Frosted Sugar Cookie Bars {with Fluffy Buttercream Frosting}

In our house, everyone’s most-requested, all-time favorite treat is sugar cookies. These sugar cookies. If you’ve never made them, they are amazing–buttery, melt-in-your-mouth amazingness. The problem is that the chilling and rolling and cutting and re-rolling and re-cutting is messy time-consuming and requires fridge space and planning ahead and that doesn’t even take into account the subsequent decorating that has to take place. And then, people never want them at convenient times; they want them on Christmas Eve or birthdays or for their class the next day (when they remember to tell you at 10:30 pm) or at 2:00 in the morning (I’m pretty sure that was me when I was growing another human within me)–always at times when I have about 10 million things going on.

Sugar cookie bars solve so many of those problems–there is no chilling, no rolling, no cutting, no wasted precious dough, all the decorating is done in about 3 minutes, the mess is minimal. Plus, there is something so adorably festive and sentimental about them, even if it’s just frosting and sprinkles. Seriously, my friend pulled out a pan of sugar cookie bars at her Super Bowl party and people bypassed all sorts of fancy-schmancy desserts and went straight for the sugar cookie bars.

I’ve been so spoiled by our sugar cookie recipe that I wasn’t sure how I felt about using another recipe (actually, I was pretty sure how I felt about it and I didn’t feel good.) So I decided to try making our sugar cookie recipe into bars, crossing my fingers that I didn’t waste a whole pound of butter on a giant pan of fail. Luckily, these came out at LEAST as good as rolled cookies, and my kids were just as wildly excited (seriously–my two big kids, one of their friends, and the 1-year-old all saw them at the same time and shrieked with excitement). So it was a major win in every possible way.

how to make them!

For the cookies, you’re going to need softened butter, no substitutions!), sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, almond extract, and 6 cups of flour. HEAR ME NOW AND BELIEVE ME LATER ($10 million if you catch that reference…just kidding…I don’t have $10 million dollars. But you’ll win my never-ending respect)–when you measure the flour, lightly spoon it into the measuring cups and level it with a knife. When you email us or leave us a comment that your dough was crumbly and didn’t come together, I can guarantee you that this is the problem because I’ve made the same mistake and I’ve seen exactly what happens when you scoop it out of the flour bag. Don’t do it. You will be sad. I will be sad. There’s enough sadness in the world without throwing sugar cookie tragedies into the equation.

sugar cookie bars from Our Best bites

 

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a half sheet-sized baking sheet (13 x 18 x 1″–I have 4 of these and I would die before I let anyone take them. Well, maybe not die, but I’d probably put up a good fight and then I’d be pretty bummed about the whole thing.) with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

In a bowl of a heavy-duty mixer or in a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs and extracts and beat until combined.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

dry ingredients for sugar cookie bars

Add to the creamed butter mixture and mix to combine.

finished sugar cookie dough

Place the dough on the prepared baking sheet

sugar cookie dough on pan

and press the dough evenly into the baking sheet.

pressed dough in baking sheet

If desired, you can smooth it out with a rolling pin or a smooth drinking glass.

smooth dough on baking seet

Bake for 20-30 minutes (mine was done right at 25 minutes, but every oven is different) or until the top is lightly golden brown.

baked sugar cookie bars in pan

Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.

While the cookie bars are cooling, prepare the frosting. Place the butter, powdered sugar, and extracts in a large mixing bowl

fluffy buttercream ingredients in bowl

and whip together until combined. Very slowly, add a little bit of milk at a time until desired consistency is reached. If desired, add a few drops of food coloring and beat until very light and fluffy.

sugar cookie buttercream frosting from Our Best Bites Sugar Cookie Buttercream Frosting from Our Best Bites

When the pan of cookies is cool, spread with frosting

frosting on sugar cookie bars

and sprinkle with colored sprinkles.

Super easy frosted sugar cookie bars from Our Best Bites

Cut into squares.

Super Easy Sugar Cookie Bars from Our Best Bites

The number of bars this makes will depend on how big you cut the squares, but these are VERY rich and you could probably get away with cutting these into 40+ squares.

Super Easy Sugar Cookie Bars from Our Best Bites

Also, just a side business-y note, we’re having some problems with our spam filter filtering out ALL the comments, not just the ones about increasing our manhood or how to get free free free sparkle boots. We’re trying to catch them, so if you don’t see your comment, it might not be showing up right away but it (hopefully) will show up as soon as we catch it in the spam filter. In the meantime, if you have a question about an older recipe, try emailing/Facebooking/Instagramming us and we’ll have a better chance of seeing it. πŸ™‚

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Frosted Sugar Cookie Bars {With Fluffy Buttercream Frosting}


Description

A fantastically easy bar recipe that is the best of two glorious worlds: sugar and bar cookies. Your new family favorite!


Ingredients

Cookies

  • 2 cups real butter (no substitutions!), softened to room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon almond extract
  • 6 cups flour, spooned lightly into the measuring cup and leveled with a knife.
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon table salt

Frosting

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 23 tablespoons milk (or more, if needed milk; whole or evaporated if you have it handy)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a half sheet-sized baking sheet (13x18x1″) with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a bowl of a heavy-duty mixer or in a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs and extracts and beat until combined.
  3. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to the creamed butter mixture and mix to combine.
  4. Press the dough evenly into the prepared baking sheet. If desired, you can smooth it out with a rolling pin or a smooth drinking glass. Bake for 20-30 minutes (mine was done right at 25 minutes, but every oven is different) or until the top is lightly golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
  5. While the cookie bars are cooling, prepare the frosting. In a large mixing bowl, whip together the powdered sugar and softened butter until combined. Very slowly, add a little bit of milk at a time until desired consistency is reached. If desired, add a few drops of food coloring.
  6. When the pan of cookies is cool, spread with frosting and sprinkle with colored sprinkles. Cut into squares. The number of bars this makes will depend on how big you cut the squares, but these are VERY rich and you could probably get away with cutting these into 40+ squares.

Notes

  • Important tip: When scooping flour into your measuring cup, if you scoop it straight from the bag, the dough will be too dry!

 

 

115 comments

  1. I have seen the idea for sugar cookie bars, but never could bring myself to make them because I love the recipe for your gals sugar cookies so much, I felt I would be betraying a friend. Now that I know this recipe turns out wonderful bars of heaven I am totally making these today! Thanks for making my day πŸ™‚

  2. Okay – forgive me, but I don’t like almond extract. Even more than my dislike for almond extract is my dislike for dumb questions after a VERY WELL PUT TOGETHER blog post. I see these blogs on Pinterest with 6,000 comments of, “can I substitute this for this..” and I feel so bad for the person who has to respond with, “Yes, you can leave out mushrooms…blah, blah, blah..” Yet, here I shamefully go. If I don’t like almond extract, are these worth making, or is that where most of the flavor lies?

      1. I’m with Melissa, not wanting to make you repeat yourself- but I’m also very inquisitive, detail-oriented, and not fully confident in my baking/cooking know-how yet.
        So- to ask it slightly differently: I don’t mind the flavor of almond extract at all, and trust that your specific recipe makes them super delicious (I seriously want to make them this minute)! But all I have is a ton of homemade vanilla extract, so I just wanted to make sure I wouldn’t be missing some other flavor dimension that was well-worth it to buy some Almond. Will they not be the same without it? Will I be missing out? Should I just go buy some almond extract already?

        Question 2- I have some cage-free eggs, that are definitely not the standard store-bought ‘large eggs.’ Would 3 of these smaller eggs work, is there a good way to sub the egg measurement here? Or should I just buy some large eggs too…I kinda need to get more eggs soon anyway.
        Thanks so much for your time and help! I *can’t wait* to make these!!

        1. I love the almond, and I think it makes these special, BUT if you don’t have it and you’re dying to make them, go ahead with just the vanilla. πŸ™‚ But if you CAN, I’d go for the almond.

          As far as the egg thing goes, I would maybe look up the standard measurement for a large egg and then try and shoot for the weight with your eggs. Or…go buy a thing of large eggs, hahaha. πŸ™‚

          1. Hi again!
            So I didn’t get to them *that night,* but they’re in the oven now and the frosting is made. Yay! I have sprinkles ready but no food coloring, and so it occurred to me that I do have raspberry jam.
            Now I’m wondering if that would give it a little bit o’ pink and added flavor….or maybe a jam would completely ruin the texture of a frosting, or raspberry would taste weird with the extracts?
            If you get a minute- I’d love to hear your thoughts! πŸ™‚ Thankya!

        2. in my humble opinion πŸ™‚ it is totally worth buying the almond extract!! that is what makes OBB sugar cookies sooo amazing!

      2. I don’t use almond flavoring because my daughter is allergic to tree nuts and I’m paranoid even though I know *artificial* flavoring would probably be fine. I subbed lemon juice for the almond extract in both the cookie bars and the frosting, and I also added a pinch of lemon zest to the bars. I think they turned out great…bright but not overpoweringly lemony. I’ll do them this way again, though I know almond would yield a richer-tasting product. Thanks for a great recipe!

  3. I love obscure references! Hans and Frans? We’re going to pump (clap) you up!

    10 million dollars would be great, but hey, it’s nice to know that other people retain useless information like I do! πŸ™‚

  4. “There’s enough sadness in the world without throwing sugar cookie tragedies into the equation.”…please run for President and make this your campaign slogan!

    This recipe is definitely on the menu for our Valentine’s Day bake sale fundraiser. Love your writing and your recipes(also, I would like to take a nap in that bowl of frosting…does that make me weird?)

    1. It might make you weird that you would NAP in that delicious frosting!!! I would lick the bowl clean in about 5 seconds!! LOL!! Have eaten these bars made by Kate & they are to die for!!! β™₯️

  5. It looks like you found a way to redeem making sugar cookies in my eyes! They are normally so time-consuming that just hearing the words “make” and “sugar cookies” together can cause tears, but these look very do-able for the holidays/special events when you want that yummy sugar cookie/lots of frosting-goodness! Thanks!!!

  6. Please don’t judge my level of pathetic here, but ever since your IG post today I have been jonesing (see what I did there? πŸ˜‰ to see what this post was going to be. I guess creamed butter and sugar speak to me. There’s nothing my lazy self loves more than cookie bars. All the deliciousness of cookies with minimal work? Yes, please. And can I tell you that your tip to spoon flour into the measuring cup has changed my baked goods? For reals. I have a whole lotta butter in my fridge that will be turned into sugar cookie bars tomorrow. Probably right after I get home from the gym. Ha! πŸ™‚

  7. I loved the cute handprints before you smoothed out the dough! I don’t know how many times I have chosen NOT to make sugar cookies just because of the tedious rolloing-out process. Maybe next time you make these you could measure the flour by weight so we can get just the right amount. ❀️

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