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Blissful Cranberry Cookies

by on December 13, 2008 · 20 comments

I’ve been tapping my foot waiting for the Starbucks down the street to get a load of cranberry bliss bars, but each time I’ve checked they’ve said to hang tight (or something to that effect). I’ll have to stop by again tomorrow (maybe they got some while I was in Las Vegas?) but in the meantime, I’ve come up with a cookie version of the bliss bar.

blissful cranberry cookies

For Blissful Cranberry Cookies, I started with a really good white chocolate macadamia cookie, but cut out the macadamias, adjusted the salt, then added some cranberries, ginger and pecans. The end result was a really flavorful cookie with an amazing texture due mainly to the vegetable shortening. As for flavor, there’s not really a need for 100% butter because there’s so much going on in the cookie – ground ginger, crystallized ginger, vanilla, cranberries, white chocolate. I definitely recommend shortening for this one.

If you are not a ginger fan or can’t find the crystallized type, these cookies are actually very good without it. Just for fun, I made a second version where I cut out the ginger and used lightly salted roasted pistachios instead of pecans. Those were excellent too.

So here’s my easy one bowl version of the recipe. The dough puffs up in the oven, then deflates upon cooling so you get a crispy edged cookie with lots of wrinkles and folds. They taste best when completely cool.

Blissful Cranberry Cookies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Blissful Cranberry Cookies
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 30
  • 4 oz unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup regular vegetable shortening (Crisco)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3/4 scant teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger (optional)
  • 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour (7.8 oz)
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries, slightly chopped
  • 1/2 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger (use more if you like)
  • 9 oz white chocolate, chopped into very small chunks
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a couple of cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Beat butter, shortening and both sugars with an electric mixer until creamy. Add egg and vanilla and beat for about 30 seconds. Scrape sides of bowl and beat in salt and baking soda. If using, beat in ginger. Scrape sides of bowl again. Add flour and stir until it is almost mixed in, then stir in cranberries, pecans, white chocolate.
  3. Drop dough about 3 inches apart (these spread quite a bit) by tablespoonfuls onto cookie sheets. Bake for 12-14 minute or until edges are golden brown. Cool on cookie sheets for about 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks.
  4. Makes about 30 cookies
  5. Variation: Cut out the ginger and crystallized ginger and change the pecans to pistachios.

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Published on December 13, 2008

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Katrina December 13, 2008 at 2:41 pm

YUM! I recently made the bliss bars and everyone LOVED them. They will like the cookie, too, I’m sure. I’ll have to give them a go (even though it’s shortening!) ;)

VeggieGirl December 13, 2008 at 3:00 pm

PURE bliss.

Michelle December 13, 2008 at 3:37 pm

You are fantastic! I was just frantically searching your website for the perfect holiday cookie with cranberries, white chocolate, and no macadamia nuts (so expensive). I was about to give up when lo and behold, you happen to post the perfect recipe that fit the ticket exactly! They look delicious, I’m going to try them verry soon :)

Estee December 13, 2008 at 3:38 pm

I have been looking everywhere for a cranberry cookie recipe and I think this one is it!! Perfect. Thanks so much!! :) (and just to get started I am off to get a cranberry bliss bar from Starbucks to go with my Chai Latte… yum!)

Catherine December 13, 2008 at 5:12 pm

Gosh Anna, I go away for a very long time, and get back and see you’ve gotten even better…especially your writing! Very nice recipe! So nice to visit your blog again…I’ve been on a hiatus, but it’s time to get busy again!

Anna December 13, 2008 at 5:33 pm

Katrina, I saw your bliss bar post and am so happy everyone liked the bars. I think you and I feel the same way about the homemade version….that it could be better.

Veggiegirl, you should try a vegan version. These only have one egg so it shouldn’t be too difficult.

Michelle and Estee, I am so happy I was able to help. Whether you add the ginger is up to you. Either way, the base dough is really, really good. I actually want to try these with macadamia nuts if I can get my hands on some fresh ones. Lots of times they taste stale :(.

Catherine, welcome back from hiatus! Also, thanks for the compliment on my writing. I sometimes write too fast without editing then find myself embarrassed by too many exclamation poinst, things I say and typos, but I like blogging so I just keep doing it. I am trying to spend more time editing, but I still screw up. So again, thanks.

Jenn's Baking Chamber December 13, 2008 at 6:57 pm

I keep meaning to make those cranberry bliss bars that you posted but I just haven’t gotten around to it. But these cookies look so good that I think I will have to go to the store today! thanks for the recipe!

Fallon December 14, 2008 at 1:18 am

I live in Las Vegas and I see the bliss bars in starbucks all the time!

JenJen December 14, 2008 at 1:32 am

Those are wonderful looking cookies! I will have to try them. Thanks! As usual they look delicious!


Anna December 14, 2008 at 9:06 am

Jen and Jen, let me know if you try the cookies.

Fallon, you are lucky! I think our Starbucks orders them from a bakery in San Antonio. They must all be on different schedules. However, I have a feeling bliss bars are in.

Sue December 14, 2008 at 9:28 am

Hi Anna!
These look great! If I had all of the ingredients I would definitely make these today. It is a baking kind of day. It’s snowing very hard right now. I can barely make out the neighbors house across the street, so I won’t be running to the store. I’ll have to come up with something based on the ingredients I have on hand.
I haven’t had a Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bar. When I googled for a recipe I was surprised how many there are posted that don’t have any kind of leavener. I wonder why that is?
I think yours and Katrina’s are really pretty. I think my Mother in law and Sister and in law would really like them!

Kelli December 15, 2008 at 12:30 pm

I make some version of cranberry cookies every year and although they are always good, I keep using a different recipe each time hoping for that absolute perfect cookie. Well, I made these yesterday and even though they sound absolutely wonderful with the ginger, I left it out since I had already made a ginger cookie for my cookie trays and was looking for variety. I made the recipe exactly as written with the addition of about 1/8 teaspoon orange oil. And I am happy to say I have finally found the perfect recipe!! The texture of these was exactly as you described and everyone who has tried them so far has absolutely loved them. Thanks so much for this recipe and I can’t wait to try the ginger version.

Anna December 15, 2008 at 12:49 pm

Kelli, I am glad you tried them! I almost made an orange version, but opted to go the ginger route. Glad to know orange oil works.

Anne December 15, 2008 at 2:48 pm

I saw a copy-cat version of Cranberry Bliss Bars on FoodGawker and thought of you. The website is After reading so much about them I need to get over to Starbucks and give them a try.

Tracy December 15, 2008 at 9:55 pm

They have cranberry bliss bars at our Starbucks. I’ve tried to replicate those at home without much success.

Erin December 15, 2008 at 11:32 pm

One of the other blogs I read just posted about finding a recipe for Cranberry Bliss Bars. So if you have a craving and still can’t get them cruise over to HoneyB’s site

Susan December 25, 2008 at 12:42 pm

I made these this past Sunday, and I have to say, they are a total new favorite for me! Will definitely be repeating. They are nicely spicy with the ginger, lightly buttery (not too greasy), and just wonderful! Thanks for another great recipe Anna!

Julia February 5, 2012 at 5:20 pm

I just discovered this blog this morning and have been obsessing over Craisins lately, so luckily I stumbled upon this recipe. I made the cookies this afternoon. They were very easy to make (which is good seeing as I’m a beginner) and they were delicious! The flavor was very unique and they were perfectly crispy. :) Thanks for the recipe and I’ll be sure to come back next time I’m in the mood to bake!

Anna February 5, 2012 at 6:08 pm

Thanks for stopping by, Julia!

Susan McDavit November 19, 2012 at 6:09 pm

Brought these to a wake ….they had a catered meal with cookies and candies from the local deli….guess what was the hit with requests for recipe, etc?? These cookies, even though they weren’t quite like the photo…still a huge hit! Thanks for sharing :)

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