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Sugar Cookie Bars Recipe

Unleash your inner pastry chef with this easy-to-follow sugar cookie bars recipe. These sweet and buttery cookies are all the rage at parties and make for wonderful gifts. With a touch of almond extract, they are a delightful twist on the classic sugar cookie, while the decadent frosting adds a layer of indulgence that is simply irresistible.

Sugar Cookie Bars Recipe
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Photos of Sugar Cookie Bars Recipe

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The recipe calls for some staple baking ingredients like all-purpose flour, eggs, and butter, which you probably already have at home. The almond extract used in this recipe, however, might not be a pantry staple. It is widely available in most supermarkets, usually in the baking aisle. Its unique flavor gives these cookie bars an extra depth and richness that sets them apart from ordinary cookies.

Sugar Cookie Bars Ingredients

All-purpose flour: The base of the cookies, it provides structure.

Cornstarch: Softens protein in the flour to create a tender texture.

Baking powder: Helps to aerate and raise the cookies.

Salt: Enhances flavor.

Granulated sugar: Sweetens the cookies.

Eggs: Binds the ingredients together.

Unsalted butter: Adds richness and moisture.

Vanilla extract: Gives a warm, sweet aroma.

Almond extract: Provides a distinct, sweet nutty flavor.

Powdered sugar: Used for the frosting, it gives a smooth consistency.

Heavy cream: Used in the frosting, it creates a creamy texture.

Food coloring and sprinkles: Decorate the cookies.

One reader, Farrah Amato says:

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These sugar cookie bars are a game-changer! The soft, chewy texture and the sweet, buttery flavor are absolutely irresistible. The frosting is the perfect finishing touch, and the sprinkles add a fun, colorful flair. They're a hit with everyone who tries them!

Farrah Amato

Techniques Required for Perfect Sugar Cookie Bars

How to prepare the sugar cookie dough: Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl, cream the butter and sugar, then mix in the eggs and extracts before adding the flour mixture.

How to bake the sugar cookie bars: Spread the dough in a prepared baking dish and bake until puffy and just baked through.

How to make the frosting: Blend together powdered sugar, butter, cream, vanilla extract, and food coloring until pale and fluffy. Spread the frosting evenly over the cooled cookie bars and add sprinkles if desired.

How to store the sugar cookie bars: Keep the bars covered with plastic wrap or store them in an airtight container to maintain freshness.

How To Make Sugar Cookie Bars

You can easily achieve this if you’re looking for soft and fluffy sugar cookie bars. You just need to decorate your frozen cookie bars the way you want.

Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking: 15 minutes
Total: 35 minutes



  • cupsall-purpose flour,preferably unbleached, scoop and level to measure
  • 1tbspcornstarch
  • 1tspbaking powder
  • ½tspsalt
  • 1cupgranulated sugar
  • 2large eggs,at room temperature
  • 1cupunsalted butter,at room temperature
  • tspvanilla extract
  • ½tspalmond extract

For the Frosting:

  • cupspowdered sugar
  • ½cupunsalted butter,at room temperature
  • 3tbspheavy cream
  • 1tspvanilla extract
  • Few drops food coloring and sprinkles,optional


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 13 by 9-inch baking sheet.

  2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

  3. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, cream together 1 cup butter with 1 cup granulated sugar until blended. Scrape down mixing bowl.

  4. Mix in each egg, 1 at a time. Scrape down mixing bowl then blend in 1½ teaspoon of vanilla and ½ teaspoon almond extract.

  5. Add flour mixture and mix just until combined. Spread mixture into prepared baking dish.

  6. Bake in the preheated oven until puffy and just baked through for about 14 to 16 minutes.

  7. Let cool completely on a wire rack, for about 90 minutes (or about 60 minutes in the fridge).


  1. In a large mixing bowl using an electric hand mixer. blend together powdered sugar, ½ cup of butter, 2 Tablespoons of cream, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, and a few drops of food coloring until pale and fluffy.

  2. Spread frosting evenly over cooled cookie bars. Immediately finish with sprinkles if using.

  3. Keep bars covered with plastic wrap or store them in an airtight container.


  • Calories: 235.90kcal
  • Fat: 12.71g
  • Saturated Fat: 7.87g
  • Trans Fat: 0.47g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 3.35g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.59g
  • Carbohydrates: 29.06g
  • Fiber: 0.32g
  • Sugar: 19.55g
  • Protein: 1.89g
  • Cholesterol: 48.57mg
  • Sodium: 72.39mg
  • Calcium: 23.12mg
  • Potassium: 24.30mg
  • Iron: 0.66mg
  • Vitamin A: 111.42µg
  • Vitamin C: 0.01mg

Crucial Technique Tip for Sugar Cookie Bars Recipe

When spreading the dough into the baking dish, it can be helpful to lightly dampen your hands or spatula with water. This prevents the dough from sticking and allows for a smoother, more even spread. Additionally, when making the frosting, ensure the butter is at room temperature. This will make it easier to blend and result in a smoother, creamier frosting.

Time-Saving Tips for Making Sugar Cookie Bars

Prep ahead: Make the cookie dough in advance and refrigerate it for up to 2 days before baking. This will save time on the day you plan to make the sugar cookie bars.

One-bowl frosting: Use a single bowl to make the frosting while the cookie bars are baking. This will minimize cleanup and save time.

Chill for quick setting: Place the frosted bars in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes to quickly set the frosting, allowing for easier cutting and serving.

Efficient spreading: Use an offset spatula to efficiently spread the frosting evenly over the cooled cookie bars, ensuring a smooth and professional finish.

Cutting technique: Use a sharp knife dipped in hot water and wiped dry to easily cut the bars into clean, neat squares, saving time and effort.

Substitute Ingredients For Sugar Cookie Bars Recipe

  • all-purpose flour - Substitute with gluten-free all-purpose flour: This substitute is suitable for those with gluten intolerance or celiac disease. It provides a similar texture and structure to the baked goods.

  • granulated sugar - Substitute with coconut sugar: Coconut sugar can be used as a lower glycemic index alternative to granulated sugar, providing a slightly different flavor profile.

  • unsalted butter - Substitute with coconut oil: Coconut oil can be used as a dairy-free alternative to butter, providing a subtle coconut flavor to the cookie bars.

  • powdered sugar - Substitute with maple sugar: Maple sugar can be used as a natural alternative to powdered sugar, adding a hint of maple flavor to the frosting.

  • heavy cream - Substitute with coconut cream: Coconut cream can be used as a dairy-free alternative to heavy cream, providing a rich and creamy texture to the frosting.

Creative Ways to Present Sugar Cookie Bars

  1. Elevate the plating: When presenting the sugar cookie bars, focus on creating an elegant and visually appealing presentation. Use a clean, white plate to showcase the vibrant colors of the frosting and sprinkles against the golden cookie bars.

  2. Incorporate artistic drizzling: Enhance the visual appeal by incorporating artistic drizzling of the frosting on the plate. This technique adds a touch of sophistication and creativity to the presentation, elevating the overall aesthetic.

  3. Garnish with edible flowers: Add a touch of natural beauty by garnishing the plate with delicate, edible flowers. The vibrant colors and intricate shapes of the flowers will complement the sweetness of the sugar cookie bars, creating a visually stunning presentation.

  4. Balance the composition: Pay attention to the balance and composition of the elements on the plate. Consider the placement of the sugar cookie bars and the frosting, ensuring that the presentation is visually harmonious and inviting.

  5. Incorporate texture: Introduce textural elements to the presentation by adding a sprinkle of edible glitter or finely crushed nuts. This not only adds a delightful crunch but also enhances the overall sensory experience of the sugar cookie bars.

  6. Utilize negative space: Embrace the concept of negative space on the plate to allow the sugar cookie bars to stand out. Thoughtful and intentional use of empty space can draw attention to the beauty of the dessert.

  7. Personalize with monogrammed designs: For a personalized touch, consider incorporating monogrammed designs using the frosting. This adds a bespoke element to the presentation, showcasing attention to detail and creativity.

  8. Create a symmetrical arrangement: Aim for a symmetrical arrangement of the sugar cookie bars and accompanying elements on the plate. This creates a sense of order and elegance, contributing to a visually striking presentation.

Essential Tools for Making Sugar Cookie Bars

  • Oven: An appliance used for baking and roasting food by providing a consistent heat source.
  • Baking sheet: A flat, rectangular metal pan used for baking cookies, bars, and other baked goods.
  • Mixing bowl: A bowl used for mixing ingredients together, available in various sizes and materials.
  • Whisk: A kitchen tool used for blending and mixing ingredients together, typically made of metal or silicone.
  • Electric stand mixer: A countertop appliance with a mixing head and a stand, used for mixing and blending ingredients for baking.
  • Wire rack: A metal rack used for cooling baked goods and allowing air circulation.
  • Electric hand mixer: A handheld kitchen appliance with rotating beaters used for mixing and blending ingredients.
  • Spatula: A kitchen tool with a broad, flat, flexible blade used for lifting, spreading, and turning food.
  • Measuring cups and spoons: Tools used for accurately measuring ingredients in cooking and baking.
  • Pastry brush: A kitchen tool with bristles used for spreading butter, oil, or glaze onto food.
  • Plastic wrap: A thin plastic film used for covering and wrapping food to keep it fresh.
  • Airtight container: A container designed to prevent air and moisture from entering, used for storing food.

Storing and Freezing Sugar Cookie Bars

  • Once the sugar cookie bars have cooled completely and the frosting has set, cut them into desired sizes and shapes.
  • Place the cut bars in an airtight container, separating each layer with a piece of parchment paper or wax paper to prevent them from sticking together.
  • For short-term storage, keep the container at room temperature for up to 5 days. Ensure that the container is sealed tightly to maintain the bars' freshness and prevent them from drying out.
  • For longer storage, place the airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Allow the bars to come to room temperature before serving for the best texture and flavor.
  • To freeze the sugar cookie bars, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap, followed by a layer of aluminum foil. Place the wrapped bars in a freezer-safe container or resealable freezer bag, removing as much air as possible.
  • Label the container or bag with the date of freezing and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • When ready to serve, remove the desired number of bars from the freezer and let them thaw in the refrigerator overnight or at room temperature for a few hours.
  • If the frosting appears slightly wet or sticky after thawing, you can place the bars in the refrigerator for a short time to allow the frosting to set again.

How To Reheat Leftover Sugar Cookie Bars

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the leftover sugar cookie bars on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover the bars loosely with aluminum foil to prevent them from drying out or browning too much. Heat the bars in the oven for 5-10 minutes, or until they are warmed through. The foil will help to retain moisture and keep the bars soft and chewy.

  • If you prefer a quicker method, you can use a microwave to reheat your sugar cookie bars. Place a single bar on a microwave-safe plate and heat it on high power for 10-15 seconds. If the bar is not warm enough, continue heating it in 5-second intervals until it reaches your desired temperature. Be careful not to overheat the bar, as this can cause it to become tough or rubbery.

  • For a more indulgent treat, try reheating your sugar cookie bars in an air fryer. Preheat the air fryer to 350°F (175°C) and place the bars in the basket, leaving some space between each one. Heat the bars for 2-3 minutes, or until they are warmed through and slightly crispy on the outside. This method will give your bars a delightful texture contrast, with a soft and gooey center and a crisp exterior.

  • If you want to maintain the soft, chewy texture of your sugar cookie bars without using any appliances, you can let them come to room temperature naturally. Remove the bars from the refrigerator and let them sit on the counter for 15-20 minutes, or until they are no longer chilled. This method is ideal if you have a little extra time and prefer a softer, more tender texture.

  • For a fun twist, try transforming your leftover sugar cookie bars into a new dessert. Crumble the bars into small pieces and use them as a topping for ice cream, yogurt, or pudding. You can also layer the crumbled bars with whipped cream and fresh fruit in a parfait glass for a beautiful and delicious treat.

Interesting Fact About Sugar Cookie Bars

The sugar cookie bars recipe is a delightful treat that can be easily customized with different food coloring and sprinkles to suit any occasion.

Is Making Sugar Cookie Bars at Home Cost-Effective?

This sugar cookie bars recipe is quite cost-effective for a household. The ingredients are basic and commonly found in most kitchens, making it an affordable option. The versatility of the recipe allows for customization with various food coloring and sprinkles, adding a fun and personal touch. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people would be around $10-$15, making it a budget-friendly dessert option. Overall Verdict: 9.

Are Sugar Cookie Bars Healthy or Unhealthy?

This sugar cookie bars recipe is relatively unhealthy due to several factors:

  • High sugar content: The recipe includes 1 cup of granulated sugar and 2¼ cups of powdered sugar, which can contribute to obesity, diabetes, and other health issues when consumed in excess.
  • Refined flour: All-purpose flour is a refined carbohydrate that lacks fiber and essential nutrients, potentially leading to blood sugar spikes and increased risk of chronic diseases.
  • High fat content: The recipe calls for 1½ cups of unsalted butter, which is high in saturated fat and can raise cholesterol levels and increase the risk of heart disease when consumed in large amounts.
  • Lack of nutritional value: The recipe does not include any fruits, vegetables, whole grains, or other nutrient-dense ingredients that can provide essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

To make this recipe healthier, consider the following suggestions:

  • Reduce the amount of sugar by using natural sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, or dates, or by simply cutting back on the quantity of sugar used.
  • Replace a portion of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour, almond flour, or oat flour to increase the fiber and nutrient content.
  • Substitute some of the butter with healthier alternatives like Greek yogurt, applesauce, or mashed avocado to reduce the saturated fat content while maintaining moisture.
  • Incorporate nutrient-dense ingredients such as chopped nuts, seeds, dried fruits, or even shredded zucchini or carrots to boost the nutritional value of the cookie bars.
  • Experiment with using smaller amounts of frosting or opting for a lighter, healthier frosting alternative made with Greek yogurt, reduced sugar, and natural food coloring.

Editor's Opinion on Sugar Cookie Bars

The sugar cookie bars recipe is a delightful treat that is sure to please anyone with a sweet tooth. The combination of vanilla and almond extracts adds a lovely depth of flavor to the cookie bars, and the creamy frosting with a hint of food coloring and sprinkles adds a fun and festive touch. The texture of the bars is just right, and the frosting is perfectly sweet without being overwhelming. This recipe is a great option for parties, gatherings, or simply as a special treat for yourself. Enjoy!

Enhance Your Sugar Cookie Bars Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Garlic Parmesan Roasted Asparagus: Try serving the sugar cookie bars with a side of garlic parmesan roasted asparagus for a savory and flavorful contrast.
Honey Glazed Carrots: For a touch of sweetness, pair the sugar cookie bars with honey glazed carrots for a delightful balance of flavors.
Balsamic Grilled Peaches: For a unique and refreshing side, consider serving balsamic grilled peaches alongside the sugar cookie bars for a burst of fruity goodness.
Creamy Tomato Basil Soup: Warm up the meal by offering a creamy tomato basil soup as a side to complement the sweetness of the sugar cookie bars.

Delicious Alternatives to Sugar Cookie Bars

Creamy Chicken Alfredo: A rich and creamy pasta dish with tender chicken and a savory alfredo sauce.
Fresh Fruit Salad: A refreshing and colorful salad made with a variety of fresh fruits and a light, citrus dressing.
Spicy Beef Tacos: Tender and flavorful beef cooked with a blend of spices, served in warm tortillas with your choice of toppings.

Appetizers and Main Courses to Serve with Sugar Cookie Bars Recipe

Stuffed Mushrooms: These savory bites are filled with a creamy, flavorful mixture that will leave your guests wanting more. The combination of earthy mushrooms and rich filling is sure to be a hit at any gathering.
Spinach and Artichoke Dip: This creamy, cheesy dip is the perfect way to start off any meal. The blend of spinach, artichokes, and gooey cheese creates a delicious appetizer that will have everyone coming back for seconds.
Main Courses:
Chicken Alfredo: Create a creamy and indulgent pasta dish that combines tender chicken with a rich and flavorful Alfredo sauce. Serve it over your favorite pasta for a comforting and satisfying meal.
Beef Stir Fry: Whip up a quick and delicious stir fry using tender beef and a colorful array of vegetables. The savory and slightly sweet sauce brings all the flavors together for a delightful and healthy main course.

Why trust this Sugar Cookie Bars Recipe:

This recipe guarantees delicious sugar cookie bars that will surely satisfy your sweet cravings. The combination of vanilla extract and almond extract adds a delightful flavor, while the frosting made with powdered sugar, butter, and heavy cream creates a luscious and creamy topping. The step-by-step instructions ensure a foolproof baking experience, and the use of high-quality ingredients promises a delectable treat. Trust in this recipe for a delightful dessert that will impress your family and friends.

Share your thoughts on this Sugar Cookie Bars Recipe in the Baking and Desserts forum section and let's discuss your experience making these delightful treats!
How long do I need to let the sugar cookie bars cool before frosting them?
I recommend letting the sugar cookie bars cool completely for about 90 minutes at room temperature, or for about 60 minutes in the fridge. This will ensure that the frosting sets properly and doesn't melt when spread on the bars.
Can I use salted butter instead of unsalted butter for this recipe?
Yes, you can use salted butter if that's what you have on hand. Just be mindful of the additional salt content and consider reducing the amount of added salt in the recipe to balance the flavors.
Can I make the frosting ahead of time and store it separately?
Absolutely! You can make the frosting ahead of time and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. Just be sure to bring it to room temperature and give it a good stir before spreading it on the cooled cookie bars.
Can I omit the almond extract from the sugar cookie bars?
Yes, you can omit the almond extract if you prefer. The bars will still have a delicious vanilla flavor from the vanilla extract. Feel free to adjust the extracts to suit your taste preferences.
How should I store the frosted sugar cookie bars?
To keep the frosted sugar cookie bars fresh, I recommend covering them with plastic wrap or storing them in an airtight container at room temperature. Enjoy within a few days for the best taste and texture.

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