food & drink

Cranberry and chocolate cookie bars

cookie bars, food, drink, Alex Goode, Kettle Mag
Written by littlegoode

This recipe was adapted from Bakerella’s Monster Cookie Bars. I altered the recipe slightly as I was craving something more like a shortbread, rather than a really dense cookie bar. I also removed the coconut from my bars, partly because some people at work are allergic, but also because ready-toasted coconut is hard to find in UK supermarkets and toasting it is such a nuisance. If you want to add some pecans or walnuts into this mix then feel free, just be aware that my version has a much looser texture than a normal cookie bar, so may not hold the nuts in place that well.

Note: The nice thing about this recipe is that it gives you the basic quantities for a really good tray bake bar, and then you can adapt the fillings to your fancy. Try replacing the cranberries with apricots, raisins or any other dried fruit. You can also replace the M&M’s with toffee or fudge pieces for a really sweet and decadent snack.


  • 350g plain flour
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • 1/2tsp salt
  • 150g butter, diced
  • 320g soft brown sugar
  • 3 eggs, whisked
  • 2tsp vanilla essence
  • 100g milk chocolate chunks
  • 100g white chocolate chunks
  • 100g plain chocolate M&M’s
  • 100g dried cranberries


1. Preheat oven to Gas Mark 4.

2. Line a pan with greaseproof paper – roughly 9 x 13 but you can use a smaller pan if you want. You will end up with thicker bars so the cooking time might be a little longer, but they’ll taste just as good.

3. In a bowl mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

4. In another bowl, or electric mixer if you have one, combine the butter and sugar together. Add the eggs and vanilla and keep mixing until it’s all combined together.








5. Add the flour in slowly and mix. It will seem incredibly thick but we are aiming for dough, rather than cake batter, so you’re on the right track. It will require some elbow grease!

6. Stir in the chocolate chunks, M&M’s and the cranberries.

7. Spread out in the pan and smooth the top.

8. Bake for 30 minutes (or until a toothpick comes out clean). The top should be golden brown and beginning to crack.

9. Cool in the tin to ensure it will hold together when cut. When cool, lift out and slice into even bars!

Note: The texture of these bars is akin to shortbread, so there is a risk of them falling apart when being cut. To prevent this, make sure the bars are completely cool before slicing and that you make your cuts in one smooth motion all the way through, so they lift  out easily.