Soft Sugar Cookie Bars

I know I’m all about crazy cookie concoctions, but there’s something about the holiday season that puts me into simplicity mode.  Or maybe it’s just that all of my creative energy lately has been absorbed by writing papers. 😉

I made these soft sugar cookie bars last weekend and I *almost* didn’t add the red and green sprinkles.  I know.  Can you even imagine a holiday sugar cookie without sprinkles?  I’m pretty sure you’d get coal in your stocking if you did such a thing.

Anyway… if you’re short on time, these are your go-to sugar cookies for the holidays, or any time of the year.  Just mix up the dough, spread it into a pan, and let it bake.  No chilling of the dough, no forming each and every cookie.  Easy!

I topped my sugar cookie bars with a dusting of granulated sugar before they went in the oven, which allowed for a pretty, crackly top.  But I can assure you they would be equally pretty if you spread a layer of frosting over them instead. 😉

[print_this]Soft Sugar Cookie Bars

Soft sugar cookies made easy — just spread the dough in a pan!  You can substitute almond extract your other favorite flavoring for the vanilla extract, if you’d like.

Makes about 3 dozen bars

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening (or eliminate and use 1 cup butter)
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sprinkles (optional)
  • Granulated sugar for topping (optional)

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 13×9 inch cake pan or 15×10 jelly roll pan with nonstick cooking spray (a 13×9 pan will give you slightly thicker bars).  In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter, shortening, and sugar until creamy.  Add the eggs and vanilla, mixing until smooth.

In a separate mixing bowl, stir the baking powder, cornstarch, salt, and flour.  Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing until blended.  Stir in the sprinkles, if desired.

Spread the cookie dough into the prepared baking pan.  Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.  Allow the bars to cool completely before cutting.[/print_this]


30 thoughts on “Soft Sugar Cookie Bars”

    1. I think having a blog sometimes makes me forget about the simple, no-brainer recipes, ya know? I’m trying to embrace traditional recipes again these days 🙂

  1. OMG Liz – those perfect crinkly tops and soft, chewy centers. This recipe is like a goldmine. The best sugar cookie bars I have EVER EVER seen. These literally look easier than a sugar cookie mix. And taste better too, I’m sure. Love the festive sprinkles! Pinning these!

    1. Ha, thanks Sally! It’s funny, when they went in the oven I totally wasn’t expect the crackly top, and then about half way through baking I realized I had a good one on my hands. 🙂

    1. Oh, I’ve got to take another look at your snickerdoodle bar recipe! I actually almost made snickerdoodles the other day – another holiday favorite. 🙂

  2. Oooh, I should make these! I actually don’t love sugar cookies because they are generally pretty crispy (or at least how we usually make them) but these look soft and delicious!

    1. Yes, try them! The trick with sugar cookies is not baking them for too long, because once you do that, they start to get a bit crispy. So *just* when those edges start to turn a hint of brown, you get them out of the oven!

    1. I’m pretty sure everything I bake in December ends up with sprinkles in it somehow. 🙂 Actually, I was baking chocolate chip cookies over the weekend and had to stop myself from rolling them in sprinkles!

    1. Ah, thank you for catching my mistake! The shortening here is optional — you can either use 1/2 cup butter and 1/2 cup shortening, or just 1 cup butter. I have updated the recipe to reflect this. 🙂

  3. I just made these bars…..they are sooo yummy!!! Great alternative from cut out cookies! I am definitely going to keep the recipe to make in the future. Thank u so much for this post!

  4. I made these the other day, and while they were very good, they tasted more along the lines of maddelines rather than normal sugar cookies and had a consistency similar to that of cornbread… Like I said, tasty but unexpected, so all together a 7/10.

    1. Hi Lauren, thanks for the feedback. I’m not sure about the cornbread like consistency — since I don’t remember having that — but I can see how they might be crumbly/dry. Maybe try cooking them for slightly less time, if you do make them again. Thanks again!

  5. I was excited to try these to take along on our spring vacation. I’m sorry to say they just are not that tasty. I agree they are like a cornbread texture and do not taste like a traditional sugar cookie. I did not overcook them, I actually put them in a 9×13 pan so they were very thick. They look pretty but I will keep looking. Thanks for posting.

    1. Hi Angela, I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy the texture of the bars, but I appreciate your feedback. I don’t remember my bars being so crumbly, but perhaps it is indicative that I should work on another sugar cookie bar recipe for you. 🙂

      1. This happened to my bars too! They came out not sugar cookie-ish at all. They were like a cornbread and did not taste like a cookie at all. I don’t think I can bring this treat into work on Monday!

      2. Hi Ashley, I’m sorry they turned out crumbly for you as well. I know others have commented that they softened over time, so maybe that’ll happen to yours, too. I’m going to need to remake this recipe soon, because I definitely didn’t have any problems with mine – it’s puzzling!

  6. So an update… I did take them along on our cabin vacation and the kids loved them! They had a day to set and I think that helped the consistency of them. My oldest son even turned down birthday cake to enjoy another bar instead! So not an all bad review. I personally think they might need a bit more moisture next time, but after a day in the refrigerator even I admit these were quite tasty! Looking forward to trying a few more recipes from your site… next time I will wait a bit to post my review! Thanks for all your hard work!

    1. Haha, thank you for the update, Angela… and I love feedback, good or bad, so I didn’t mind hearing about the “crumbly” comments before!

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