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Easy White Chocolate Cranberry Coconut Bars

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If you’re a fan of the popular seven layer bars, also known as Hello Dolly Bars or magic cookie bars, you’ll love this tart version. White Chocolate Cranberry Coconut Bars are a kicked up version for the holidays or any special occasion.

Pin White Chocolate Cranberry Coconut Bars to make later.

White Chocolate Cranberry Bars in paper cups for serving.

Overhead photos of cranberry bars in the pan.

Tart cranberries, sweet coconut, white chocolate, pecans, and a buttery shortbread crust make this magic cookie bar a delectible treat.

I have such a love affair with magic cookie bars that I really can’t make them often because I’ll eat the whole pan.

And that’s no good for anyone! I’ve only made my Magic Coconut Bars a handful of times for that reason!

White Chocolate Cranberry Bars in a baking pan.

Ingredients for White Chocolate Cranberry Coconut Bars

With the exception of the shortbread cookies, you may have everything you need to make this sweet treat.

The tartness of the dried cranberries compliment the sweetness of the coconut and the white chocolate. The shortbread cookies are buttery, though not too sweet, offering a sort of melt in your mouth feel to these bars.

Various ingredients for white chocolate cranberry coconut bars in a bowl.

Some may know these bars by other names such as 7-layer bars or Hello Dolly bars. Typically they have a graham cracker crust. It’s basically graham cracker pulverized to crumbs mixed with melted butter.

I wanted to try something different. We love shortbread and I had a package of Walker’s Shortbread Finger Cookies in my pantry. I thought they would make a perfect crust base and I was right.

This is really a great dessert that doesn’t take a whole lot of effort. It’s a great way to get kids in the kitchen to help too. 

Recipe Tips and Notes:

  • Make sure you use the right ingredients – you need sweetened condensed milk, not evaporated. There is a huge difference and they are not interchangeable.
  • If you don’t like white chocolate, subsitute either milk, dark or bittersweet chocolate chips. All will compliment the cranberries and coconut.
  • You can certainly go the traditional route and used graham cracker crumbs instead of the shortbread cookies. But trust me, the shortbread cookies take this sweet treat to the next level. 
  • If you don’t care for pecans, walnuts will work too.

Overhead photo of white chocolate cranberry coconut bars on a red and white plate.

By using white chocolate chips and the dried cranberries, you get a lovely color for this dessert. Makes them perfect for Valentine’s Day or Christmas, even July 4th.

I like to cut these in about 2-inch squares. That’s two to three bites and for the average person, is the perfect size.

This recipe is made in a 9 by 13-inch pan and similar recipes call for the pan to be lined with parchment. I do not find that necessary. You certainly can line it but I do not. They still release from the pan easily.

I used pecan halves but you could use pieces. I don’t suggest using smaller pieces.

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White Chocolate Cranberry Coconut Bars Twitter image.

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White Chocolate Coconut Cranberry Bars Recipe

White Chocolate Cranberry Bars in paper cups for serving.

White Chocolate Coconut Cranberry Bars Recipe

Yield: 3 dozen
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

A festive bar for a dessert table.

Ingredients

  • 1 package (5.3 ounces) Walker's Shortbread Finger Cookies, crushed into fine crumbs
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 1 ½ cups white chocolate chips
  • 1 ½ cups dried cranberries
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup pecan halves

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 13 x 9-inch baking pan and set it aside.
  2. Mix shortbread crumbs and melted butter until crumbly. Press the mixture onto the bottom of the prepared pan.
  3. In a large bowl, mix remaining ingredients; spread gently over the crust.
  4. Bake until edges are golden brown, 25-28 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack. Cut into bars.

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