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I know, I know.. two super easy holiday recipes back-to-back? For shame!/you’re welcome.

Oh so easy cranberry white chocolate cookie bars. Perfect for the holidays! // 40 ApronsI mentioned this in my defense of my last box-mix-based recipe that just so happened to be balls-to-the-wall delicious (peppermint layer brownies, lawd have mercy on my soul. I’ve eaten like 45 since the recipe was posted), but.. it’s the holidays. I have to make sweets like non-to-the-stop (the 90s have apparently taken over my precious spirit and I regret nothing) for parties and gifts and O’s work functions, and I also have this like, little, erm, what’s the word, oh yeah, 3-month-old baby who requires pretty much constant supervision, so he’s, you know, a pretty decent amount of work. And I still have work work, and I do like to shower every so often so..

Oh so easy cranberry white chocolate cookie bars. Perfect for the holidays! // 40 ApronsWhat I’m trying to say is submit! Submit to the easy and the delicious! Leave your stand mixer on the shelf–it’s way too heavy anyway. Keep it sexy and dirty only two dishes! You can even make a video, because that’s how dern easy these are. And oh? You wanted to hear about their conception, did you? Of course you did. Allow me!

Oh so easy cranberry white chocolate cookie bars. Perfect for the holidays! // 40 ApronsSo.. I was trying to think of something to send to work with O for his courtroom’s little holiday thingy–I’m not 100% sure how this goes down, so I’ll refer to it as a “thingy” for now–and he suggested the peppermint layer brownies. Which I made once and sent to my cousins in Caleefornia and then made again with one of my besties because she was sad and brownies make everybody happy. And I sent like 25 with O to work, and they got gobbled up, and I gobbled them up, and–I kid you not–I heard the plastic container housing them open up ON THEIR OWN in the kitchen when O happened to be in there, and I said, “Don’t eat those! Dinner will be ready in ten minutes!” and he claimed, with a mouth full of something that he was “just looking at them”. OK, honey. OK.–O definitely gobbled them up. So I figured it was worth trying something else for a change, lest I become the peppermint layer brownies girl, though there are worse fates in this world, to be sure.

Anyway, I wanted something totally different and light, more winter-wonderlandy, and I’d been craving some serious sugar cookies as of late. O, as with all things in life, requested white chocolate, and a pairing with dried cranberries came to mind! Simple and so, so easy; a bit festive but elegant.

Oh so easy cranberry white chocolate cookie bars. Perfect for the holidays! // 40 ApronsI decided to use refrigerated cookie dough for, hrmm.. oh yeah, absolute mind-blowing ease of use, and I really, really hate getting out the stand mixer. I mixed in dried cranberries by hand, reminded of this choose-your-adventure cookie shop they had in Austin, TX when I was in law school there (ever so briefly), where you’d select the dough base then the “mix-ins” and they’d mash it all together and bake it right before your very eyes. And then I spread the dough out into a 13×9″ pan, baked, cooled, and topped with a simple white chocolate “ganache” based on the chocolate layer in those peppermint layer brownies. Sprinkle with some white sugar pearls for festiveness and a smidge of elegance, and tada! O was not stoked about the addition of cranberries–not his favorite, apparently.. though he loveloveloved the baby kale + feta + pumpkin seeds + dried cranberries salad I made the other day, based on my pomegranate version) but he still begged me to let him “try one” before he took them to work, and, of course, I obliged. Then he begged me to let him try another, and I did not oblige, and he went on and on about how good they were. So.. they’re O-approved at the very least.

Oh so easy cranberry white chocolate cookie bars. Perfect for the holidays! // 40 ApronsThe sugar cookie is perfectly sweet and simple, nice and soft and dotted beautifully with chewy, tart dried cranberries. Topped with a creamy, rich white chocolate ganache and a delicate crunch from the white sugar pearls, they’re beautifully balanced and painfully easy. You’ll love these because they take hardly any time but look like a thousand buckeroos and are festive without being dorky. Make them!

Recipe By: Cheryl Malik

Easy Cranberry White Chocolate Cookie Bars

Prep 20 minutes
Cook 25 minutes
Chill 30 minutes
Total 1 hour 15 minutes
A sweet, simple sugar cookie layer, dotted with chewy, tart dried cranberries and topped with a creamy, rich white chocolate 'ganache' and dotted with white sugar pearls. Using refrigerated cookie dough makes these so easy and the perfect holiday treats.
16 cookie bars


  • Oven
  • 9x13 baking pan metal preferred
  • parchment paper
  • large mixing bowl
  • large silicone spatula
  • wire cooling rack
  • Medium microwave-safe bowl clean, completely dry
  • Silicone spatula clean, completely dry
  • Sharp chef's knife


For the Cranberry Sugar Cookie Bars

  • 2 16-ounce packages refrigerated sugar cookie dough softened, see Notes
  • ¾ cup dried cranberries

For the White Chocolate Ganache

  • 12 ounces white chocolate chips or chopped white baking chocolate
  • ½ cup unsalted butter softened

To Decorate (Optional)

  • white sugar pearls


  • Preheat oven to 375° Fahrenheit. Line 9x13 baking pan with parchment paper, leaving excess parchment paper hanging over sides of pan. Excess paper will act as "handles" to help remove cookies from pan after baking.
  • Add 2 16-ounce packages refrigerated sugar cookie dough and ¾ cup dried cranberries to large mixing bowl. Gently fold cranberries into cookie dough until fully incorporated and evenly distributed.
  • Transfer cranberry sugar cookie dough to prepared pan. Spread and/or press dough out into flat layer covering parchment paper, making sure dough layer is evenly thick across entire pan.
  • Place pan in preheated oven. Bake cookie dough 20 minutes, then begin checking doneness. Continue baking cookie dough as needed until edges of dough layer are set and center of cookie dough surface is slightly golden-brown. Be very careful not to over-bake cookie dough. If unsure, remove pan from oven.
  • When cookie dough layer is ready, remove pan from oven and place on top of wire cooling rack. Let cookie layer cool in pan until room temperature.
  • Once cookie dough layer is cooled, add 12 ounces white chocolate chips and ½ cup unsalted butter to microwave-safe bowl. Microwave chocolate and butter on 50% power in 20-second increments, stirring mixture after each increment, until chocolate is completely melted and mixture is smooth. Do not over-heat chocolate and be very careful not to get any water in mixture.
  • Once chocolate mixture is smooth, pour mixture directly on top of cookie dough layer in baking pan. Spread chocolate mixture out across surface of cookie dough layer and into corners in one even layer, covering cookie dough completely.
  • Once chocolate ganache layer is smooth, sprinkle white sugar pearls across surface as desired. Place baking pan in refrigerator and chill cookie bars, uncovered, 30 minutes or until chocolate layer has hardened.
  • Once chocolate layer has hardened, remove baking pan from refrigerator. Carefully loosen cookie bar sheet from pan, using excess parchment paper as handles to lift cookie bars out of pan as needed. Set parchment paper and cookie bar sheet on counter, cutting board, or other flat work surface.
  • If desired, use knife to carefully trim away outer edges of cookie bar sheet. Slice sheet into 4 rows of 4 cookie bars. Serve as desired.
  • Sugar Cookie Dough: Use your favorite ready-to-bake refrigerated dough! I used Pillsbury sugar cookie dough, but any brand will work fine. You can even use your favorite homemade sugar cookie recipe - just prepare the dough in advance and jump in with this recipe once it's ready.
  • Servings: The number of cookie bars you get from this recipe depends entirely on the size of the cookie bars you cut. You're welcome to make them as small or as large as you like.
  • Bake Time: Times will vary from one oven to another based on a number of factors. Keep an eye on the cookie dough and go by visual cues rather than an exact time. Your total bake time could range anywhere from 20 to 35 minutes.

Approximate Information for One Serving

Serving Size: 1cookie barCalories: 417calProtein: 3gFat: 22gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 30mgSodium: 163mgPotassium: 73mgTotal Carbs: 51gFiber: 0.3gSugar: 36gNet Carbs: 51gVitamin A: 177IUVitamin C: 0.01mgCalcium: 43mgIron: 2mg
Nutrition Disclaimers
Number of total servings shown is approximate. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes.
Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving using the ingredients listed, not including any optional ingredients. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used.
To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by the desired number of servings. Result will be the weight of one serving.

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Oh so easy cranberry white chocolate cookie bars. Perfect for the holidays! // 40 Aprons

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