Yes at long last it’s fresh cranberry season! I love these little tart berries so much, dried cranberries are awesome but it is really hard to beat fresh. They just bring something else to the party and these White Chocolate Gooey Fresh Cranberry Bars are proof of that. Crunchy buttery base topped with almonds, white chocolate, cranberries and then all covered in sweetened condensed milk. I took inspiration from the American treat Magic Bars / Hello Dolly Bars / 7 Layer Bars, sorry they seem to have so many names, but they were a great starting point for these delightful cranberry creations.
A little inspiration.
As I mentioned earlier, I took inspiration from the American treat ‘Magic Bars’. The whole flavour profile was changed but the idea was there. I started with a buttery crust made from digestive biscuits or for my American friends Graham Crakers blitzed to crumbs and mixed with a little melted butter and some ground ginger.
I then layered them up with almonds, white chocolate chips, fresh cranberries and smothered the whole lot in sweetened condensed milk.
Bake them up.
As they bake the condensed milk goes all thick and gooey and takes on a sweet caramel flavour and consistency. The sharp cranberries help to balance out this sweetness perfectly. The hardest part of making these white chocolate gooey fresh cranberry bars is, having to wait for them to fully cool down. And you really do need them to be cold to cut them up, if they are still warm then they are a nightmare to cut up. They will still taste delicious, but they won’t hold their shape so well. But then again if you don’t need to photograph them as I did, dig in!
Fresh cranberries are best for this recipe, they will sweeten slightly and go all lovely and jammy as they bake. And as I said their slight tartness cuts right through all the sweetness balancing out these bars perfectly. They can be a little messy to eat, so a fork is recommended. But you know what? I have also just eaten these straight from the fridge with no problems.
White Chocolate Gooey Fresh Cranberry Bars
- 10 individual digestives (9 Graham crackers or 1 and 1/2 cups Graham cracker crumbs)
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 100 grams unsalted butter - melted (1/2 cup)
- 80 grams whole almonds (1/2 cup)
- 200 grams white chocolate chips (1 cup)
- 110 grams fresh cranberries - some halved (1 cup)
- 397 gram tin sweetened condensed milk (14 ounces)
- Line a 13x9 inch pan with baking parchment and preheat your oven to 180C/350F/Gas mark 4.
- Bash by hand or blitz with a food processor your biscuits/crackers into fine crumbs. Or measure out your crumbs if you are using box ones. Mix the ginger into the crumbs.
- Stir in the melted butter until all the crumbs have a butter coating. Spread the crumbs over the base of your tin and press them down firmly to create a thin base.
- Take your almonds and place them in a plastic bag and give them a gentle bashing to break them up a little bit. Then sprinkle them over your bars base.
- Then sprinkle the chocolate chips over the almonds.
- Take about a third of your cranberries and cut them in half and sprinkle them over the chocolate chips and sprinkle the remaining whole cranberries as well.
- Carefully pour the condensed milk all over the toppings until you have a nice even covering.
- Place the bars in your warm oven and bake for 25 minutes.
- You are looking for the edges to have turned a nice caramel colour and have a slight wobble in the centre still.
- Take the bars out of the oven and allow them to fully cool down. If possible leave them overnight to fully set, they will become easier to cut up then. But if you can't or don't want to wait, pop them in the fridge for a few hours and this will help them set a lot quicker.
- These bars will keep really well for 5 days at room temperature or a week if kept in the fridge.
Cranberries and white chocolate are among the most succesful food association you can imagine! Super sweet vs Super sour! I bet you bars taste simply wonderful 🙂
There is something special about white chocolate and cranberries when they are together 😀
These sound delicious, I love using fresh cranberries. Love the white and red together too!
Thanks, Caroline 😀
Thoroughly love this combo sweet and tart is sublime.
Couldn’t agree more 😀 thank you.
Cranberries and white chocolate is one of my FAVOURITE combos!! Need to make this sometime!
Thanks Cathleen, I am sure you will love them 😀
I”m with Angie—I love the combo of tart cranberries and sweet white chocolate. I’m a sucker for magic cookie bars and these look divine!!!
Thanks, Liz. White chocolate and cranberries do pair so well together 🙂
Dried cranberries are good, but I agree fresh cranberries are SO much better. Terrific looking recipe — thanks!
Thanks, John, I love dried cranberries I use them all the time but oh my fresh ones are amazing!
Yassss! I love baked goodies with fresh cranberries! Although my husband hates them which drives me mad lol These sound delicious!!
My fella isn’t the biggest fan either, which is a pain at this time of year. So he just has to go without when I am eating them in baked goods 😉 more for me!!!
THE WORD GOOEY always turns my taste buds on!!! 😉 I need to figure out a way to make white chocolate I can eat because UGHHH it was my favorite!
I must admit I would miss white chocolate, but I am sure there is an allergy-friendly version out there somewhere!
nothing quite like a bath in sweetened condensed milk! 🙂
love this combination of flavors!
Thank you Grace 😀
Oh my these look so decadent and wonderful! White chocolate and cranberry is such a dreamy combo!! I dont care if they don’t hold their shape, tey wouldn’t be around long enough for anyone to notice!
I agree, sometimes things don’t need to look pretty to taste amazing 😀
Wow I had never come across these before, made with my all time favourite (guilty) ingredient: condensed milk!
There is something so amazing about condensed milk, I love it! Thanks, Mariana.
They look simply amazing! White chocolate and cranberry are a dream team!
Thanks, Angie. I couldn’t agree more 😀