Filed Under: Baking, bars, Dessert, holiday treat, sugar cookie, treat

Sugar Cookie Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

August 19th, 2016

Jamielyn Nye, from I Heart Naptime Cookbook

Nothing says the holidays quite like cookie-cutter sugar cookies decorated with cream cheese frosting. They are one of my favourites, but I tend to make them only around Christmas, since they take so much time. This recipe takes half the work of regular sugar cookies and the results are just as soft. It’s very versatile, too: you can easily turn it into sugar cookies if you have more time.
Use different food colourings and sprinkles to dress these up for any occasion. If you like a lot of frosting, simply double the recipe and have fun decorating.
Servings
30 bars
Prep Time
20 minutes
Cook Time
15 to 17 minutes
Ingredients
  • For the cookies
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • For the cream cheese frosting
  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ (8-ounce) package cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1½ to 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
Directions
  1. Make the cookies

  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a jelly-roll pan (about 15 × 10 × 1 inch) with nonstick cooking spray. (Alternatively, you can use a 9 × 13-inch pan, which will result in slightly thicker bars.)

  3. In a large bowl, using a hand mixer, beat together the butter and granulated sugar until fluffy. Add the egg, vanilla, and sour cream and mix until combined.

  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Slowly add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture and mix until combined.

  5. Lightly flour your hands and press the dough evenly into the pan with your palms.

  6. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Do not let the top brown. Set on a wire rack and let cool completely.

  7. Make the cream cheese frosting

  8. In a medium bowl, using a hand mixer, beat together the butter and cream cheese until fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar, using more or less to suit your taste, the vanilla, and the salt. Mix until smooth and creamy. Frost the cooled sugar cookie bars.

  9. These cookie bars also taste great with a buttercream frosting (see the variations below).

  10. Variations

  11. To make buttercream frosting, in a medium bowl, using a hand mixer, beat ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted room temperature butter until fluffy. Add 2 to 3 cups powdered sugar, a pinch of salt, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and mix until smooth and creamy. Add 2 tablespoons heavy cream or milk and mix to combine, then add up to 1 tablespoon more cream or milk to reach the desired consistency. Storethe frosting in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. This recipe also makes wonderful cut-out cookies. Just add an extra cup of flour to the dough. Wrap the finished dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours. Roll out the chilled dough between two pieces of parchment paper. Remove the top paper and cut out shapes with cookie cutters. Transfer to baking sheets and bake for 8 minutes at 350°F. Have fun decorating with the cream cheese frosting or buttercream frosting and sprinkles.

Sugar Cookie Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting
Jamielyn Nye

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