This is so cheating. On more than one level. For starters, the pictures are ooooold. Remember when I lived in a super crappy apartment and all my pictures were done under fluorescent lighting and my “final shots” were ALL done on the one picnic table I had right outside my apartment? Yep, these are from that time. Which means….I’ve posted this before. Fortunately for me, it didn’t cross over to the new site (two years ago) when I changed my site so I get to repost this.
This concept, sugar cookie bars, is not a new one. It’s been around for awhile now. So why drag it out? Because we are at the onset of the Christmas season when we have lofty dreams of good intentions. “I’ll make some beautiful christmas cookies for every teacher and volunteer and party”, we say. “People will ooooh and ah over the cookies shaped and decorated like christmas trees and angels”, we say. “I have plenty of time for this”, we say. Fast forward two and a half weeks and we are up to our eye balls in good intentions gone unfulfilled, presents to wrap, school parties to attend, and christmas cards to send out (I still have a stack from 2012 that I had printed and NEVER MAILED).
Enjoy the denial while you can friends. I’m there too. I have some pretty aggressive goals for the next three weeks that involve mass producing pie and homemade, hand dipped marshmallows. I’m going to just hang out here in my delusions until the coffee and wine are all gone and I realize I am out.of.time. And then I’ll make these. I’ll choose a different frosting color and different sprinkles and I will wrap them up pretty and people will still oooh and ah. Or maybe moan. Because these are that good. Soft and chewy and smothered in buttercream frosting. Let’s face it, do we really need anything more from a sugar cookie?
Give yourself a break sister.
Start with butter and sugar in your mixing bowl and beat with the paddle attachment until it’s light and fluffy.
Add eggs. I’m sure there’s a legit reason to do this one at a time but from where I’m sitting right now, I’m just going to toss them both in and beat well.
Add some vanilla. I love vanilla.
Add the dry ingredients. Again, I’m sure there’s a really good reason to sift this in a separate bowl first but that’s another dish to clean and seems like a lot of work. So toss it in there and let the mixer gently fold it into the batter. Also, if you look closely at the picture above, you can see my feet in the reflection of the mixing bowl. That’s fun.
Spread in a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. This is a touch of a pain because parchment paper wants to scoot all over the place but it’s worth it later to get pretty cookie bars.
Bake for 15-20 minutes at 375. We are going for lightly browned, we want them set but not dry. Chewy is the goal. Now for the best part. MAKE FROSTING. Eat some out of the bowl. This is a must. Spread the rest on your cooled cookie bars.
Top with sprinkles and let sit for a bit. Buttercream does this beautiful crusting thing where the top sets so they can be gently stacked but the rest stays soft and fluffy. Delightful.
When you’re ready, lift the edges of the parchment paper just slightly to slide/remove it from the cookie sheet and chop into beautiful bars with clean edges using a giant knife or a rocking pizza cutter.
- 1 cup butter, at room temperature
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 5 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup butter; at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3- 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 5 tablespoons milk or heavy cream
- food coloring, if desired
- In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in vanilla.
- Add dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Line a large cookie sheet or jelly roll pan with parchment paper, leaving extra parchment paper at the edges. Gently and evenly spread out batter onto sheet.
- Bake at 375 degrees F for 15-20 minutes, until light golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
- To prepare frosting, in a large bowl, beat butter until fluffy. Mix in vanilla. Add powdered sugar (1 cup at a time) until combined, then add milk & mix until smooth and spreadable. Add a few drops of color, if desired. Spread over cooled cookie, then cut into bars.
- Read more at http://www.loveandoliveoil.com/2010/04/sugar-cookie-bars.html