Monday, April 19, 2010

Bandwagon Jumping: Sugar Cookie Bars

 Is it just me, or have Sugar Cookie Bars been popping up all over the internet lately?  The first wave of blog postings about this recipe seems to have appeared around February-March 2009, with a recent resurgence in popularity.  Always late to join the party, I finally got around to baking up a batch--just to see what all the fuss is about.  The appeal:  frosted sugar cookie goodness, without all the work of forming individual cookies (not to mention the mega batch size).  They were a smashing success at my workplace, drawing many comparisons to the famed Lofthouse® frosted sugar cookies.  While I'm not completely sold on the comparison, I can understand why people go nuts over them.  Like a Lofthouse® cookie, these sugar cookie bars start off with that pale, almost raw floury flavor...then follow up with an intense sugary kick. 

I didn't have much luck tracing the origins of this recipe, but most bloggers source The Repressed Pastry Chef, who in turn credits Anissa's Kitchen.  After contacting Anissa, I learned that she received the recipe from a friend (and so on, and so on).  My search came to a dead end.  Any one out there know the originator or source of this recipe?  Curious minds want to know :)

Sugar Cookie Bars (Yields one 13 x 18-inch pan*)
Adapted from Anissa's Kitchen

1 cup butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. baking soda

Preheat oven to 375°F.  Grease a 13 x 18-inch half sheet pan with non-stick spray (I lined my pan with foil, then greased the foil).

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each egg.  Add vanilla and mix well.  Combine flour, salt, and baking soda in a separate bowl and whisk to combine.  Add to creamed mixture and mix until just combined.  Press evenly into prepared pan (it helps to use damp fingers).  Bake at 375°F for 10-15 minutes or until light golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool completely before frosting.

1 cup butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
pinch of salt
4 cups powdered sugar (I used 1 lb., approx. 3¾ cups)
5 Tbl. milk (I used 3 Tbl. heavy cream)
Food coloring, if desired
Sprinkles (pretty much a requirement)

Combine butter, vanilla, and salt in mixer bowl.  Using whisk attachment, beat until creamy and combined.  Add about one cup powdered sugar, then mix to combine.  Add milk or heavy cream (start with 3 Tablespoons; you can add more later) and beat to incorporate.  With mixer running at low speed, slowly add remaining powdered sugar.  (You can add more liquid at this point, if needed).  Once sugar has been added and mixed in, beat frosting on medium-high speed for 1-2 minutes or until light and fluffy.  Blend in food coloring, if desired.  Frost cookies, then top with sprinkles before cutting and serving.  (For ease of cutting, I recommend placing the pan in the fridge for a quick chill to set the frosting.)

* You can cut these as big or small as you want...I cut them into 90 small bars, but I've seen others cut them into 32, 48, or 60 pieces.


  1. Oh, I have been wanting to jump on that bandwagon too! Glad to hear that they are yummy! Love the idea that there are no cut-outs :)

  2. Now that is what I call a cookie ;)

  3. This is the first time I've seen the sugar cookie bars and I LOVE the idea!! I think it solves the dilemma of whether or not the sugar cookie is chewy enough. Fabulous and thanks for sharing:D I will remember this recipe come Xmas time and bake this up for sure.

  4. You know, I tried to race back the origin of this recipe too and ended up where you did. A lot of people give credit to TRPC but like yo usaid she got it from Anissa. I didn't find any other entries earlier than that. Hmmm?

    I've been wanting to make these too because they look so soft and cakes. And I love that by changing the frosting it can suit any holiday.

    Great blog!