Cranberry White Chocolate Bars

I highly recommend you make this recipe because it is PERFECT for the holidays!  (Actually, make it any time of the year… it’s that good.) I have been making this recipe every year for 8 Christmas’s and it’s always a crowd favourite.  I just made it last week to nail down the recipe and my husband Mark even said, “KATIE – I forgot how good this recipe is.” Why thank you, Mark.

I posted a quick how-to video on my IGTV channel on my Instagram so go check it out if you want to see a visual of just how simple it is and to see a step by step guide.

If you make them for the holidays, I can almost guarantee you’ll get a bunch of comments about how good they are and how much they love you for bringing them.  You can thank me later.

There are some “steps” to this recipe, but overall it’s VERY simple.  

  • Make the cookie base
  • Add the icing
  • Sprinkle Cranberries on top
  • Drizzle white chocolate to finish it off

Before you get started with your recipe you will want to do two things to prep first:  

#1) Roast your pecans

#2) Zest 3 oranges with the small side of your cheese grater or an actual citrus zester.  You will need the zest for 3 different aspects of the recipe and I find it works best to just zest them all at the beginning before you get started. 

After you’ve done your prep, you can get started on your cookie base. It’s pretty much just like a giant holiday cookie base stuffed full with a bunch of yummy things… like roasted pecans, dried cranberries, and white chocolate chips.  A GIANT CHRISTMAS COOKIE WITH ICING ON IT? Yes – yes it is.

Add your melted butter and sugar to a bowl and mix until combined.  Next add your eggs and vanilla and mix again until fully combined.

Next add the flour, baking soda, salt and vanilla.  

After those are combined you can fold in your dried cranberries, white chocolate chips, roasted pecans, and orange zest (Make sure you reserve 2 TBS of zest for the icing and the topping for later) 

Press your base mixture into a parchment lined 9X13 inch pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. 

While your base is baking in the oven, you can make your icing! Place your cream cheese, butter, icing sugar, vanilla, and 1 tbs of orange zest into a mixer or use a hand mixer.  Turn on and mix until fully incorporated.

Once your cookie base comes out of the oven, let it cool. 

After it has cooled, you can spread your icing evenly on top of the base.  Then you can sprinkle your cranberries and last tablespoon of orange zest on top. 

Lastly, you will melt the white chocolate chips and then use a spoon to drizzle it all over the top!  

Now you just need to put it into the fridge to let the white chocolate harden up and “set” before cutting into bars or triangles. 

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Cranberry White Chocolate Bars

  • Author: Katie Shmelinski
  • Prep Time: 30-45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1.5 hours
  • Yield: 32 triangles 1x
  • Category: Holiday Baking
  • Method: Bake

Scale

Ingredients

Recipe adapted from www.thebakingpan.com 

Cookie Base Layer:

  • 1 cup of melted butter 
  • 1 1/2 cups of sugar (I have used brown sugar or white sugar) 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 2 tsp vanilla 
  • 2 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour 
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1.5 cups of white chocolate chips
  • 1.5 cups of dried cranberries
  • 1.5 cups of roasted pecans, chopped
  • zest of 3 oranges (minus 2 TBS – to use later) 

Icing:

  • 1 package of cream cheese (8 oz) at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup of butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup of icing sugar 
  • 1 TBS of orange zest 
  • 2 tsp vanilla 

Cranberry Topping:

  • 3/4 cup of dried cranberries
  • 1 TBS orange zest

White Chocolate Topping:

  • 1 cup of white chocolate chips

Instructions

Prep before you get started making the recipe:

Roast 1.5 cups of pecans in the oven.

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  • Spread the pecans on a cookie sheet and roast for 10 minutes
  • After 5 minutes, take the pan out and lightly shake it to move the pecans around. 
  • Once they have cooled, you can coarsely chop them.

Prep Orange zest:

  • Use the small grate on your regular cheese grater, or a citrus zester to zest 3 large oranges.  
  • Set aside 2 TBS of the orange zest in a separate bowl to use for the icing, and the cranberry topping. 

Cookie Base Layer

  1. Add your melted butter and sugar to a large mixing bowl and mix until combined
  2. Add your two eggs and vanilla and mix again
  3. Next add your dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, and salt) and mix until combined
  4. Lastly, add your add- ins (white chocolate chips, roasted pecans, dried cranberries and orange zest) **make sure you have reserved 2 TBS of orange zest to use for your icing/topping.
  5. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 40 minutes.
  6. Let the base cool.

Icing: 

  1. While your base is baking in the oven, you can get started on your icing!
  2. Place all of your icing ingredients into a mixer (or use a hand mixer) and mix until fully combined.  You may need to scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice.
  3. Set aside to spread evenly onto your cookie base after it has cooled.

Cranberry Topping:

  1. Combine your dried cranberries and orange zest.
  2. Sprinkle on top of your icing after it has been spread unto the cookie base.

White Chocolate Topping:

  1. Melt the white chocolate chips either on the stove in a pot on a very low heat (stirring constantly to keep them from burning), or place them in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for a few seconds a few times until they are melted. 
  2. Take a spoon and drizzle the white chocolate all over the top of your bars!

To Finish/Cut the Bars:

  • Cover your bars very well and place them in the fridge until the white chocolate hardens to make to make them easier to cut!
  • Use the parchment paper to pull the bars out of the pan.
  • You can either cut the bars with the parchment underneath, or remove it completely.
  • Cut the bar in half, and then cut each of those halves into half again. 
  • Cut each length of 4 into 4 squares.
  • You can either leave them as regular square bars (16 sqaures), or you can cut those squares diagonally into triangles! 

Notes

  • You can cut these into any size triangles you like.  To make the triangles bigger, just cut the squares bigger before cutting diagonally.

Keywords: Holiday, Cranberry, White Chocolate, Pecan, Bars, Christmas

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