Cranberry Pistachio Blondies are a brown sugar bar recipe with white chocolate chips, cranberries and pistachios. A delicious holiday treat!
These amazing Dessert Bars are perfect for holiday baking with the combo of pistachios and dried cranberries adding a seasonal twist to a classic Brown Sugar Brownie Recipe. For a similar festive treat, try our Cranberry Orange Blondies next.
The batter for this delicious festive blondie recipe only takes a few minutes to prep before you pop it in the oven. In just about 30 minutes, you get the perfect dessert bars filled with holiday flavor. They’re quick, shareable, and absolutely delicious!
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About our Cranberry Pistachio Blondies Recipe
Cranberry Pistachio Blondies are a quick and easy dessert for weeknights when you can’t decide between cookies or brownies. The blondie base is similar to a chocolate chip cookie made with basic pantry ingredients like brown sugar, vanilla, and butter. Instead of regular chocolate chips though, it gets loaded dried cranberries, pistachios, and white chocolate.
Blondies make the perfect vanilla alternative to Classic Chocolate Brownies. Just like with brownies you get an amazing, shareable treat with a rich chewy texture. Also similar to brownies, you can experiment with the mix-ins to change the flavor and texture.Try them with different nuts, fruits, and chocolate chips, add frosting or icing, or even add some chocolate. There are some fun ideas to level up these brown sugar blondies throughout this post.
Cranberry Pistachio Blondies Ingredients
- Brown Sugar: Using brown sugar is essential to blondies ingredients. It gives the bar recipe its amazing chewy texture and rich, warm flavor. It creams easily with the butter for a light and fluffy base.
- Baking Powder: Make sure not to leave the baking powder out of the dry ingredients since it acts as an important leavening agent to make the blondies soft and airy.
- Chocolate Chips: The creamy sweetness of white chocolate is the perfect chip for these buttery brown sugar cookie bars! You can also use chopped white baking chocolate instead of chocolate chips.
- Cranberries: Dried cranberries add a burst of chewy, tart and fruity goodness throughout these buttery bars. You could also use fresh berries for a more juicy pop of fruit flavor!
- Pistachios: Bits of chopped pistachios add a tasty crunchy texture throughout these soft blondies. Try roasting them in a dry skillet until fragrant to enhance their flavor!
Kitchen Tools & Equipment
- Baking Dish: For these blondies, we used an 8×10 inch baking dish to make about 12-16 blondies, depending on how long you want them. You can use a 9×13 inch baking dish but they will be slightly thinner so check on them at about 25 minutes to keep them from burning.
- Parchment Paper: You don’t have to use parchment paper but it does make slicing and serving the blondies easier and you get cleaner lines. Make sure the paper sticks up about an inch above the sides of the pan so you can easily lift the blondie sheet straight out the pan.
How to Make Cranberry Pistachio Blondies
Time needed: 40 minutes.
These Cranberry Pistachio Blondies aren’t just tasty, they are quick and easy too! The blondie batter takes about 10 minutes to whip together and then the blondies are baked in about 30 minutes.
- Prep Work
Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees, then spray an 8×10 baking tin with non-stick baking spray. You can also line it with parchment paper with some paper sticking up over the edges. This lets you lift the baked blondies out of the pan before slicing.
- Make the Batter
Add unsalted butter and brown sugar to your stand mixer. Use the paddle attachment to cream the butter mixture until light and fluffy. This should only take about 1 minute. Add the eggs and vanilla extract. Mix again until creamy. Add the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl. Mix until the flour mixture is just combined.
- Fold in the Mix-Ins
Add 1 cup white chocolate chips, ½ cup cranberries, and ½ cup pistachios, and mix them into the batter. Pour the batter into the prepared baking tin, then use a rubber spatula to spread it into a smooth surface.
- Bake the Blondies
Bake the blondies for 30 minutes, until they’re a golden brown color. Let the Cranberry Pistachio Blondies cool completely after the baking time. Slice into squares to serve. If you used parchment, lift the whole blondie sheet out then you can cut cleaner, more even slices.
Baking Cranberry Pistachio Blondies Tips & Tricks
- Don’t Over-Mix the Batter
- Similar to cake recipes, you don’t want to stir your batter too much or your brownies will turn out tough and dense. Just mix until there are no flour streaks and gently fold in the mix-ins until they are evenly distributed.
- Start with Room Temperature Ingredients
- You want to start with softened butter and room temperature eggs for a couple reasons. First, the butter and sugar will cream easier and create lots of air for fluffier brownies. Also, if everything is at the same temperature, they will bake evenly and consistently.
What to Pair With Cranberry Pistachio Blondies
Drinks: Since these are holiday flavored bars, why not pair them with a festive drink like Peppermint Hot Chocolate or Hot Apple Cider? Leave them out for Santa with a big glass of cold milk for a treat that is sure to put you at the top of the nice list!
Ice Cream: Serve these blondies warm like a brownie sundae with a big scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream. Instead of chocolate sauce, drizzle the ice cream and bars with Salted Caramel Sauce and top with extra pistachios. These would also taste great with Coffee Ice Cream!
How to Store Cranberry Pistachio Blondies
Store: After baking, you can leave Cranberry Pistachio Blondies at room temperature for up to a week. Just make sure to cover the dish in plastic wrap or aluminum foil to keep the blondies soft and fresh. You can also transfer them to an airtight container to store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Freeze: You can freeze leftovers or even make a batch ahead and freeze for later! Store them in an airtight container for up to 4 months. To keep them from sticking, allow them to cool then freeze on a parchment lined baking sheet for an hour before storing them long term.
Ideas to Serve Cranberry Pistachio Blondies
Crunchy Toppings: There are lots of toppings you can sprinkle over the blondie batter before baking to add some flavor and a crunch. Sprinkle large crystal sugar for crunchy sweetness or coarse sea salt to balance the sweetness. Finely chop some extra pistachios and cover the top for a nutty crust.
White Chocolate Drizzle: For a chocolate topping, melt white chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl in 30-second increments in the microwave. Drizzle the melted chocolate over the blondies, either before cutting them or after so the chocolate drips down the side a little.
FAQ for Cranberry Pistachio Blondies
It comes down to the sugar and whether the batter is made with chocolate or not. Brownie batter is made with cocoa powder or melted chocolate and usually white sugar. Blondie batter doesn’t have any chocolate, although it might have chocolate pieces as a mix in, and they are made with brown sugar.
You can definitely use fresh cranberries, or even use frozen cranberries, but just keep in mind fresh and frozen berries are going to be juicy versus chewy. Also, if you are using frozen cranberries, make sure to thaw and pat them dry first.
- 6 tablespoons butter , softened
- 1 cup brown sugar , packed
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup white chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup dried sweetened cranberries , roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup pistachios , shelled and roughly chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray an 8×10 baking dish with baking spray.
- To your stand mixer add the butter and brown sugar and cream on medium speed until fluffy, about 1 minute.
- Add in eggs and vanilla extract until creamy.
- Add flour, baking powder and salt until just combined.
- Stir in white chocolate chips, cranberries and pistachios.
- Pour into baking dish and spread evenly.
- Bake for 30 minutes.
- Cool completely before slicing.
Cranberry Pistachio Blondies Variations
- Chocolate: Instead of the white chocolate chunks in the recipe, you can replace the white chocolate with milk, semisweet, or dark chocolate chunks. You could also use a combination of two types of chocolate for the best of both worlds.
- Mix-ins: For more festive fruit flavor you can mix in some orange zest, candied cherries, or dried and chopped dates. You could also swap in different kinds of nuts like almonds, pecans, or walnuts.