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Simple Sugar Cookie Bars

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Yesterday was Canada Day…incase you were wondering. Since a lot of my Canadian family is here with my sister and new baby AND because there are fireworks stands on every corner here in Idaho, my husband decided to purchase a few heavy duty ones for our enjoyment and pleasure. So, he took Brooke and 3 of her cousins out last night to pick up a few fun fireballs to play with. Pop its and ginormous sparklers for the kids with a few larger fireworks {called “crazy lady” and “show me the money”} for the adults.

Umm, who names these fireworks? And more importantly, are they hiring?

Pretty sure I could set off fireworks and give each one a funky name. Talk about the cushiest job in the world.

I’m insisting we pick up more for the 4th and updating my resume.

I’ll keep you posted if I find anything.

ANYWAYS…..

I’m pretty sure everyone and their Mom has a recipe for sugar cookie bars. Everyone except my Mom. She was the one making lemon glazed cookies and stuffed peppersCause she’s cool like that. ANYWAYS, I’ve been seeing these recipes pop up all over the web lately and thought I’d make up my own version! Umm, best decision everrrrrrr. These little dudes are amazing, Soft and chewy, tender, sweet and totally patriotic, yo. Also, I love the fact that you just press this dough into bars and bake. Cover the whole thing with frosting and slice. Super duper easy and they taste just as delicious as cut out sugar cookies with much less effort. #winning

Here’s how to make them:

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Start by creaming butter and sugar together. Add in eggs, vanilla and almond extract and stir some more. Dump in your dry ingredients and voila! Dough is done.

See what I mean by super easy?

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Ok, so your dough won’t fully come together like, say, chocolate chip cookie dough, but you don’t want it quite like that. It will look crumbly, but when you grab a handful, it will hold its shape.

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Press it into a 9×13 pan and bake. I put some parchment paper into mine to make bar removal easy, but feel free to just spray really well with nonstick :)

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Aha! Baked bars! Woot. Let these cool to room temp before frosting.

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Speaking of frosting, here’s a really delicious and simple recipe: softened butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and milk. Whip it all together until smooth, light and creamy.

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Spread the frosting in a thick layer all over the cookie bars, sprinkle on some jimmies and cut into bars.

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Like so! I love thick and chewy cookies, especially with copious amounts of frosting.

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Feel free to add color to your frosting or switch up the sprinkles. You can make these for any event or occasion and everyone will love them! These did not last long at my sister’s house and I even got a few requests to make them again already from my nieces! Those girls know good food.

Anyways, here’s the printable; enjoy your day, friends!!

Print

Simple Sugar Cookie Bars

Yield: 24 bars Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes Cook Time: 25 minutes Total Time: 1 hour 55 minutes

Ingredients:

for the cookie bars--
1 cup softened butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon almond extract
3 cups all purpose flour**
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

for the frosting-
1/2 cup softened butter
1 lb. powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3-4 tablespoons milk

sprinkles, if desired for decoration

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 9x13 baking dish with parchment paper and lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

In a large bowl, stir butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Stir in egg, vanilla and almond extract and whip until fluffy. Scrape the sides and stir again briefly. Stir in remaining dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated. It won't come together as a dough initially, but if you grab a handful, it should hold its shape. Spread dough into prepared pan and press down evenly. Bake 20-25 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. Remove from oven and cool completely.

To make the frosting, stir all ingredients together until smooth and fluffy. Start by adding 3 tablespoons milk and work up from there until frosting is the desired consistency. Spread over cooled cookie bars and add sprinkles if desired. Cut into bars and serve.

*Be sure to fluff flour first before spooning into measuring cups and leveling the tops. Not fluffing the flour will mean more flour added to the dough and will make for a stiffer end product.

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43 Comments

  1. Can you believe I’ve never made sugar cookie bars?? Seriously…

    These are perfect for July 4th!

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  2. I love sugar cookies and these look so easy I almost want to run to the kitchen and make them right now. But there is a sad butter and powdered sugar shortage in my kitchen at the moment.

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  3. OMG, YES! These are absolutely brilliant and delicious looking! Just last night I was talking to my friend about making sugar cookie bars for a party, definitely pinning for later :)

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  4. Love these, gotta make these this weekend! :)

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  5. I’m crazy for sugar cookies. I was always the weird kid that wanted plain sugar cookies instead of chocolate chip. Love the festive decorations!

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  6. I love your recipes and this looks amazing! Can’t wait to try it!! I was wondering if you provided metric measurements for your recipes as well? Many thanks!

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  7. These look very good but what is fluffing flour?? Please help! Thanks

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    • Lauren — July 3rd, 2014 @ 7:47 am

      Just stir it up to get a little air in it before measuring.

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      • Paula — July 3rd, 2014 @ 11:03 am

        thanks so much for answering me so quickly! I only have whipped butter how much would I need to make these? Sorry for the million and one questions..!

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  8. Cookie bars are always a good decision. These look wonderful!

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  9. Made these today. Very good and soft and so very easy! One thing I will do different next time is leave out the almond extract. It was a bit too strong of a flavor for me. I also didn’t have sprinkles so I did red, blue, and white icing! Yum. Kiddos can help make this its so easy!

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  10. My FAVORITE kind of bar!

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  11. Oh my dear goodness these look a-mazing! I haven’t ever had cookie bars like this and I think my life is forever changed simply by your picture! Can’t wait to try this recipe soon :)

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  12. I am wanting to know if the bar is a “firmer crisper” cookie bar or a “softer” bar? My family likes the sugar cookie recipe that is called Deluxe and always used powdered sugar instead of granulated in the dough which made it softer. I want to try these if they are on the softer bar side.

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    • Lauren — July 3rd, 2014 @ 10:25 pm

      The edges are slightly crisp but the rest of it is pretty soft.

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      • Destiny — October 13th, 2014 @ 10:36 am

        Mine ended up like that 2

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  13. Add a lttile almond extract (to taste-about 1-2 tsp) to the frosting for just a little more decadence! Yum!!!

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  14. I made these last night and they were fabulous! My kids were not so wild about the almond extract. Can I leave it out or substitute it?

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  15. I made these for the 4th and thought they were good, but a little dry. I noticed in your photos/directions, you said “eggs”, but the ingredients just listed 1 egg. I want to try again but thought I might try 2 eggs next time. Do you think that might help? Thanks for the super easy recipe!

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  16. Kids and grown-ups alike couldn’t keep their fingers off these on the 4th … I did use only half the icing (and it was p-l-e-n-t-y) but skip the sprinkles. I also cut them in tiny one-inch squares, slightly less decadent and the moms didn’t mind when the kids grabbed two or three. Nice work!

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    • Lauren — July 8th, 2014 @ 5:12 am

      Good idea cutting them into smaller squares!

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  17. So is it just one egg? also salted or unsalted butter…hoping for a quick reply going to the store and having a part tomorrow want to make them for the grandkids

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    • Lauren — July 13th, 2014 @ 9:03 pm

      one egg and unsalted or salted butter–it doesn’t matter :)

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  18. I’ve made these 3 times since July 4!! Made them and took to a July 4 BBQ, made them for my kids & co-workers and then made them again for kids & co-workers!! How crazy is that!! A new favorite cookie! Have you ever tried using cookie cutters with them?

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  19. I made these yesterday and they were AmaZiNg!!! It tasted like Christmas but with a lot less work. Thanks!!

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  20. Okay, for folks like me who are domestically challenged, just how many cups does one lb. of powered sugar work out to? I know, poor English. Sorry, and thanks.

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    • Kelly — August 12th, 2014 @ 11:23 am

      I used half a bag of a 32oz. bag….16oz. I didn’t measure but I’m guessing 3 cups?

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      • maria — December 16th, 2014 @ 9:42 am

        way too much sugar if you ask me, I used 16 oz but half that would be more than enough,

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  21. These are so easy to make. I doubled the recipe and baked in a large cookie pan/sheet. I forgot to double the frosting but I still had enough to cover entire pan. I left out the almond extract because I’m not much of a fan. They were excellent, tasted like christmas cut outs, and a HUGE hit! Thank you:)

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  22. They are delicious!!! I would also take out the almond extract it Is too strong for me. I made them for a birthday and added rainbow sprinkles, but I think I will make them more often! They are great!!! Thanks

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  23. Just curious, do these really need the frosting to be successful? My guy doesn’t like frosting, so I was thinking I’d just sprinkle sugar on top before baking instead?

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  24. I made these this past week for a friend who loves my sugar cookies. I needed to cheat, as I did not have a lot of time for rolling and cutting, then, frosting. So, made these and they are the BOMB!!!!! Yes, they are and I didn’t change a thing. I had frosting leftover for some reason…maybe I didn’t spread it on as thick…so now I need to make another batch. They are delicious and so easy! I cut them in really tiny squares as my friend likes small portions. I got a gazillion little tiny squares from this. It is a keeper and a repeater for sure. They are sturdly little squares too, and think I can easily mail them to my other sugar cookie lovers. Thank you thank you thank you!!!!!! No excuse to not bake from scratch when you have recipes this easy!

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  25. 1lb of powdered sugar for the frosting is WAY too much! it turned out sickly sweet, I wish I didn’t put so much. Now I have to do it all over again.

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  26. I loved them frosting was excellent but mine were dry help used a glass pan what did I do wrg I did Fluff the flour….

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  27. do you need to add the almond extract?

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    • Lauren — February 3rd, 2015 @ 11:20 pm

      you don’t have to, but it adds a nice flavor :)

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  28. Is there a way to make the frosting chocolate using baking cocoa? Or something else easy to find? Would lemon flavoring work in these too?

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  29. Mine turned out too dry. Would another egg solve this?

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  30. I don’t have butter can you use margarine? Thank you

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  31. sounds yummy can you sub the almond extract for anything

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