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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Sugar Cookie Bars

I had been wanting to make this recipe for a long time.  Then again, what recipe haven't I been wanting to make for a long time?  I figured a Memorial Day weekend BBQ would be a perfect time for these puppies to make an appearance.  

It began a lovely Sunday morning.  Sipping on a cup of coffee.  Ron was in the living room watching ESPN and reading the newspaper.  Baking was going to be a wonderful, relaxing experience.  Then, all hell broke loose and I was in baking hell.  Baking hell in the form of:  Step X says "mix until just combined" and the dough is hard as hell to mix and there are little flour particles everywhere and cats are trying to jump on the counter and cats are trying to eat the dough that is flying all over the place and spoons are breaking because the mixture is so tough and . . . Ron is sitting there watching ESPN.  Awesome.

Well, this recipe is easy enough.  It is your standard sugar cookie recipe but instead of rolling out the dough, you bake it in bar form.  But, I made a few mistakes so I created my own baking hell.  Mistakes like, using a plastic spoon to mix the dough and my tiny little beater from college.  Nevermind the fact that I have a giant wooden spoon that tackles anything.  Or, a KitchenAid stand-mixer that is the most useful, powerful tool that I have in my kitchen.  I guess I felt the need to use my arm muscles, or something?!  Not to mention the fact that this recipe calls for a ginormous amount of ingredients.  8 cups of flour, sugar and butter combined?  With 4 eggs?  Whose bowl could fit this?  You can only imagine how much dough flew around my kitchen.

In any event, I was somehow able to get the dough mixed and spread into the pan.  I'm not so sure about this recipe.  Anything that has 2 cups of sugar, 1 cup of butter and 5 cups of flour in the base recipe just doesn't seem to sit right with me.  (Then, to top it off, we add about 4 cups of confectioners sugar!!)  Nonetheless, they were pretty dang good.  So, I guess all of those ingredients amounts to something. 
Sugar Cookie Bars
adapted from My Baking Addiction
Yield:  32 bars
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 5 cups AP flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 cups powdered sugar (sift after measuring)
  • 5 tbsp milk
  • food coloring, if desired

  1. Cookies:  In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy.
  2. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing after each egg.
  3. Mix in vanilla.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, salt and baking soda.
  5. Add to wet mixture and mix just until combined.
  6. Spread on a greased, rimmed baking sheet (13x18, if possible).  (Note:  the dough will be heavy and sticky, just like cookie dough.  Spray your hands with some nonstick spray and use them to help mold the dough into the pan.)
  7. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-15 minutes, until light golden brown or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool completely before frosting.
  8. Frosting:  In a large bowl, beat butter and shortening together until smooth and creamy.  
  9. Mix in vanilla and salt.
  10. Add powdered sugar (1 cup at a time) until combined.
  11. Mix in milk until smooth and spreading consistency.
  12. Add a few drops of color, if desired.
  13. Spread over cooled cookie, then cut into bars.  (I actually cut mine first then piped frosting onto them.  But, you can frost, then put them in the fridge to firm, then cut.)

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