14 September 2011

Sugar Cookie Bars

Christmas is my cookie holiday. Every holiday seems to have its own kind of treats: candy for Halloween and Valentine's Day, pie for Thanksgiving. But Christmas? Christmas is a cookie holiday. I often think if I look up the definition of Christmas in the dictionary it would look something like this:

Christmas n. 1. Jesus' birthday in the Christian faith 2. A time to spend with family 3. The day to eat cookies.

Every Christmas I make sugar cookies with a sugary, buttery cookie frosting. They are the kind of cookies that, if eaten in excess, require the use of Rolaids. These, by far, are my favorite cookies of the season. I make them on Christmas Eve and look forward to eating them for days after the festivities are over.

My step-father-in-law, Mark, also loves these cookies. The first few years we celebrated with him I spent Christmas eyeing his trips to the cookie platter. Then I started making him his own basket of sugar cookies.  It's part of his present. Now, because I know he loves them so much, I make them for him on other holidays too.

That's where these cookie bars come in. I've made the cutout sugar cookies for Mark's birthday the past few years. This year there was so much going on around his special day that I didn't have time to roll, cut, and frost a bunch of cookies. Right about the time I was thinking how I was going to fit it all in, I saw this post and a lightbulb went off in my head. I could use the same recipe I always do but make them into bars. Brilliant!

This is one of those oh-so-simple modifications that I know come Christmas Eve, when I'm doing a million other things, I'm going to want to do again. The bars are thick and sweet and so easy to make. Jordan chose the frosting color, not caring that they were a gift for a boy.

When you need a quick and yummy treat, make bar sugar cookies. (And then, if you're like me and can't control yourself, head to the drugstore and stock up on antacid.)

Print Friendly and PDFBar Sugar Cookies
Recipe Source: Land o’ Lakes

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ¼ cups powdered sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1.       Preheat oven to 375°.  Line a 9x13” baking pan with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
2.       Combine all ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer (or in a large bowl if using hand mixer). Beat at medium speed, scraping the sides as needed, until well mixed (about 3-4 minutes).
3.       Spread dough into the bottom of the 9x13” baking pan. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until they just start to brown. Cool completely before frosting.

For the Frosting
4 cups powdered sugar
½ cup butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 to 4 tablespoons milk
Food color, if desired

Combine powdered sugar, ½ cup butter, and vanilla in a large bowl. Mix slowly with a hand mixer, adding enough milk for desired consistency. Add food coloring if you want tinted frosting. Spread over cooled cookie bars and decorate with sprinkles, if desired. Cut into squares.

Yield: approximately 24 bars, depending on size.


This recipe may be linked with:
MondayMingle Monday (Add a Pinch), Joy of DessertsTuesday2 Maids a Baking (2 Maids a Milking), Tea Party Tuesdays (Sweetology). WednesdayCast Party WednesdayMade It On Monday (Lark's Country Heart), This Chick Cooks.  ThursdaySweet Treats Thursday (Something Swanky), Chic-and-Crafty (Frugal Girls), Turning the Table Thursdays (Around My Family Table), Tasty Thursday (The How-To Mommy). FridaySweet Tooth Friday (Alli-n-son), I'm Lovin' it Fridays (TidyMom), Friday Favorites (Simply Sweet Home). SaturdaySweets for a Saturday (Sweet as Sugar Cookies), Seasonal Inspiration (Crumbs and Chaos). SundayA Well-Seasoned Life,Sharing Sundays (Everyday Sisters)

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At September 14, 2011 at 8:15 AM , Anonymous The Better Baker said...

Fabulous! Mouth-watering! I want a bite NOW! I'm a cookie monster, and will be bookmarking these to make. Your photos are so nice!

At September 14, 2011 at 3:28 PM , Blogger MrsFoxsSweets said...

These look so yummy and easy to make! *pinned* :)

At September 14, 2011 at 6:07 PM , Blogger Kristin said...

Those look so good! I'm getting ready to pull out my go-to sugar cookie recipe for Halloween cookies. Oh, and Alaska cookies. I found an Alaska cookie cutter.


At September 14, 2011 at 6:32 PM , Blogger Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust said...

@The Better Baker
Thank you! I could eat these cookies every day. I love them that much.

At September 14, 2011 at 6:33 PM , Blogger Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust said...

I can't wait to see the Alaska cookies! Totally awesome. Thanks for your comment!

At September 14, 2011 at 7:08 PM , Blogger kyleen said...

These looks so awesome. I love the pink frosting and sprinkles; so cute!

At September 14, 2011 at 7:49 PM , Blogger greenthumb said...

Hi, those look good, think I will have to try them out, I enjoyed looking at your back posts.

At September 15, 2011 at 6:51 AM , Blogger Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust said...

Thank you! I think cute is the look my daughter is always going for. :)

At September 15, 2011 at 6:52 AM , Blogger Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust said...

Thank you! That's good to hear. :)

At September 15, 2011 at 3:59 PM , Blogger Mallory said...

Yum! These look delicious, I'm definitely pinning them.

At September 17, 2011 at 2:00 PM , Blogger Kim McCallie said...

These look delicious! I have all of the ingredients and I love a thick layer of frosting on my cookies! Sounds like these are in my future. I'd like to invite you to share your recipe on Sweet Indulgences Sunday.

At September 17, 2011 at 2:01 PM , Blogger Kim McCallie said...

Here's the link to Sweet Indulgences Sunday:

At September 17, 2011 at 4:25 PM , Blogger Elsa said...

I've seen sugar cookie bars before and have wanted to try them. I saved this recipe to try out. I love sugar cookies.

At September 17, 2011 at 4:38 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post. My baby first birthday is Tuesday. We already the big party with a smash cake and needed something to have on her birthday. These are perfect:)


At September 19, 2011 at 9:24 AM , Blogger Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust said...

Danielle - Happy Birthday to her! I hope she loves them and has a great birthday. :)


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