I don’t know where or when these cookie bars originated. I do know that I started seeing them everywhere over the last year. There are sugar cookies bars on My Baking Addiction, The Repressed Pastry Chef, Completely Delicious, and Love and Olive Oil and many more. The earliest post I’ve found is from Taste Buds. If you know the origin of them, let me know. I have a thing for sugar cookies. They are the best cookie ever, but they are also labor-intensive. The allure of the sugar cookie bar is that the dough is baked in one sheet, it’s frosted all at once, and then the sheet is cut into pieces. This is a very streamlined process for a sugar cookie. When I reached my breaking point and mentioned that I simply had to try baking these myself, my sister demanded that I do so right away and bring them with me when I visited last weekend. My arm was twisted, I pulled the butter from the refrigerator, and got to work.
The recipe for these is always the same. A cup of room temperature butter is creamed with two cups of granulated sugar. Four eggs are added, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Two teaspoons of vanilla are added. Meanwhile, five cups of all-purpose flour are sifted with one teaspoon of salt and one half teaspoon of baking soda. The dry ingredients are slowly added to the butter mixture and are mixed until just combined. The oven should be pre-heated to 375 degrees F. The dough is spread onto a thirteen inch by eighteen inch sheet pan and patted out to the edges evenly. It’s baked for twenty to twenty-five minutes and then allowed to cool. For the frosting, some recipes suggest a mix of butter and shortening, but I used all butter. So, one cup of room temperature butter was mixed with one teaspoon of vanilla and a pinch of salt. Four cups of confectioners’ sugar are added slowly and mixed until combined. For liquid, you can add five tablespoons of milk, but I used a couple of tablespoons of milk and couple of pomegranate juice. I was hoping for a pale pink hue, but it really didn’t color the frosting much at all. After applying the frosting, I do think sprinkles are absolutely necessary here. Then, cut and serve.
In my case, I cut, packed the bars into an airtight container, shoved that into my carry-on bag, and hoped the bars wouldn’t end up too smooshed after being transported. The frosting did get a little flattened by the time I reached my destination, but they weren't ruined. The texture of the cookies was just right. They weren’t too firm or too crumbly, and the frosting kept them from becoming dry. I still have my favorite sugar cookie of all time that can never be replaced, but these are very, very good cookie bars. I know I’ll be baking these again and again. And, who can resist sprinkles?