7 Christmas Cookie Bars for the Too-Busy Cook

Making festive cookie bars instead of individual cookies this holiday season can save you precious time. (Photo: RoJo Images/Shutterstock)

Christmas cookies are a wonderful tradition, but sometimes you just don't have the time to scoop dough and pop tray after tray of cookies in and out of the oven. If that's where you are this holiday season, you can still make homemade holiday treats if you embrace the cookie bar. Instead of making individual cookies, the dough is spread in the pan and baked for about 30-40 minutes, giving you time to wrap gifts, watch "Charlie Brown's Christmas" or simply have a quiet conversation with someone without having to jump up every 8-10 minutes to handle cookies.

Here are seven cookie bars that would fit in nicely to any Christmas cookie tray.

Cranberry Bars: Cranberries are the ultimate Christmas fruit, and these sweet and tart bars are full of them. Some orange zest gives them zip, and nuts add a little crunch.

crushed candy canes
Anything with sprinkle crushed candy canes instantly becomes a festive-looking treat. (Photo: Dan Kosmayer/Shutterstock)

Peppermint Crunch Sugar Cookie Bars: Sugar cookies are a holiday staple. These bars are covered with peppermint frosting and sprinkled with crushed candy canes.

Christmas Magic Cookie Bars: M&Ms;, chocolate chips, coconut flakes and butterscotch chips all go into these bars, which have a graham cracker crust. They're very similar to a 7-layer bar minus the nuts, and by adding red and green candies, they become Christmas-themed.

Powered sugar cookie bars
Powdered sugar turns cookie bars into snow bars. (Photo: ADfoto/Shutterstock)

Man Bars: Despite their not-so-PC name ("so easy even a man can make them "... groan), these bars would look good on a holiday dessert tray because they're covered in powdered sugar, making them look like snowballs. Graham crackers, chocolate chips and nuts go into these bars, which are cut into small squares and rolled in the powdered sugar.

Gingerbread Cookie Bars: Instead of having to cut out individual gingerbread men and decorate each one with frosting, this recipe puts the gingerbread in bar form. You frost the entire pan at once and throw some red, green and white sprinkles onto the frosting.

christmas tree brownies
Turning brownies into Christmas trees couldn't be easier. (Photo: irene_k/Shutterstock)

Christmas Tree Brownies: Bake some yummy brownies, cut them into triangles, frost them green ... you get the picture.

Holiday Crack Candy: Technically not a cookie bar, but they're easy like cookie bars and end up as squares. The base of these is made of saltines that are covered in butter, brown sugar, melted chocolate chips and holiday-colored candies. If you've ever had similar "Crack" candy, you know these earn their addictive name.