June 1, 2017

Frosted Sugar Cookie Bars

I made these bars from Brown Eyed Baker for a recent weekend up north, figuring they'd be a huge hit with the kiddos. Then I promptly ate the majority of these bars up north. I figured they might be safe from be because they weren't chocolate, but they were sweet and buttery and delicious.

These are easy to make and even easier to eat. (My mother-in-law was grossed out by the fact that the frosting layer was as thick as the cookie layer. I view that as a positive, not a negative.)

Frosted Sugar Cookie Bars
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 egg
2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
Rainbow sprinkles, for decorating

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×13-inch baking pan or line with parchment paper, and set aside.In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and cream cheese on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the sugar, and continue to beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla,and beat to combine, about 1 minute.

Reduce the mixer speed to low, and gradually add the flour mixture, mixing only until barely combined. Use a rubber spatula to finish mixing, ensuring there are no pockets of flour remaining.Using a spatula, spread the dough into an even layer in the prepared pan. (The dough will be thick and sticky.) Bake until light golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Place the pan on a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting, whip the butter on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, stopping to scrape the bowl once or twice. Reduce the speed to low, and gradually add the powdered sugar. Once all of the powdered sugar is incorporated, increase the speed to medium-high. Add the vanilla, mixing until incorporated. Whip at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping the bowl as needed.

Spread the frosting over the cookie bars, and decorate with sprinkles, if desired. Cut the bars into squares and serve. The cookie bars should be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days (you can store them in the refrigerator for up to 1 week). Makes 24 bars.

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