One of my Christmas holiday rituals is making homemade Christmas cookies. I love offering homemade cookies to family and friends when they drop in. I used to make three or four different varieties of holiday cookies and I would start baking in early December and freeze them until our holiday entertaining began. Nowadays, I usually have time to bake only one or two varieties of Christmas cookies. One way to save time when baking cookies is to choose bar cookie recipes. Yes, I love making cookie cutter shortbread and gingerbread – the cookies are so delicate and pretty – but rolling out the dough and cutting your cookies is super time-consuming. So it will be bar cookies for the holidays this year. Here are my favourite bar cookies for Christmas holidays.
Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Brownies
I am a sucker for salted caramel brownies and these Salted Caramel Creamed Cheese Brownies from The Unlikely Baker do not disappoint. The secret to this recipe is to make a separate caramel sauce that gets mixed in with the cream cheese. The swirls on top of these brownies make them so pretty you’ll want to give them as gifts to party hostesses, your kids’ teachers, babysitters, pet sitters, cleaning staff and your favourite mail delivery person.
Coconut Apricot Bars provide a refreshing change from chocolate bar cookies that decorate Christmas plates. I used to make apricot bars from a Canadian Living recipe that involves soaking dried apricots. This Coconut Apricot Bars recipe from That Skinny Chick Can Bake skips that time-consuming step by using apricot preserves instead. This bar cookie combines almonds, coconut and a shortbread dough, along with the fruit preserves to provide a variety of textures.
I always like to have one Christmas cookie recipe that is loaded with chocolate and the Millionaires Cookie Bars by Jane’s Patisserie fit the bill. These holiday bars feature a chocolate shortbread base, a caramel filling and a dark and white chocolate topping to create an absolutely delicious Christmas cookie. They will keep stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to a week.
Here’s a Christmas bar cookie recipe that everyone will love…except those with peanut allergies! These Homemade Snickers Bars from Sweet and Savoury Meals feature a shortbread base, caramel and peanut filling and chocolate topping made with chocolate and whipping cream. Just make sure to use high-quality chocolate for a superior taste! You might want to double the recipe because these are sure to disappear quickly!
Date squares are a beloved Christmas cookie recipe. Who doesn’t love the perfect pairing of oatmeal and dates? Byron of Lord Byron’s Kitchen created his own delicious Newfoundland Date Squares based on a date square recipe that his mother used to make when he was a child. The benefit of making cookies with dates is the fruit’s moistness will ensure that these cookies stay fresh for a long time – assuming they are not eaten first!
This is a recipe I created based on several similar recipes I found on the Internet. White chocolate and cranberry is a winning combination – the super sweetness of the white chocolate provides the perfect balance to the cranberry’s tartness. I love how easy these Christmas bar cookies are to make. I made them for the first time last year and they were so popular that I’ll be making them again this year. If you are a proficient baker, you can prepare these bars in as little as 15 minutes with additional time for baking!
I hope you enjoy these best bar cookies for Christmas. Let me know in the comment section if you make any of them!