These chocolate cherry cookies are the ultimate (and easiest) bar cookies out there. A cross between a chewy cherry cookie and chocolate bark, they’ve got everything you’re looking for in a cookie recipe for a crowd. 

Photo of chocolate cherry cookie bars stacked on a gray plat set on a marble table.These chocolate cherry cookies are my new favorite treat. They’re my go-to when we have people in town, need to bring something to a gathering, or are gifting to a friends and family. They are serious crowd pleasers. 

These bar cookies are made with cream cheese and butter, and that combination is gold! Just a little bit of cream cheese adds a dose of tang that makes them that much more addictive. 

Mostly sweetened with coconut sugar, these cookies also utilize a bit of regular sugar for structure and texture. 

And arguably the most important ingredient in these cookie bars—diced dried cherries. Not only do they add wonderful flavor, but they add a delightful chewiness that truly take these to the next level. 

If you aren’t a cherry person, try Craisins, chopped dried apricots, or chopped dried figs. 

These bar cookies are perfect for Christmas (I’m thinking cookie parties and gifting) and for when you’re feeding a crowd. Not only does one batch make quite a few cookies, but they’re also incredibly easy to make.

Made in just one bowl, the cookie dough is pressed into an even layer on a baking sheet and baked. No scooping, rolling or cutting required! So when you’re short on time or have a long list of cooking to do, these cookies make the perfect dessert—low stress, high satisfaction! 

Photo of chocolate cherry cookie bars stacked on a gray plateHow to make chocolate cherry cookies 

I wasn’t joking when I said these cookies come together quickly and painlessly. Here are the simple steps to making chocolate cherry cookies in bar form. 

  1. Mix together dry ingredients (ground coconut sugar, flours, sugar, cinnamon and salt) in a stand mixer. Add cherries and mix.

  • Beat in butter, cream cheese and vanilla.
  • Spread onto a prepared baking sheet.

  • Bake cookie then sprinkle chocolate chips over top, let chocolate chips rest then spread chocolate into an even layer.

  • Sprinkle with almonds and chill to set chocolate.

  • Cut and enjoy! 
  • It can be hard to visualize how to cut a large sheet pan into diamonds, but here’s the easiest way to explain it. See photos below for a visual example. 

    Step 1: starting at one of the corners, cut cookie diagonally into strips.

    Step 2: cut cookie vertically, top to bottom, into long slices to create diamond-shaped cookies.  

    Yes! After cutting, let the cookies bars cool completely on the baking sheet. Transfer sheet to the freezer and freeze cookies until solid, about 1 hour. Transfer frozen cookies to freezer bags or a an airtight container and store in freezer. Let cookies thaw at room temperature overnight when needed.

    Photo of chocolate cherry cookie bars stacked on a gray plate on a marble table

    Make sure to tag me @ZESTFULKITCHEN ON INSTAGRAM or comment below if you make these chocolate cherry cookie bars!

    To pin this recipe and save it for later, you can click the button on any of the photos, or the red button on the side bar or below the recipe. Happy baking!

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    Photo of chocolate cherry cookie bars stacked on a gray plat set on a marble table.

    Chocolate Cherry Cookie Bars

    • Author: Lauren
    • Prep Time: 15 minutes
    • Cook Time: 20 minutes
    • Total Time: 35 minutes
    • Yield: 32 cookies (or 50 *see note) 1x
    • Category: Dessert
    • Method: Baking
    • Cuisine: American

    Description

    Easy chocolate cherry cookies bars that are perfect for holidays and sharing! These cookies are a cross between a chewy cherry cookie and chocolate bark, they’ve got everything you’re looking for in a cookie recipe for a crowd.


    Ingredients

    Scale
    • ¾ cup coconut sugar 
    • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
    • ¾ cup whole-wheat pastry flour 
    • ¼ cup granulated sugar 
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
    • ¼ teaspoon salt 
    • 1 cup chopped dried cherries 
    • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces and softened 
    • 2 tablespoons cream cheese
    • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract 
    • 1 ½ cups dark chocolate chips (or one 10-ounce bag) 
    • 1 ½ cups slivered almonds, toasted

    Instructions

    Heat oven to 375 with rack set in lower-middle position; line a full sized rimmed baking sheet (also called a half sheet pan, 18-inch x 13-inch) with parchment paper.

    Grind coconut sugar to a powder in a spice grinder; add to a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add flours, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and salt to stand mixer; mix on low speed just to combine, 10 seconds. Add cherries and mix to combine, 5 seconds.

    With mixer on low speed, add butter 1 piece at a time, continue to mix until mixture is crumbly and looks slightly wet, 1–2 minutes more. Add cream cheese and vanilla and mix until a dough forms around the paddle, 1 minute more. 

    Press dough evenly onto prepared baking sheet, (I like to alternate between my hands and a rolling pin to help spread the dough to the edges). 

    Bake cookies until golden brown, about 20 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking. 

    Remove sheet from oven and immediately sprinkle chocolate chips over the top; let sit 3 minutes. Spread chocolate into an even layer then sprinkle with almonds. Let cool on a wire rack 20 minutes. 

    Using a pizza wheel or large chef’s knife, cut cookies on the diagonal into 1½✕2-inch diamonds. Transfer cookies back to sheet and chill 30 minutes until chocolate is set.

    Store in an airtight container at room temperature (or in the refrigerator) for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 1 month. 


    Notes

    To make 50 cookies: cut cooking into 1½✕1½-inch cookies.   A full-sized rimmed baking sheet is 18″ x 26″. If you have a slightly smaller sized baking sheet, no problem, these will still work. I would recommend baking them just a few more minutes.

    Baking sheet sizes: if you have a slightly smaller baking sheet that’s OK, go ahead and use it as directed in the recipe. The cookie may need a few more minutes in the oven. If you have a sheet pan that’s half the size of what’s called for, bake the cookie in two batches. 


    Nutrition

    • Serving Size: 1 cookie
    • Calories: 162
    • Sugar: 12g
    • Sodium: 52mg
    • Fat: 9g
    • Saturated Fat: 5g
    • Carbohydrates: 20g
    • Fiber: 1g
    • Protein: 3g
    • Cholesterol: 12mg
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    About The Author

    Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine, EatingWell.com, AmericasTestKitchen.com, and more.

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