Chocolate Chip Cranberry Bars — Super soft, buttery bars packed with chewy cranberries! And there’s a chocolate overload in every bite!!

three cranberry bars stacked on a white plate

Easy Cranberry Bars 

I love cranberries and ’tis the season for them. And it’s always the season for chocolate recipes.

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. These 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.

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. 

four cranberry bars on a white platter

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 McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract and McCormick Ground Cinnamon, which worked perfectly with the orange-scented cranberries. 

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.

close up of a dried cranberry bar on a white platter

What’s in These Cranberry Bars? 

To make these chocolate chip cranberry bars, you’ll need: 

two cranberry bars stacked on a white plate

How to Make Cranberry Bars 

Melt the butter, then whisk in the egg, brown sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon. Mix in the flour until just combined, then fold in the cranberries and chocolate chips. 

Turn the batter into a greased and foil-lined 8×8-inch baking dish, then bake until done. 

Can I Use Fresh Cranberries? 

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.

Can I Double This Recipe?

Yes, you should be fine to double the ingredients list and bake the blondies in a 9×13-inch dish. 

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

Tips for Making Dried Cranberry Bars 

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.

Feel free to swap out the semi-sweet chocolate chips for white chocolate chips if you love the white chocolate-cranberry combo. 

These blondies will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Cranberry Chocolate Chip Blondies
Yield: 12

Cranberry Chocolate Chip Blondies

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 26 minutes
Additional Time 59 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes

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

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

Instructions

  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.
  8. Allow blondies to cool in pan for at least 1 hour before slicing and serving.

Notes

Storage: Blondies will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 256Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 13mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 1gSugar: 28gProtein: 2g

More Dried Cranberry Recipes:

Cranberry Bliss Seven Layer Bars — There’s a slightly crunchy graham cracker crust, extra crunch from the walnuts, with chewiness from the cranberries and coconut.

Cranberry Bliss Bars {Starbucks Copycat Recipe} — They taste just like the real thing & you can make them at home, year-round! Think of all the $ you’ll save. Spot-on and easy!

The Easiest Foolproof Fudge Recipe — Look no further than this recipe for the EASIEST and most FOOLPROOF fudge that takes less than 3 minutes to make!

Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Bliss Cake — The flavors of Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars in a Soft, Easy, No-Mixer Cake! 

Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Bliss Cake - The flavors of Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars in a Soft, Easy, No-Mixer Cake! Recipe at averiecooks.com

Cranberry and White Chocolate Chip Cookies – Cranberry Bliss Bar flavors, in cookie form. Tender, soft, pillowy centers and a personal favorite!

Cranberry and White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Trail Mix Protein Bar Cookies — Packed with your favorite trail mix goodies, even protein bars!! Soft, chewy, and accidentally healthy!

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

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