Christmas Blondies w/Cranberries, Pistachios, Cocoa Butter

This is a festive, colorful cookie bar recipe that uses seasonal ingredients; fits right into the holiday menu!

I had hoped to make a “White Christmas Brownie” by substituting white chocolate for chocolate chips in my traditional brownie recipe. I discovered it was not an even trade—the first batch was a goopy mess, since white chocolate doesn’t substitute straight up for regular chocolate (it has too much milk fat in it). Plus, the brownies wouldn’t turn out white (even when excluding the egg yolks). So I gave up on the “white” idea.

White Chocolate Christmas Blondies

Earlier this year I had purchased some cocoa butter online, as I knew it was one of the ingredients in many chocolate products. I had visions of making white chocolate confections. But after receiving my purchase, I came to believe that “cocoa butter” might more accurately be called “cocoa wax”, since this fragrant ingredient, which smells so delicious, doesn’t exactly melt in one’s mouth.

But cocoa butter is a good ingredient, especially when mixed in with other ingredients. It’s full of flavor! I decided to put it to work in this recipe, for a “White Chocolate Blondie”. All in all, it seems that this is an excellent way to use cocoa butter.

 Makes 12 pcs.


  • 1/4 c. (1/2 stick) butter
  • 1/4 c. cocoa butter (or sub coconut oil or butter)
  • 3 TBS. water
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • 1 c. flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 c. cranberries, dried
  • 1 c. pistachios, shelled and chopped


1. Microwave 1-2 minutes in ceramic bowl (or heat on stove to melt): > 1/4 c. (1/2 stick) butter > 1/4 c. cocoa butter (or sub coconut oil or butter) > 3 TBS. water > 1 c. sugar

2. Add, mixing in until smooth: > 2 eggs > 1 tsp. vanilla > 1/2 tsp. almond extract

3. Stir salt and baking soda into the flour, using: > 1 c. flour > 1/4 tsp. salt > 1/4 tsp. baking soda

4. Next, add all the dry ingredients into the melted butter/sugar/egg mix, folding in until mixed together. Use: > The flour/salt/baking soda mix > 1 c. dried cranberries > 1 c. pistachios, shelled, chopped

5. Pour into buttered 7×11″ pan (or larger). Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes. Cut when cooled.

9 Responses to “Christmas Blondies w/Cranberries, Pistachios, Cocoa Butter”

  1. Reply mariaelena Quale

    hi jennifer, if i don’t have cocoa butter and substitute with butter, how much total butter do i need for the recipe? or if i substitute with coconut oil, how much coconut oil? thank you and merry christmas!

    • Reply Jennifer Cote

      Maria, most people DON’T have cocoa butter in stock! So, just use one stick of butter total (1/2 c.). It only needs a half cup of fat, whether it’s coconut oil, butter, or a mix. So, you could do 1/4 c. butter, 1.4 c. coconut oil. (We’re polishing off the last batch we made as I type this!)
      Merry Christmas to you too!

    • Reply Jennifer Cote

      They really are good, Melissa. even if you substitute butter for the cocoa butter. I hear that they taste like the cranberry bliss bars at Starbucks. I consider that a compliment! 🙂

  2. Reply Amber Chauvin Johnson

    mmm … sounds delicious! i must try these (and i definitely have some coconut oil on hand). i do enjoy starbucks cranberry bliss bars too!

    • Reply Jennifer Cote

      Amber, my first jar of coconut oil lasted, like,12 months… now, it might last a couple months! Once you start using it, girl, you might get into it 🙂 These are pretty easy- I think I’d add white chocolate chips to the next batch I make though!

    • Reply Jennifer Cote

      That definitely is easier to find! The cocoa butter adds that rich chocolate-y flavor, but it is pretty difficult to work with :/

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