We took magic cookie bars and made them next-level delicious!
These gooey Cranberry Magic Cookie Bars are ideal for the holidays or a quick summer dessert. They begin with the same basic ingredients found in regular magic cookie bars like graham crumbs, sweetened condensed milk, coconut, and chocolate chips. But with the addition of colorful and tart dried cranberries these bars become a decadent and irresistible treat not to be overlooked! Freeze some for a rainy day indoors, or have them ready for any time an instant sweet treat is called for.
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Best Cranberry Cookie Bars
- Magic bars are a super easy and popular treat that only takes 6 ingredients and are ready in less than an hour!
- Definitely kid-friendly and a crowd favorite anytime!
- This dessert recipe can be made ahead and served chilled or at room temperature – the flavors blend together making the cookie bars taste even better!
- Similar to 7 Layer Bars AKA magic cookie bars, this recipe uses dried cranberries which makes them a festive treat that’s fun for the holidays!
Ingredients & Variations
CRUST: Make a homemade crust using graham wafer crumbs, crushed Nilla wafer cookies, or crushed graham crackers. They will all work and make a firm, buttery base for the rest of the ingredients!
MIX-INS: Chocolate chips, coconut, and cranberries make the perfect sweet/tart trio for this dessert! Experiment with white chocolate chips, peanut butter morsels, toffee chips, and chewy dried fruits like cherries, mangoes, or berries.
PRO TIP: Toast the coconut in a dry sauté pan before adding to the recipe to intensify the flavor and make it extra crispy!
How to Make Magic Cookie Bars
- Prepare the graham crumb layer.
- Top with remaining ingredients, in the order given.
- Bake, as per the recipe. Cool and serve.
PRO TIP: Use parchment paper, foil, or pan release to keep the cookie bars from sticking.
Tips & Tricks
- Run a knife around the entire edge of the baking pan once bars are removed from the oven. This will keep them from sticking to the sides of the pan.
- Or, line the pan with parchment paper overhanging on both sides for easy removal and before cutting into squares (this also makes the pan easier to wash)!
- Keep leftover cranberry magic cookie bars in a covered container at room temperature. PRO TIP: Add a slice of bread to the container to absorb extra moisture.
- Freeze individual cookie bars by wrapping them tightly in plastic wrap and then placing them in a zippered bag. Freeze for up to 4 weeks. Pop one or two out and add a surprise sweet treat to a backpack or briefcase!
Other Delicious Treats!
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars – a no-fail favorite.
- Rhubarb Bars – tangy and sweet.
- Easy Pumpkin Bars – just 5 minute prep.
- Banana Granola Bars – a delicious breakfast bar.
Cranberry Magic Cookie Bars
- Preheat oven to 350˚F*. Line baking pan with parchment paper (or foil). If using foil, spray with oil or non-stick spray.
- Melt butter in a medium bowl in the microwave on high for 90 seconds.
- Add crumbs to the bowl and mix with butter. Press evenly on the bottom of the pan (using bottom of a measuring cup or other flat surface).
- Pour the sweetened condensed milk evenly over the crust. Sprinkle with chocolate chips, coconut, and cranberries. Press down firmly using a measuring cup or spoon.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove pan from the oven and run a knife around the edge of the pan (if not lined). Cool completely before cutting.
- *Preheat to 325˚F if using a glass dish.
- **Line the pan with parchment paper for easy removal. While this is optional, it makes cutting the squares so simple.
- Store bars for 1 week in a sealed container.
- Recipe Variations:
- Replace chocolate chips with any chips you have on hand.
- Substitute cranberries with other chopped dried fruit.
Nutrition information does not include optional ingredients or garnish and is an estimate. It may change based on actual ingredients and cooking methods used.
Adapted from Eaglebrand