Sugar Cookie Bars

28 Jun

We had some sweet neighbors bring our family dinner after the baby was born, so I had to (had to) make treats to thank them. Unfortunately, I didn’t give them all away and decided to eat half the pan myself. I have a deep and abiding love for sugar cookies, but I kind of hate to make them – they are a pain. Mix the dough, chill the dough, roll the dough, hurry up and cut out your shapes and re-roll and re-cut…all before the dough gets too warm to work with. And if you aren’t fast enough, you have to re-chill and then start all over again. A lot of work! No good. So I only make them on real special occasions (I will have to do it eventually because I do have a killer recipe – super soft and fluffy…but I’m getting way ahead of myself! you’ll get those on one of those special occasion posts :)). So! Imagine my delight, stumbling upon this awesome recipe that gives you some smashing sugar cookies in super simple bar form. Hopefully I didn’t find it so easy that I make them all the time. Remember that baby bulge I still have to get rid of?

photo-28

Cookies:

1 cup butter, room temperature

2 cups sugar

4 eggs

2 tsp vanilla

5 cups flour

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp lemon zest (optional)

Frosting:
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese (1/2 of an 8 oz block) softened
1 tsp vanilla (I used almond extract for half of the frosting)
¼ tsp salt
4 cups powdered sugar
5 Tbsp milk
food coloring (if desired)
Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing after each egg. Add vanilla and mix well. In a separate bowl combine flour, salt, baking soda and stir with a whisk to combine. Add to wet mixture and mix just until combined. Spread on a greased baking sheet (use a 13 x 18 pan). Bake at 375 degrees for 10-15 min, until light golden brown or until a toothpick comes out clean (they won’t look done so do the toothpick test). Cool completely and frost.
For the frosting: Combine butter and cream cheese until smooth and creamy. Add vanilla and salt. Add powdered sugar in 1-2 cup increments until combined, then add milk a little at a time and mix until smooth and spreading consistency. You may not need all the milk! Spread over cooled cookie bars.
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