Soft and Cakey Sugar Cookie Bars

Today I have the great pleasure of introducing you to a friend of mine, Tasia from Two Sugar Bugs! She's sharing her recipe for Sugar Cookie Bars, and I couldn't be more excited! Can you imagine how perfect these would be for a Christmas party, with red and green sprinkles?? The recipe for these delicious bars is below, and be sure to find Tasia on Instagram here, and of course her baking blog here! Enjoy!

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From Tasia:

I met Kirsten earlier this year and we instantly bonded over motherhood, our love of food and wine and being new bloggers. Kirsten has been an amazing friend and resource for me. I love her sense of style, her honesty and her mad cooking and baking skills. I am honored to share my Sugar Cookie Bars recipe with you all and hope you find them as irresistible as I do.

Sugar cookie are my weakness, my kryptonite, they render me utterly defenseless! I can say no to a brownie. A chocolate chip cookie, no problem. A piece of cake, getting weaker...but a sugar cookie? No way. I cannot pass one up.

My friend Laura used to bring sugar cookies into work from time to time. She was known for them. They were rolled in granulated sugar and pressed down with a cup. The cookies were thick, soft and cakey, with a generous layer of frosting. I could eat six at a time. No joke.

One day Laura shared her recipe with me and i became famous for these little lovelies myself. Over the years, i have tinkered with the recipe and turned it into my own. Then one day I was feeling extra lazy and decided to press the dough into bars and add some sprinkles. I mean, who has time for rolling dough balls into sugar and pressing them with a cup? Especially when you want a cookie RIGHT NOW!! And sprinkles just make everything more fun, right?

Be careful not to over bake these bars. You are going to question yourself when you pull them out of the oven. They are going to look a little underdone, but this is how you get a soft cookie bar versus a soft cake-like bar. I also like to use a piece of parchment to line my pan so I can easily pull them out to frost and cut them. I can make much nicer bars when I am not fighting the sides of the pan. Notice I say "nicer" bars. Mine are never all the same size. I am in awe of those that can accomplish that feat. I am very challenged in this department even when marking them with a tape measure. I can accomplish nice straight cuts though. I do this by having the bars chilled and using a sharp knife that gets wiped clean between cuts. If any of you can offer advice to get all of my bars the same size, I am all ears!

You will love these sugar cookie bars because they are soft, chewy and loaded with sprinkles. Now you can be famous for sugar cookie bars too!

Sugar Cookie Bars

Thick, soft and chewy sugar cookie bars, bursting with sprinkles and topped with a generous layer of buttercream.

Servings: 20 Bars
Author: twosugarbugs


Sugar Cookie Bars: 

1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 large egg room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 sprinkles jimmies, optional


1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 tablespoon heavy cream or half and half


To make the bars: 

1. Preheat the oven to 350.
2. Line 9x13 baking pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil, leaving a little extra overhang on the sides.
3 In a medium size bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
4. Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment (or a hand held mixer), cream butter and cream cheese on medium speed about 2 minutes, until nice and creamy. Add the granulated and powdered sugars and mix until pale and fluffy, approximately 3-5 minutes. Add the egg, vanilla and almond extracts and beat until well combined, scraping down the sides as needed.
5. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture and blend until just combined. Fold in the sprinkles with a spatula, if using. Be sure to use the "jimmies" for your sprinkles as the nonpareil type can bleed and turn your batter an unappetizing color.
6. Press dough into prepared pan using a spatula or lightly moistened fingers. The dough will be thick and somewhat sticky.
7. Bake for 14-16 minutes or until edges are barely browned and they will look a little underdone. You do not want to over bake these bars or they will be more like a cake and less like a soft sugar cookie.
8. Allow to cool completely in the pan placed on a wire rack.

To make the frosting: 

1. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment (or a hand held mixer) beat the butter on medium-high speed until smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the powdered sugar, vanilla and almond extract, and heavy cream (or half and half). Mix on low speed until incorporated. Increase speed to medium-high and whip until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes, scraping sides of the bowl as needed. Add a pinch of salt if the frosting is too sweet. You can also add food coloring, if desired.

2. Once cool, remove the bars from the pan using the parchment paper or aluminum foil and frost, adding additional sprinkles, if desired. Use a sharp knife to cut to your desired size. If you want nice, clean cuts, wipe your knife with a towel between cuts.

Kirsten Bell

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