Christmas is going to be different this year, but many of us love our holiday traditions and I think this year it will be more important than ever to honour those traditions so that we can enjoy some stability. Because in Ontario, we are limited to celebrating Christmas with our individual households (or one other household for single-person households), there is no need to make batches and batches of Christmas cookies. I will, however, wrap up small packages of cookies to send home with my brother and sister when they arrive to exchange gifts with us on our porch.
Toronto went into lockdown on Monday, November 23. I was lucky enough to visit my local Bulk Barn one day before the lockdown to get all of the ingredients I needed for my Christmas baking. Of course, Bulk Barn is still open during the lockdown since they sell only food; however, I thought there might be line-ups to get in. You have to be sure to remember all of the ingredients that you have bought because, understandably due to the spreading of germs, Bulk Barn removed all of the pencils that you normally use to write down the ingredient name on the tag for your item.
I’m going to focus on two kinds of cookies this year: a bar cookie and a drop cookie. The bar cookies I’ll be making are Cranberry White Chocolate Bars. These delicious bars are a twist on the ever-popular Hello Dolly Bars also known as Magic Cookie Bars. One big difference in the preparation is that for Hello Dolly Bars, you just layer all of the ingredients whereas with my Cranberry White Chocolate Bars, you blend all of the ingredients together then spread the cookie mixture in the pan.
Did you know that fresh and dried cranberries are a rich source of vitamins C, E and K1 and are known for preventing UTIs (urinary tract infections)?
Cranberry White Chocolate Bars are pretty filling due to the inclusion of nuts and fruit. These bars offer a blend of textures including chewy, soft and crunchy. My taste tester enjoyed them so much that I had to freeze most of them so they will last until Christmas!
You might be interested in reading, “Best Bar Cookies for Christmas Holidays“.
Cranberry White Chocolate Bars
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
- 2 cups white chocolate chips
- 1 cup sweetened coconut
- 1 cup pecan halves
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Blend butter and graham cracker crumbs until combined.
- Press graham cracker crumb mixture In a 9" square baking pan.
- Combine sweetened condensed milk, white chocolate, cranberries, coconut and pecans in a bowl and stir until evenly combined.
- Spread white chocolate/cranberry mixture over graham cracker crumb mixture and press down lightly.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until lightly browned. The bars will be a bit moist with a little bit of liquid that will evaporate when you chill them. Cool on a rack in pan.
- Chill and slice into bars.