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Sugar Cookie Bars with Chocolate Buttercream

Soft, buttery sugar cookies come together quickly in bar cookie form, and frosting them with decadent chocolate buttercream puts them over the top!

Sugar Cookie Bars with Chocolate Buttercream ~ bars are quicker to make than individual cookies, and decadent frosting puts them over the top! | FiveHeartHome.comTeacher Appreciation Week is upon us, and I signed up to bring a treat tomorrow for the Never Ending Dessert Bar (how good does that sound?!) in the teacher lounge. So you’ll never guess what I’m sharing on the blog today… 😉

Sugar Cookie Bars with Chocolate Buttercream ~ bars are quicker to make than individual cookies, and decadent frosting puts them over the top! | FiveHeartHome.comI love love LOVE cookies — making them and eating them! But forming individual cookies and baking one sheet after another takes a decent chunk of time, which I haven’t exactly had lately thanks to a certain fussy, separation anxiety-ridden 20-month-old.

But cookie bars? Those I can whip out in no time, even with a screaming toddler clinging to my leg.

Sugar Cookie Bars with Chocolate Buttercream ~ bars are quicker to make than individual cookies, and decadent frosting puts them over the top! | FiveHeartHome.comSo I decided to take my all-time favorite sugar cookie recipe and turn it into bars. It worked beautifully, but the bars were a little ho-hum looking to be sharing as a teacher treat, so I decided to dress them up with some frosting. I was torn as to what type of frosting to go with, but I thought I’d mimic the classic yellow cake/chocolate icing combo and go for vanilla cookies with chocolate buttercream. Let’s just say that it was a very good idea, indeed.

May I step on my soapbox for a moment here? Buy good quality, pure vanilla extract, friends. It makes all of the difference in your baking! (I’ve said it before, but I am enamored with Nielsen Massey Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla and order it by the jug.)

Sugar Cookie Bars with Chocolate Buttercream ~ bars are quicker to make than individual cookies, and decadent frosting puts them over the top! | FiveHeartHome.comIf you’re afraid that the vanilla-laced sugar cookie flavor may be overpowered by the chocolate, you can always sprinkle your bars with a generous dusting of sugar before baking and leave them unfrosted. Or you could go with a regular buttercream on top instead of chocolate. Any way you slice it (er, them), these bars are quick and easy to make and — have I mentioned? — quite tasty. Dressing them up with some colorful sprinkles makes them even more fun!

Sugar Cookie Bars with Chocolate Buttercream ~ bars are quicker to make than individual cookies, and decadent frosting puts them over the top! | FiveHeartHome.comAre you celebrating the teachers in your life this week as well? If so, take them a batch of Sugar Cookie Bars with Chocolate Buttercream! We may have reached the last month of the school year, but it’s never too late to secure that coveted position as teacher’s pet. 😉

Sugar Cookie Bars with Chocolate Buttercream ~ bars are quicker to make than individual cookies, and decadent frosting puts them over the top! | FiveHeartHome.com

Sugar Cookie Bars with Chocolate Buttercream

Sugar Cookie Bars with Chocolate Buttercream

Soft, buttery sugar cookies come together quickly in bar cookie form, and frosting them with decadent chocolate buttercream puts them over the top!

Ingredients

    For the cookie bars:
  • 2 cups (10 ounces*) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • For the chocolate buttercream:
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped, melted, and cooled to room temperature

Instructions

  1. Adjust rack to center position in oven. Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly spray a 9x13-inch pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to whip butter until smooth. Beat in sugars at medium speed. Scrape bowl, increase to medium-high speed, and beat for 3 minutes or until light and fluffy. Blend in egg and vanilla until incorporated. Turn mixer to low and slowly stir in flour mixture, mixing until just combined and taking care not to overmix.
  3. Turn dough into prepared pan and press into an even layer (you may lightly flour hands if it's sticking to fingers). Bake for approximately 13 to 15 minutes, or until just set and edges are beginning to show a hint of golden color. Set pan on a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
  4. Once cookies are cool, prepare buttercream by using an electric mixer to beat butter until smooth, and then blend in powdered sugar alternated with milk. You may use more or less milk to achieve your desired consistency. Mix in vanilla and salt; beat at medium speed for 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low, pour in melted chocolate, and beat at medium speed for 1 more minute or until light and fluffy.
  5. Evenly spread frosting over cooled sugar cookie bars. Slice into squares with a sharp knife, wiping clean between each cut. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. These are best if you allow them to come to room temperature before serving.

Notes

I have the most success with this recipe when I weigh my flour, rather than just using measuring cups. If you use measuring cups and your dough seems too sticky to press into the pan, add a tad bit more flour.

I melt my chocolate by placing it in a heat-proof bowl, microwaving on high for 30 seconds, stirring, and then repeating a couple times until solid all lumps melt when stirred. You may also melt chocolate over a double boiler.

Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
http://www.fivehearthome.com/2014/05/05/sugar-cookie-bars-with-chocolate-buttercream/

Cookie bars adapted from Baking Illustrated.
Frosting adapted from Williams Sonoma.

More teacher & school time treats…

Teacher Appreciation Free Printables ~ 8x10" print, note cards, and gift tags | FiveHeartHome.comTeacher Appreciation Printables

First Week of School Teacher Survival Kit Gift FREE PRINTABLE ~ Energy (caffeine) + Sanity (chocolate) + Antibacterial Hand Gel | {Five Heart Home}1st Week of School Teacher Survival Kit Printable

Last-Day-of-School-Lunchbox-Love-Notes-by-Five-Heart-Home-700pxLast Day of School Lunchbox Love Notes

Peanut Butter and Jelly Muffins ~ a perfect after school snack on the first day of school (or any day after that!) | {Five Heart Home}Peanut Butter & Jelly Muffins

Cinnamon Sugar Candied Pecans ~ great for snacking, salad topping, or holiday gift giving!| {Five Heart Home}Cinnamon Sugar Candied Pecans

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I always love hearing from you! ~ samantha {at} five heart home {dot} com

This post may be linked up to House of Rose, 4 Little Fergusons, and these fabulous parties!

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Comments

  1. Those look amazing. I would have a very hard time eating just one. Anything sugar does that to me. But if I did have any willpower against sugar, this would be one of my favorites! Fantastic!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      You are so right…eating just one is the challenge! It was a good thing I was giving this batch away. 😉

  2. Kristin S says:

    I signed up for sugar cookies for a teacher treat this week, and these look so much better then a plain cookie! The timing is perfect 🙂

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Sounds like it was meant to be, Kristin! 😉 Hope your teachers enjoy these!

  3. Samantha, I love that you made these cookies into bars (especially digging that chocolate frosting). I am also in awe of how perfectly cut your bars are–my bars always look like a hungry bear attacked them, which, I guess is kind of what happens in our house 🙂

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Your comment made me laugh, Amy! To be perfectly honest, my bar cookies are not usually this perfect looking. It took quite a bit of patience and restraint (which I typically don’t possess) to cut slowly and evenly, and wipe off the knife between every. Single. Cut. My natural inclination is the hungry bear approach as well… 😉

  4. I nnknow my daughters teacher would go nuts for these! they are gorgeous

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thank you, Heather! I don’t think they lasted long when I sent them to school. 😉

  5. Hickory Nut says:

    How did you package these individually? They would be great for an upcoming bake sale, but i’m wondering if the frosting would stick to a sandwich bag? they look so good!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      I actually haven’t tried packaging them individually. When I took them to school, I put them on a large platter and loosely covered them with plastic wrap. The frosting gets pretty solid in the refrigerator, so if you wanted to individually package them, I would probably cut them while they’re at room temperature, then put them in a container or on a platter in the refrigerator to chill. Once the frosting has hardened, you could slide them into individual baggies. As long as you don’t squish down on the top of them, I think the frosting will mostly stay put, even at room temperature. But again, I haven’t tried it, so I can’t promise that would be the case. Good luck if you decide to try it! 🙂

  6. These cookies are over the top. Sugar cookies are my favorite. The layered look with the sprinkles is soooo charming. I bet these did not last long in the teachers lounge.

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      I’m pretty sure they were a hit, Carol! 😉 Thanks so much for your sweet comment…hope you’re having a great week!

  7. “Amazing” is the only word I have for these sugar cookie bars! If I were a teacher, this would be the exact treat that I’d want to receive! 🙂

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Me too, Julie! Maybe our kids will make them for us for Mother’s Day instead… 😉 Hope you have a happy one!

  8. These look delicious, especially with the chocolate buttercream! What a great teacher treat:)

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks so much, Ginnie! My kids were upset that I didn’t keep any for us, so it looks like I’ll be making these again soon! 😉

  9. I love sugar cookies that don’t require rolling, cutting, baking and frosting what feels like hundreds of cookies!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      You and me both, Julianne! Bar cookies are my favorite kind at this current, children-demand-my-attention stage of life. 😉

  10. Oh my goodness, these look amazing! Can’t wait to try the recipe, thanks for sharing!

  11. Hi Samantha!

    These look delicious! I’d love to have you link these up with me for the Create & Share DIY and Recipe Party!
    I hope to see you there!

  12. Saw these on the Weekend Re-treat and had to open the link… WOW. They sound amazing!!!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thank you, Trish! I hope you enjoy these if you have a chance to try them. 🙂

  13. Oh I love cookie bars and with chocolate buttercream!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks, Jennifer! I hope you enjoy these if you have a chance to try them! 🙂

  14. These look fantastic! I love anything with frosting and sprinkles. My husband is the youth pastor at our church, so I might just have to whip these up the next time we have the teens over to our house. I’d be thrilled if you’d link up at this week’s Off the Hook!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thank you so much, Lauren! I agree…it’s hard to argue with frosting and sprinkles. 😉 I hope the teens enjoy these if you end up making them sometime…I have a feeling they’ll wolf them down! And thanks for the invite to your link party. I’m a little late, but I just linked these bars up. 🙂 Hope you’re having a great week!

  15. These look insanely delicious! Thanks for linking up to the Monday Funday Link Party!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      You’re welcome, Pauline…thanks for hosting! Monday Funday is one of my favorite parties each week. 🙂

  16. Visiting from Totally Talented Tuesday. They look very yummy, I’d love to have one or two right now. I co-host Sweet and Savoury Sunday and would love for you to stop by and share this and other recipes with us. Have a great day!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks for stopping by, Laura! I enjoy following you on Instagram. 🙂 I will try to remember to swing by your link party on Sunday. Hope you’re having a great week! 🙂

  17. I’m a teacher, and boy, do I appreciate these bars! The picture really stood out in the Tuesday Collection. Love the thickness of the buttercream!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks so much, Mir! And thanks for being a teacher…undoubtedly THE most important job there is! Hope you have a smooth end of the school year. 🙂

  18. I’m not a big fan of chocolate icing, but these are beautiful! I might have to make these the next time I need to make a treat, since they’re really impressive but I won’t be as tempted to eat half in the process. 😉

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Ha, Andrea…that’s smart thinking! I wish a sweet treat existed that I wouldn’t be tempted to eat… 😉

  19. These look amazing, Samantha. My kids would go crazy for them!! Thanks for linking up to BOTW party. I’m featuring this post this week. Thanks, Nichi

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks so much, Nichi! I really appreciate the feature, and I hope your kids do go crazy for these if you have a chance to make them. 😉 Have a great rest of the weekend!

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