bits behind, that’s where all the flavor is.

Tips for making the best Cranberry White Chocolate Cookie Bars

  1. Room temperature ingredients. This is so important! Make sure your ingredients are at room temperature–the butter and eggs emulsify so much better. You want nice, fluffy butter so these cookies end up nice and chewy.
  2. Beat your butter and sugar long enough. For the best texture, you really need to beat the butter and sugars together for 4-5 minutes. The butter mixture should be really light, fluffy, and almost doubled in size.
  3. 2 sugars are better than 1. There’s a reason why these cookies call for both brown and white sugar, so please don’t make any substitutions. Brown sugar gives these cookies a chewy texture and reacts with the baking soda for leavening. The white sugar gives them their crispy edges.
  4. Don’t use chocolate chips. For best results, buy chocolate bars and chop them up. Chocolate chips have stabilizers that keep them from melting properly. If you can find chocolate FEVES, those are the way to go! 

cranberry white chocolate bars

How to store Cranberry White Chocolate Cookie Bars

If you find that you have any cranberry white chocolate cookie bars leftover, you can store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

To freeze: Wrap the un-cut cookie bars in wax paper and then tightly in plastic wrap. Freeze for up to 2 months. Defrost in the fridge until totally thawed before slicing. 

More Cookie Recipes to Try

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Cookies

Cranberry White Chocolate Cookie Bars

If you love the cranberry bliss bars from Starbucks, these cranberry white chocolate cookie bars are going to change your life!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Makes: 8 large bars

Ingredients

Cranberry White Chocolate Cookie Bars

  • 2 sticks 8 oz unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup white 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 chopped white chocolate

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

Instructions

  • 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 cool slightly.
  • Grease and line an 8x8 baking pan and line 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. 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.

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