I used to have an obsession with Grandma’s Sugar Cookies. You know, the giant pink frosted ones. It’s been quite some time since I’ve had one, and recently I’ve been craving that sugary goodness. So when I saw this recipe for sugar cookie bars, I knew I had to make them immediately.
Whereas typical sugar cookies require a day’s commitment, to refrigerate, roll, bake, and decorate, the simple act of baking it as a bar cookie simplifies that process immediately. No rolling. No cutting. No painstaking decorating of dozens of individual cookies.
The final result, while I wouldn’t say it’s exactly like the Grandma’s cookies (which is probably a good thing – who knows what they put in those things!), it is just as satisfying. It’s as if a sugar cookie and a sheet cake had a summer fling. Nine months later, you’d end up with these. They taste like a sugar cookie but feel like a dense cake, which I loved since I like my cookies soft to begin with.
So if you are craving a sugar cookie but are too lazy to break out the rolling pin, give these a go. Looking back, I should have colored the frosting pink rather than the minty green they ended up (pretty, yes, but deceiving—being that they contain no mint whatsoever). There’s just something so perfectly nostalgic about pink frosting atop a sugar cookie.
Sugar Cookie Bars
Makes 32 bars. Adapted from Recipe Girl.
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup butter; at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
5 tablespoons milk
food coloring, if desired
In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in vanilla.
In a separate bowl sift together flour, salt, and baking soda. Slowly add to butter mixture and mix just until combined. Grease a large rimmed baking sheet (a 13×18 or 10×15 jelly roll pan) or line with parchment paper. Gently and evenly spread out batter onto sheet.
Bake at 375 degrees F for 10-15 minutes (mine took more like 20-25 minutes), until light golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
To prepare frosting, in a large bowl, beat butter until fluffy. Mix in vanilla and salt. Add powdered sugar (1 cup at a time) until combined, then add milk & mix until smooth and spreadable. Add a few drops of color, if desired. Spread over cooled cookie, then cut into bars.
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This recipe KILLED my mixer. The little engine was smoking by flour cup three and the beaters just couldn’t take it anymore.
On the one hand, it’s an excuse to upgrade mixers, but on the other, I still have to make a peanut butter frosting today and now it looks like I’ve got to do it by hand. ARGH!
Lovely pictures! I really like the color of the frosting–to me, it looks very bridal.
i made these and linked back to you- LOVE your blog!!
I made these for 4th of July and they were a HUGE hit! So easy to make and so delicious!
These were fantastic!! A huge hit with everyone I took them to. Even better the 2nd day, which isn’t usually true with many things…but these were delicious, I had to get rid of them fast so that I didn’t eat them all! Making them again tonight for a big group of 12-18 year olds. =) Thanks for your fun, amazing recipes! Can’t wait to try more!! Need to get OFF a diet soon so I can try more things asap!! =)
I made these last night in a 13 x 18 inch pan. I found that the bars closest to the edge were dry and the ones in the center were too gooey to serve. If I made them again I think I’d halve the recipe and make in a 9 x 13 pan to hopefully avoid that problem.
Could you tell me how you made the turquoise color? What combination of colors made it this gorgeous shade? I’ve attempted this color before and it’s never turned out like yours.
No mixing here! This beautiful color comes right out of the bottle. :) Americolor gel food coloring (http://www.bakeitpretty.com/item_303/Individual-Gel-Food-Color-Paste.htm) in Turquoise or Teal (I have both, so similar that I forget which one I actually use).
lmao sweet info man.
I made these last night and it was traumatic. The were cooling on my tiny kitchen counter and as I was walking by to do who knows what, whamp, they fell on the floor. GAH!
However, I salvaged the edges and iced them yellow with star sprinkles. Not as sweet as I thought they would be but good.
Wow! These are so perfect! I love them. And the frosting color is so pretty too.
A friend of mine is due any day and I was trying to think of a meal I can take over after the baby is born. This is definitely dessert!
I think what tickles me most about this is the color of the frosting. And the fact that it sounds like something I need to make this weekend!
i like the frosting color
I get a kick out of your “lazy” way being sheet, rather than rolled, cookies. I love that you totally ignored the bizarre world of preservative-laden, chilled dough (as everyone should). Nice job, Lindsay!
This is great!!! A wonderful way to have a “cookie” and talk about pretty!!
I’m going to try this recipe—looks great and easy to make. Thanks for sharing this, and I love your blog :)
YUMMO! I absolutely ADORE the color on the top!!!
I just stumbled apon your website bc these sugar cookies bars look beautiful! and wow, I love your site! I must say, I believe I have the dog version of one of your cats…exact markings and quirkyness (if thats a word!). He is a border collie, you have inspired me to post cute pics of him with my blog posts now! :) I have enjoyed scrolling through your recipes!! Aweseome job guys!!
I’ve made these before, and they are very good. I love the color of your frosting and your photos. Lovely.
These are beautiful! I almost prefer the way these look to the way rolled ones look!
I love those cookies! Can’t wait to try these. The color is beautiful!
I seem to keep encountering sugar cookie bars, and now I really have to make them! Yours look fantastic.
These look awesome! I saw them on Tastespotting last week too and bookmarked them. You frosted them my favorite color! YUM!
Those are beautiful, I love their color!
If you had done the pink frosting, you could have put some rainbow sprinkles and it would have looked adorable. Totally retro!
Brilliant! I love the turquoise frosting with the tiny white nonpareils! Very spring!