Rich and buttery sugar cookie bars get a holiday touch with sweet, tart cranberries and crunchy pistachios!
These festive bars remain fresh and delicious up to a week, making them perfect to mail to family and friends, or simply prepare ahead of time to have on hand for a holiday guest.
- 2 ½ cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup Challenge Unsalted Butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup chopped pistachios
- 2 teaspoons fresh orange zest (the zest from one large orange)
Prepare a 9”x13” baking pan by lining with parchment paper. Leave the paper long enough so you can pull up on the paper to remove the bars once baked.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a large bowl, add flour, baking powder and salt. Stir and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, add butter and beat until smooth. Add sugar and blend until fully incorporated. Add eggs, one at a time, and then add vanilla. Blend until well incorporated.
While slowly mixing, add flour mixture a little at a time, and blend just until incorporated. Do not over mix.
Add cranberries, pistachios and orange zest and blend.
Scoop the dough into prepared pan. Add large spoonfuls of dough all over the pan, not just in one big clump. Lay a piece of plastic wrap over the clumps of dough, and then press down on the dough until the dough is evenly pressed into the pan.
Bake in preheated oven for 20-24 minutes. The dough should appear baked, have a dull finish, but does not need to be golden.
Allow to cool fully in the pan before removing and cutting into bars. Store bars in an airtight container up to one week.
Yield: 24 bars