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.


24 bars


  • 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)


  • 1

    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.

  • 2

    Preheat oven to 350°F.

  • 3

    In a large bowl, add flour, baking powder and salt. Stir and set aside.

  • 4

    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.

  • 5

    While slowly mixing, add flour mixture a little at a time, and blend just until incorporated. Do not over mix.

  • 6

    Add cranberries, pistachios and orange zest and blend.

  • 7

    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.

  • 8

    Bake in preheated oven for 20-24 minutes. The dough should appear baked, have a dull finish, but does not need to be golden.

  • 9

    Allow to cool fully in the pan before removing and cutting into bars. Store bars in an airtight container up to one week.