Cranberry Chocolate Chip Blondies

I love cranberries and ’tis the season for them.

And it’s always the season for chocolate recipes.

Cranberry Chocolate Chip Blondies - Super soft, buttery bars packed with chewy cranberries! And there's a chocolate overload in every bite!!

I have a copycat recipe for Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars that is spot-on and I love those things but they do take a little bit of time to make.

The blondies are the faster, easier, semi-sweet chocolate alternative and just baking them reminded me of all the cranberry goodies my grandma and I used to make together around the holidays when I was growing up.

Cranberry Chocolate Chip Blondies - Super soft, buttery bars packed with chewy cranberries! And there's a chocolate overload in every bite!!

The soft, buttery, caramely, brown sugary, blondie base is the perfect complement to the chewy, tart cranberries. Dark chocolate is a perfect pairing and really balances the flavors.

When I want an easy, fuss-free recipe that I know will be a hit, I call upon my trusty blondie base. With 30+ versions and counting (including the Cranberry Bliss Bars), it never lets me down.

Cranberry Chocolate Chip Blondies - Super soft, buttery bars packed with chewy cranberries! And there's a chocolate overload in every bite!!

It’s an easy recipe to memorize because everything is ‘one’. In the 1 bowl used, melt 1 stick of butter, stir in 1 egg, 1 cup of brown sugar, 1 tablespoon vanilla, and 1 cup flour.

For this version, add 3/4 cup dried cranberries and 3/4 cup chocolate chips. I used Trader Joe’s Orange-Flavored Dried Cranberries. They have a slighter brighter and more citrus taste than traditional dried cranberries but use your favorites, or try craisins.

I haven’t tested the recipe with fresh cranberries, but between their bulkier size and the relative flat nature of the bars, and the amount of juice they’ll leak while baking which would water down the batter, I’d save fresh cranberries for the best ever Cranberry Sauce or Cranberry White Chocolate Muffins.

Cranberry Chocolate Chip Blondies - Super soft, buttery bars packed with chewy cranberries! And there's a chocolate overload in every bite!!

I used McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract and McCormick Ground Cinnamon, which worked perfectly with the orange-scented cranberries. In 2014, McCormick marks its 125th anniversary by celebrating the role flavor plays in all of our lives, inspiring flavorful conversation, and giving back to communities around the world. McCormick’s Flavor of Together program is a yearlong initiative to share 1.25 million stories about how flavor both unites and defines people across the globe.

For a last-minute, fast, easy, and foolproof holiday entertaining recipe, whip up a batch of these. I literally made the batter and had it in the pan, baked, and out of the oven in 30 minutes flat.

Cranberry Chocolate Chip Blondies - Super soft, buttery bars packed with chewy cranberries! And there's a chocolate overload in every bite!!

Print Recipe

Cranberry Chocolate Chip Blondies

The soft, buttery, caramely, brown sugary, blondie base is the perfect complement to the chewy, tart cranberries. Dark chocolate is a perfect pairing and really balances the flavors .When I want an easy, fuss-free recipe that I know will be a hit, I call upon my trusty blondie base. It’s an easy recipe to memorize because everything is ‘one’. In the 1 bowl used, melt 1 stick of butter, stir in 1 egg, 1 cup of brown sugar, 1 tablespoon vanilla, and 1 cup flour. For this version, add 3/4 cup dried cranberries and 3/4 cup chocolate chips. For a last-minute, fast, easy, and foolproof holiday entertaining recipe, whip up a batch of these. You can get them in the pan, baked, and out of the oven in 30 minutes flat with impressive results.

Yield: one 8x8 pan, 9 to 12 generous squares

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: about 24 to 26 minutes, or until done

Total Time: about 90 minutes, for cooling

Ingredients:

1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), melted
1 large egg
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract
1/2 teaspoon McCormick Ground Cinnamon
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup dried cranberries (I used orange-scented cranberries from Trader Joe's)
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. In a large, microwave-safe bowl melt the butter, about 1 minute on high power.
  3. Wait momentarily before adding the egg so you don't scramble it. Add the egg, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and whisk until smooth.
  4. Add the flour and stir until just combined, don't overmix.
  5. Stir in the cranberries and chocolate chips.
  6. Turn batter out into prepared pan, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula.
  7. Bake for about 24 to 26 minutes, or until done (I baked 24 minutes because I prefer very soft blondies). A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean (as long as you're not hitting chocolate), or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter. Allow blondies to cool in pan for at least 1 hour before slicing and serving. Blondies will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

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Post is brought to you by McCormick. Recipe, text, images, and opinions expressed are my own.

84 comments

  1. I LOVE your recipes and blog so much, I’m constantly trying them and I cant get enough of them! However I think I have a problem because I’ve done these blondies a couple of times but they always come out really buttery, and I’m looking at your photos and your blondies are slightly flakey on top but perfectly chewy in the middle. So what am I doing wrong? I’m using an exact stick of butter and everything.

    • A few things come to mind. First, I live in a fairly dry climate, San Diego. When I travel and bake in other places that are more humid, things like blondies do just come out more buttery and dense. It’s just life I think. That could be one thing. Next is flour. I highly, highly recommend King Arthur brand all-purpose flour b/c it has a higher gluten level than other brands by about 1-2% and although that doesn’t sound like alot, in baking, it can matter. Use KAFlour and I think you’ll be much happier. Next, bake longer if you think that will help. Finally, you could just have some really juicy berries and the day I made these maybe mine weren’t and the extra moisture can alter the dough texture. So those are all my suggestions…LMK what you end up trying and how things go!

  2. Just wonderful biscuits. I made them in your recipe and now my children are asking their oven only. Thank you for the recipe.

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