Hello! It’s Christmas Eve (how did that happen?!) and I’m whipping up some last minute edible gifts for family and friends…because quite honestly I’m a broke grad student with no time to shop or money to do so.
I just realized exactly a year ago I made Cranberry White Chocolate Walnut Cookies, I guess the tradition continues! The tart cranberry + sweet white chocolate pairing is perfection and this time it comes in bar form. I followed the White Chocolate Cranberry Cookie Bars recipe from WonkyWonderful. Like a cross between a brownie and a cookie, these are soft and chewy, bursting with flavorful sweetness!I could have just made last year’s recipe again, but I really wanted to try something different and I’ve never made cookie bars before! I love the idea of not having to roll dough or scoop cookie balls over and over again. What can I say- I’m a lazy baker! I’m finally on holiday break after a super-stressful Autumn quarter, so I was really looking forward to taking the time to just enjoy baking and being in the kitchen with some Pandora music. Also, since these were going to be gifts, I wanted to make sure I did not rush it and took my time to do everything carefully. I even remembered to leave the butter out to soften hours before!
Preheat your oven to 350°F.
What you need for the bars:
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar (I used light brown sugar)
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries (I roughly chopped them)
- 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
What you need for the glaze (optional):
- 1/4 cup white chocolate chips
- 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil
In one large bowl, mix sugar, butter, brown sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth and well blended.
In another smaller bowl mix: flour, baking powder, and salt together. Slowly add the dry mixture into the wet mixture, and it should start getting pretty thick with a cookie dough texture.
Add in the cranberries and white chocolate chips.
Spread the dough into a greased 8X8 inch square pan with a spatula. Yes, I know you see a circle cake pan…I threw away my old 8×8 pan because it was rusting and I didn’t buy a new one yet. Clearly, I’m not the most prepared baker, but at least I’m a creative problem solver! Bake for about 25-30 minutes. Mine came out perfectly with slightly crispy edges at 27 minutes. After letting it cool completely – since it’s really cold in Seattle right now, took about 1 hour. I flipped it over on wax paper and decided to pre-cut the bars BEFORE the glaze. My boyfriend taste tested the bars and said they tasted great and didn’t see the need for the glaze. I think the glaze completes the look and doesn’t necessarily add anything in terms of taste. I microwaved and stirred the chocolate with 10 second intervals until it was completely melted and smooth.
I spread out the bar pieces so the glaze would drizzle down the sides of the bars too.
With a spoon, steady hands, and no hesitation I started “drawing” diagonal lines back and forth over the bars and wax paper. And voila! You have lovely glazed cookie bars! They will disappear faster than Santa up the chimney I promise. Pack these in a pastry box or throw a few in clear gift bags, tie it off with festive ribbon and there you have a cute, homemade gift. After this posting this blog entry, I may have to go and make a second batch…might have done a little bit too much “taste- testing”!
Hope you all have warm, safe, happy holidays…
sharing good eats with good people!