Trail Mix Cookie Bars with Pumpkin and Cranberry

Trail Mix Cookie Bars with Pumpkin and Cranberry

Trail Mix Cookie Bars with Pumpkin and Cranberry

It’s that time of year – holiday baking timeIf you’re like me, you love to make some old favorites, and then sprinkle in a couple of new cookies and bars too. That’s how these Trail Mix Cookie Bars with Pumpkin and Cranberry entered the picture. I took all the best parts of trail mix – dried fruit, nuts, m&ms, and chocolate chips, and added them to sweet oatmeal-pumpkin bars.

Pumpkin and Cranberry Trail Mix Cookie Bars

It’s that time of year – holiday baking timeIf you’re like me, you love to make some old favorites, and then sprinkle in a couple of new cookies and bars too. That’s how these Trail Mix Cookie Bars with Pumpkin and Cranberry entered the picture. I took all the best parts of trail mix – dried fruit, nuts, m&ms, and chocolate chips, and added them to sweet oatmeal-pumpkin bars.

The result? Deliciously soft, chewy bars with hints of chocolate and fruit; the perfect holiday treat! My whole family has been loving these bars – and they make a ton, so they’re great for gifting! Give them a try on your holiday dessert table or make them for your favorite people to enjoy.

trail mix cookie bars with pumpkin and cranberry ingredients 1

Trail Mix Cookie Bars with Pumpkin and Cranberry – the Ingredients

The ingredients for these bars look a lot like you’re about to make a batch of your favorite trail mix or granola! Here’s a quick-reference grocery list:

  • 2 sticks of butter
  • brown sugar
  • an egg
  • a can of pure pumpkin puree (NOT PIE MIX)
  • flour
  • old-fashioned oats
  • chocolate chips
  • dried cranberries
  • m&ms
  • walnuts
  • and vanilla, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice

Making the Pumpkin Cranberry Trail Mix Bars

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 13×9 baking dish with cooking spray.

cream butter and sugar for trail mix cookie bars 1

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together 2 sticks of butter and 1 cup of packed brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Mix in the egg yolk, pure vanilla extract, and the pumpkin puree. *Note: This does have a strong pumpkin flavor. If you want the health benefits of the pumpkin without so much flavor, decrease the pumpkin amount by 1/2 cup and add the whole egg instead of just the yolk. 

Sprinkle baking soda, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice and salt over the top of the wet ingredients and mix briefly.

add oats to trail mix cookie batter 1

Add the flour and oats in alternating amounts, mixing in between. Start and end with the flour. Add 1 cup of all purpose flour and stir to combine. Add 1 cup of oats and stir. Alternate with flour, oats, flour to finish adding, mixing in between.

stirring candy into batter 1

Gently stir in dried cranberries, m&ms, chopped walnuts, and chocolate chips. When they’re fully combined, spread the Trail Mix Bar batter into sprayed 13×9 pan. Use the back of the spoon or spatula to smooth and level the batter.

trail mix cookie batter spread in baking dish 1

Bake at 350 degrees for 33-40 minutes, or until the edges are browned and the center is set. Remove from oven and let cool completely before cutting into 24 bars.

*Note: If you cut these bars before they cool, they are likely to crumble and fall apart. The pumpkin makes them moist, and moist bars need to cool and set before cutting. 

trail mix cookie bars in pan 1

Tips/Tricks/Substitutions

  • I don’t have pumpkin pie spice. Do I have to go buy it? No – pumpkin pie spice is just a mix of common baking spices. To make the equivalent of 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice, just use 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/8 teaspoon each of ginger, nutmeg and cloves. 
  • Are the nuts optional? Sure. The walnuts add a nice crunch – and they’re a basic ingredient for trail mix, so I’ve included them. But if you have nut allergies or just lots of people that don’t like nuts, you can leave them out entirely or replace them with extra chocolate chips or cranberries. 
  • Do you have some other favorite cookies I should include on my holiday plates? I sure do! How about these White Chocolate Peppermint Bark Cookies or these 5 Ingredient Lemon Cookies? My Cranberry White Chocolate Bars are a favorite Starbucks copy cat, and these Chai-Spiced Honey Cookies are probably my favorite cookies ever!

stacked trail mix cookies bars with candy in background 1

When you make these Trail Mix Cookie Bars with Pumpkin and Cranberry, be sure to take a photo and post it on Instagram. Make sure to tag me (@biscuitsandgrading)! I can’t wait to see it! 

If you enjoyed this recipe, make sure you subscribe so you never miss a recipe! You’ll receive only occasional emails and freebies from me, and you’ll be the first to know about any giveaways. Plus, every week, you’ll receive a FREE Weekly Meal Plan and GROCERY LIST!

 

Trail Mix Cookie Bars with Pumpkin and Cranberry
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
 
Servings: 24 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 c. butter (2 sticks), softened
  • 1 c. brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 can (15 oz; or 1 3/4 c.) pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 3 c. flour
  • 2 c. old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 c. chocolate chips
  • 1/2 c. dried cranberries
  • 1/4 c. chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 c. M&Ms
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13x9 pan with cooking spray.

  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter and brown sugar until light and creamy, about 3 minutes.

  3. Mix in egg yolk, vanilla and pumpkin puree.

  4. Sprinkle baking soda, baking powder, salt and pumpkin pie spice over the top of the wet ingredients. Mix briefly.

  5. Add flour and oats in alternating 1 cup amount, starting and ending with flour. Mix in between. (1 cup flour. Mix. 1 cup oats. Mix. Flour. Mix. Oats. Mix. Flour. Mix.)

  6. Stir in M&ms, chocolate chips, dried cranberries and chopped walnuts.

  7. Spread cookie dough into sprayed 13x9 pan. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, or until edges are browned and the center is set.

  8. Remove and let cool completely before cutting into 24 bars.

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I’m Lisa – a married mama of one ninja-monkey toddler living in the cornfields of the Midwest. I’m so happy you’re sharing our journey with us! Here you’ll find family friendly recipes, kids/toddler related posts, and anything this mama is loving. I hope you also find a place of kindness and acceptance here. It takes a village, mamas!

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