This is how it usually goes down when I make sugar cookies.
I start out full of enthusiasm, get the dough all mixed and wait impatiently for it to chill.
Then I roll it out, cut it into shapes, try to get them to the pan without them falling apart, and bake.
Then I repeat that process about four more times.
It’s about here that my enthusiasm starts to fade, but luckily I’m now to the fun part: decorating. I mix up the frosting and get to work.
After the first dozen I realize they’re not exactly going to look like a magazine, but I keep going. And going.
Until finally I get to the last dozen and, as I limp across the finish line, I’m tired, I’m sick from all the dough and cookies I’ve eaten, and I’m slapping the frosting on the last cookies just to get to bed, because it’s usually past midnight.
All of this is why, when I needed something to take to a school function yesterday, and I was going to have to fit the baking in between a doctor’s appointment, an allergy shot, and a grocery store run, I decided to do sugar cookie bars.
Halleluja! I think I may be doing this a lot. Like every year.
They taste great, are pretty, and – unlike with my cookies – I don’t have to worry that no one can tell my Santas from my wreaths.
To make these bars, I combined and adapted several recipes from Pinterest. Here’s my version:
Ingredients for cookies:
- 2-1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 t. baking powder
- 1/2 t. salt
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1-1/2 T. sour cream
- 1 t. vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 t. vanilla
- 1/8 t. salt
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and grease a small cookie sheet*
- Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
- In another bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy.
- Add the egg, sour cream and vanilla to the butter/sugar mixture and thoroughly combine.
- Slowly add the flour mixture and mix just until combined.
- Form the cookie dough into a large ball and place in the center of the cookie sheet.
- Use your hands to press the dough to the edges of the pan.
- Bake 17-20 minutes, or until light golden and a toothpick comes out clean.
While that is cooling, prepare the frosting:
- Cream together butter, powdered sugar, and milk until fluffy.
- Stir in the vanilla and salt and combine well.
- Frost the cooled cookie bars and top with whatever sprinkles, etc. you like. (I used a TON of white decorative sugar and then borrowed the peppermint crunch from the hot chocolate bar.)
- Cut into squares and serve.
* I doubled this recipe and baked it in a 10×15 jelly roll pan. You can really use whatever size pan you like; just adjust the cooking time depending on the thickness of the cookie dough and keep an eye on your pan while it’s baking.