White Chocolate Cranberry Bars


So I’ve started Christmas shopping.

And I’ve come to the conclusion that boys are impossible to shop for. Why is this? Whyyyyyy do they have to be SO COMPLICATED?

It makes me long for the days when buying a box full of Hot Wheels was an appropriate gift. I mean, I know it’s all “the thought that counts” but I’m betting my dad would be somewhat miffed if he opened a bag full of Hot Wheels. I meeeean, only because he’s the one being unthoughtful and complicated by being difficult to shop for. Or something like that.

Trying to buy something my brother would like is like trying to solve world peace by making everyone love each other on Facebook after the election while trying to hand-feed every puppy up for adoption in the world while cooking a five-course dinner. In other words, it’s impossible, y’all.

And just so ya know, going with a standby pullover or jeans isn’t okay, either. My dad and brother both require shopping in the Big & Tall section (thank their towering 6″ frames), and they’re picky to boot, so shopping for clothes that will A) fit and they’ll B) like is like finding a needle in a haystack.

Usually, if I know my pop and bro, I know they like food. It’s a great treat any day of the week, sure, but I also enjoy making some holiday food to surprise them with for a gift at the end of a work-week.

William Bounds knew I am easy to please (unlike the Parker boys) and sent me this nifty chocolate mill. It’s a portable, hand-held mill that easily grinds chocolate into beautiful shavings for decoration atop of cakes, cookies, cupcakes, pies, or bars like these. I thought the added touch of shaved white chocolate was not only pretty against the dark chocolate drizzle and cranberries, but also provided an added bite of white chocolate to the tops of these cookie bars.

White Chocolate Cranberry Bars *adapted from The Ultimate Cake Mix Cookie Book

1 pkg white cake mix
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 eggs
2 Tbsp milk
1 & 1/2 cups dried cranberries
1 & 1/4 cups white chocolate chips
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13×9″ baking pan with foil, extending the edges of the foil over the sides of the pan. Mist lightly with cooking spray and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, melted butter, eggs + milk with a spoon until combined. Stir in one cup of the cranberries + one cup of white chocolate chips to blend. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, spreading evenly. Bake until set and golden, about 20-23 minutes.
3. Cool the bars completely in the pan. Once cooled, melt the dark chocolate chips in the microwave until smooth. Drizzle the melted dark chocolate over the bars and top with additional cranberries, if desired.
4. Using a William Bounds chocolate mill, grind the additional 1/4 cup white chocolate chips on top of the bars for a shaved white chocolate garnish, if you’d like.

Normally, my family isn’t big on cranberries, but they’re a classic flavor this time of year. While these are reminiscent of the Starbucks’ version (which I adore!), these are more of a crumblier-cookie consistency versus Starbucks’ almost blondie-like quality. These are buttery + have a slight crunch–almost like biscotti–but are still moist and soft enough to be considered a cookie bar. Plus, I love the addition of the dark chocolate drizzle and the pretty white chocolate shavings!

You can find out more about William Bounds or purchase their Chocolate Mill HERE.

Have a great day!

xo, Hayley

In the interest of full disclosure, I was generously provided with a chocolate mill for free by William Bounds to review. All opinions are 100% my own and I was not compensated for this post.

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  1. Back for Seconds says:

    These are so pretty, Hayley!! Great holiday flavors, too.
    Guys are nearly impossible to buy for. I dread shopping for the men in my life, I never know what to get. Better start brainstorming…

  2. These are FAB! I’m a big lover of cranberry and white chocolate. Will definitely have to try these out. Shopping for men is a nightmare, isn’t it? However I’m lucky that himself is only a mere 5ft9 so the fall back option of a jumper is easier to purchase (thank goodness)

  3. Boys are indeed impossible to shop for. I usually just go for gift certificates at this point. Love the bars!

  4. I know what you mean! I have today off work and want to start Christmas shopping–but no clue what to get my husband OR my father. They are impossible–I get ideas like “white undershirts” and “flannel pajama pants.” BORING. But oooooh, I love cranberry, especially this time of the year. These bars look uber fabulous! Love the triangle cut, and of course, the CHOCOLATE!

  5. Ok, I want these bars and I want that chocolate mill! I’m about to start a new pinterest board, things people can get me for Christmas! lol, to bad the hubby and my mom never go on pinterest, haha. As for your Bro and pop, get them each a nerf gun. Trust me on this, they will turn into 5 year olds again. Even better is to make sure the females in the family have one too so it can be all out war! I personally own the battery powered machine gun version, no one purposely shoots at me, hehe.

  6. Hayley,
    I have one of the boy animals in my house too. I long for the Lego and Bionicle days. I know he does love good food so this will be right up his alley. Actually at this point in time I think anything in the food department is up his alley! Do they ever get full? I love white chocolate and cranberries together. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  7. They remind me of the cranberry bliss bars that I made that I still want more of! White choc + cranberries can do no wrong! I made some cookies with the combo this weekend and seriously we ate the whole batch over the weekend 🙂 lol Great job on these!

  8. Oh my do we have the same dad and brother! Glad to here I am not alone, ever year I promise I will be more organised and find them something they will love, every year am stuck and panic buying on amazon. Sweet bakes may be the way to go!

  9. Ashley and I are on the same wavelength today because I was going to suggest you get them all a marshmallow shooter and bag of mini marshmallows. Who wouldn’t want to get one of those:-) Cranberry bars with yummy white chocolate on top sounds killer! And I love that cute chocolate mill…gotta check that out for sure!!!

  10. a chocolate mill? i’ve never seen one but that looks super duper cool! these remind me of those starbucks bars – i love dried cranberries in my desserts!

  11. These look so delicious- we’re definitely going to try them out! We’re no good at presents for the men in our lives either and almost always end up just baking for them.

  12. I saw a recipe like this on Averie Cooks and have been wanting to make something like it since! Love your version Hayl – the cake mix short cut – the white AND dark chocolate – everything. you are clearly getting into all the holiday baking my dear! that makes two of us 🙂 🙂

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