Friday, April 29, 2011

Sugar Cookie Bars (and a ROYAL fail)

I am not really all that interested in the royal wedding. My neighbor/friend/day care provider, however, is obsessed. She did us a HUGE favor today and watched Finley on an off day starting at 6:15am - such a trooper! At first I felt really bad about asking her to get up so early but when I found out she would be up to watch the wedding anyway I guessed it wasn't that much of an inconvenience.

Out of appreciation, I wanted to make her a special thank you treat. I had been looking for the occasion to make these sugar cookie bars from Annie's Eats and I thought this would be perfect. I had these grand plans of piping royal crowns and "Will+Kate" on the cookie bars. Until I realized my piping skills mimic a 2 year old's....

Needless to say I just ended up putting sprinkles on the rest and calling it a day!

I did not intentionally health-i-fy these cookies. I did, however use unsweetened applesauce in place of the eggs since I somehow ran out of eggs. I also cut the recipe in half so I could use a 9x13 pan instead of a 13x18 pan.

These were super tasty! The frosting is especially delicious. Good for you - no. Good for your taste buds - yes.

Sugar Cookie Bars

For the cookie bars:
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce (or 2 large eggs)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
zest from 1/2 a lemon
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda

For the frosting:
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
pinch salt
2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
2 1/2 Tbsp milk
food coloring (optional)

To make the cookies, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13" pan with butter. Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until light and smooth, about 2 minutes. Mix in the applesauce (or eggs). Blend in the vanilla, seeds from the vanilla bean, and lemon zest. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking soda. Stir together with a fork to blend. Add the dry ingredients to the mixer bowl and beat on low speed just until incorporated.

Transfer the cookie dough to the prepared baking sheet and press into an even layer. Bake 10-15 minutes, until light brown. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely before frosting.

To make the frosting, place the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Blend in the vanilla, salt, and confectioners' sugar until smooth, 1-2 minutes. Mix in the milk. Tint with desired food coloring. Spread over cookie in the pan, cut into bars and serve.

Makes 24 bars. Per bar:
188 calories 7.8 g fat 28.6 g carbohydrate 0.4 g fiber 1.5 g protein


  1. These look delicious! Sprinkles look the best to me anyway!

  2. How thoughtful of you to want to do this for her! Even if you they didn't turn out the way you had hoped. :)