These Sugar Cookie Bars are some of the easiest and tastiest cookies you can make! They are soft and chewy and topped off with a thick layer of sweet frosting and sprinkles. These cookies are easy to decorate for any occasion – or to just enjoy for a simple family dessert.
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When it comes to cookies I love to bake and eat them! But some cookies are more time consuming to make than others, and for me sugar cookies are complicated.
Making sugar cookies is a multi-hour endeavor, which starts with making and chilling the dough. Then, once you have spent hours waiting for the dough to chill you need to roll the cookies out and get out the cookie cutters.
This inevitably leads to flour all over the kitchen table and frustration as fragile cookies fall apart when they are transferred to a cookie sheet. Plus it is easy to lose track of time as you roll out dough for the next tray of cookies and end up with burnt cookies.
So while I love sugar cookies I usually only make them once a year for Christmas, when the lure of decorating cut out Christmas shapes is too strong to resist.
The rest of the year I get my sugar cookie fix with these much quicker and simpler sugar cookie bars. There is no chilling, rolling or cutting shapes out – just a quick and easy desert that is versatile enough to decorate. The cookies still have all the delicious taste of sugar cookies, just in bar form not as cut out cookies.
Tips for Making Sugar Cookie Bars
This recipe is very simple, but there are a few tricks you can use to make them come out perfect! The cookies are baked in a 13 x 9 baking pan. You want to be able to get the cookies out of pan cleanly, so the easiest thing to do is line the pan with foil or parchment paper.
This means after the cookies are baked and cooled you can just lift them right out of the pan. That makes it much easier to cut them into perfect little squares.
The dough gets its rich flavor from a mixture of cream cheese and butter. It is much easier to mix the batter if you get the butter and cream cheese out of the refrigerator an hour or so before you mix the cookies. That will give you a rich and creamy sugar cookie batter.
The final dough will be thick, much thicker than a cake batter. It doesn’t need to be chilled, it just needs to be pressed down into the baking pan. Use something like a flat spatula to push it evenly into all the corners of the pan and more or less level it.
It is also important not to over bake the cookie bars so that they are soft and chewy. So set a timer for 20 minutes and take them out as soon as the center of the cookies is cooked.
Decorating the Sugar Cookie Bars
These sugar cookie bars are iced with a creamy butter cream frosting that includes cream cheese. The frosting will mix better if the butter and cream cheese have come to room temperature before you mix them.
The cream cheese makes the frosting thick and easy to spread. I prefer the taste of butter cream frosting with cream cheese because it makes the frosting seem less sweet. The frosting is of course still very sweet, but the cream cheese adds another dimension to the frosting so you taste something besides sugar.
Wait until the cookies are completely cooled before you spread them with a thick layer of frosting.Once the cookies are frosted simply decorated them with your favorite sprinkles and cut them into squares.
These bars are decorated with red, white and blue sprinkles for a patriotic dessert. These bars are easily to transport, making them perfect for sharing at a Memorial Day or 4th of July barbecue.
But one of the nice things about this recipe is how easy it is to change it up for any holiday or celebration you like. I have made these for all kinds of occasions and just changed up the color of the decorations. Here are just some of the ways I have decorated these bars over the years:
No matter what the occasion you can decorate sugar cookie bars to match!
- Valentine’s Day – pink and white sprinkles
- St. Patrick’s Day – green sprinkles
- Christmas – green and red candy
- Graduation – use your school’s colors
- Thanksgiving – orange, red and yellow sprinkles
- Sporting events – decorate with the colors of your favorite team
And so on, the possibilities are endless. You can use this sugar cookie recipe to create a quick and easy themed dessert. These easy bar cookies are delicious. They are a great recipe to make when you want a sweet dessert that doesn’t take a lot of time or effort to make!
Find More Bar Cookie Recipes
- ¾ Cup Butter (room temperature)
- ½ Cup Cream Cheese (room temperature)
- 1 ½ Cup Sugar
- 1 Egg
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
- ½ teaspoon Baking Soda
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- 2 ½ Cups Flour
- ½ Cup Butter (room temperature)
- ½ Cup Cream Cheese (room temparture)
- 2 teaspoon Vanilla
- 2 ½ Cups Powdered Sugar
- Assorted Sprinkles
- Preheat the oven to 350. Either grease a 13x9 pan very well or line it with parchment paper or foil
- In the bowl of a mixer blend butter, cream cheese and sugar, until well blended. Add in the egg and vanilla and mix until completely combined.
- Slowly add in baking powder, baking soda, salt and flour until a thick dough forms.
- Press the dough evenly into the prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes.
- Cool completely before frosting.
- For the frosting, In the bowl of a mixer add the room temperature butter and cream cheese and mix until blended.
- Add in the vanilla and slowly mix in the powdered sugar. Mix until creamy and smooth.
- Spread the icing evenly and thickly across the cooled cookies.
- Sprinkle the icing with lots of seasonal sprinkles.
- Cut into squares and enjoy.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 15 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 423Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 69mgSodium: 321mgCarbohydrates: 55gFiber: 1gSugar: 39gProtein: 4g