C is for Cookie… — Chocolate Chip Cranberry Cookie Bars

It has been a long time since my last post on EmmaEats.

Chocolate Cranberry Cookies

It’s certainly not been because Emma hasn’t been eating (well, we had a small spell of that when everyone here was sick for a few days!), however, things got a little busy here.  G was travelling up a storm for work, we then had a delightful holiday to Paris, on our return, got sick, were catching Emma up on all of her missed classes/lessons, preparing for the arrival of baby 2.0 and wishing really hard for some sunny weather to help provide some natural light for all the photos of food awaiting publishing.

Nonetheless, the sunny weather finally arrived (for a few days anyway!) and thankfully long enough to get us out into the garden and to get some pictures taken!

Back to cookies, Emma was feeling down the first time I made these cookies. I thought she might be cheered up by the site of a giant cookie made especially for her so I set to work while she was napping.  Having already made the Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies on Orangette, I knew I had a great starting point. By the time she woke up, she could smell something delicious in the kitchen (her words), and when she set her eyes upon the huge cookie, all was forgotten.

Additionally, Emma is eager to offer suggestions of treats she’d like to share with her friends when they come by and recently, she asked for oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. They were front of mind for her because we chatted about how the great-grandmother of a friend of hers passed the recipe along to her mother who in turn passed it along to me.  I made those cookies and they are scrumptious (especially good as ice cream sandwiches and nearly 48 of them were eaten in less than 48 hours in our house) but they reminded me of this simple and delectable recipe, sitting and waiting to be shared.

Chocolate Chip Cranberry Cookie Bars

adapted from Orangette’s Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies
makes approximately 75 1″x2″ cookie bars

  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 ½ cups dried cranberries

Line a baking sheet with parchment and preheat the oven to 350F.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the butter and sugars to the bowl of a stand mixer and mix well on low speed. Next, add the vanilla and the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Add the flour mixture to the bowl, a cup at a time, and continue to mix on low speed until the flour is incorporated. Then, add the chocolate and cranberries and mix until they are evenly combined. I find that my mixer starts to have a bit of trouble here so I tend to finish this by hand with a wooden spoon.

Spread the dough evenly across the baking sheet. It will end up being about 1-1 ½ inches thick. Don’t worry if it doesn’t reach the sides of the baking sheet as it will expand slightly while baking.

Bake for 20-25 minutes in the centre of the oven. Rotate the baking sheet halfway through baking. Remove from oven and let cool on rack. Once cooled, cut into 1”x 2” bars.

Tips and Suggestions:

  • Although you can make these with white all-purpose flour, I really do recommend making them with whole wheat flour. It makes them taste like digestives, which, if you haven’t tried before, you really ought to too!
  • You can make these as individual cookies, rather than into bar cookies.  Just drop 1″ balls on to a parchment lined baking sheet (about 8 per sheet) and bake in the oven for 10-13 minutes until the edges are golden brown.
  • Refrigerating the dough between baking batches of cookies results in a slightly thicker cookie that spreads less.
  • “Aging” the cookie dough even an hour before baking and cooling the cookies completely really does help bring out the nutty, wheaty flavour of the whole wheat flour. This is regardless of whether you make this into bars or into individual cookies.
  • Cut the bars a little larger (or bake the cookies without refrigerating first) and these are really fabulous as ice cream sandwiches!

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