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Frosted Sugar Cookie Bars
I love small batch baking recipes. As someone that lives alone (and lacks a bit of self-control), being able to make smaller batches of baked goods is a blessing; it means fewer sweets are lying around for me to overindulge in, which was the inspiration behind my second cookbook, Simple Small Batch Baking.
This small batch cookie bar recipe is a scaled-down version of one of my favorite recipes in my first cookbook. This scaled-down recipe makes just eight sugar cookie bars topped with a smooth cream cheese frosting, which is perfect if you have a small household and not enough people to share an entire batch of frosted sugar cookie bars with! However, if you're looking for a classic sugar cookie recipe or other cookies from scratch, I've got you covered!
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Flavor & Texture. These frosted sugar cookie bars are chewy, slightly tangy, and oh-so-delicious.
- Easy to Make. Just mix the ingredients with a hand or stand mixer, bake, let cool, and top with cream cheese frosting.
- Yield. This is a one-bowl recipe that yields 8 sugar cookie bars, which is the perfect amount. The recipe can be doubled and baked in an 8x8-inch pan, however!
Ingredients & Substitutions
You don't need any sort of fancy ingredients for these small batch frosted sugar cookie bars; in fact, you'll likely have everything already in your pantry. Here's what you'll need:
- Butter: The one and only. All good cookie recipes need it.
- Granulated sugar: This recipe uses just 1/2 cup of sugar; you can’t reduce the sugar without seriously affecting the final structure and texture of the cookie bars. These bars aren’t overly sweet, though, don’t worry!
- Egg: Only one large egg is needed here, which helps deliver a chewy final result!
- Sour cream: This helps keep our sugar cookie bars moist and adds the slightest amount of tang. You can use an equal amount of Greek yogurt instead.
- Vanilla: I like to use vanilla bean paste; however, you can use an equal amount of vanilla extract.
- Almond Extract: A tiny amount of almond extract helps to give these sugar cookie bars a deliciously rich flavor. Feel free to leave it out completely if you're allergic or don't have any on hand!
- All-purpose flour: Only 1 cup of all-purpose flour is needed!
- Baking powder, Baking soda, & Cornstarch: Helps leaven our cookie bars and creates a soft, slightly fluffy texture.
- Salt: Cookie bars made without salt can taste a little flat, so don’t skip it!
The cream cheese frosting that goes on top is delicious too! Just butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt. EASY!
How to Make Frosted Sugar Cookie Bars
Recipe Troubleshooting & FAQ
CAN I REDUCE THE SUGAR?
Unfortunately, no. It’s doing more than lending a sweet flavor. It’s actually helping to keep these cookie bars moist and soft. If you were to reduce the amount of sugar the cookies would likely be crumbly and dry.
HOW CAN YOU TELL WHEN THE SUGAR COOKIE BARS ARE DONE BAKING?
Remove these cookies from the oven while they still look ever so slightly underdone in the center. The residual heat of the pan will continue to finish cooking them to soft perfection.
HELP! MY COOKIE BARS ARE DRY! WHAT DID I DO WRONG?
These cookie bars are anything but dry! If yours turn out as such, you likely either added too much flour or overbaked them! It could also be a combination of the two!
Watch How to Make These Small Batch Frosted Sugar Cookie Bars:
Note: I post my recipes in grams as it’s the most accurate way to bake, and it’s how I develop them. Cups are not only inaccurate, but they vary in volume worldwide! In any event, if you look at the recipe card underneath the ingredients list, you can click “US Customary” and it’ll convert to volume measures!
Remember to tag me @mikebakesnyc on Instagram and leave a rating + review below if you make these Small Batch Frosted Sugar Cookie Bars! Happy baking!
Small Batch Frosted Sugar Cookie Bars
- 57 g unsalted butter softened
- 100 g granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 15 g sour cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- 125 g all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
- cream cheese frosting (see notes)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan with butter or nonstick cooking spray, and then line the pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on all sides. Grease the parchment paper with butter or nonstick cooking spray, then set it aside.
- In a large bowl using an electric hand mixer or in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the softened butter for about 1 minute on medium speed. Get it nice and smooth, then add the granulated sugar and beat on medium speed until fluffy and light in color, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Beat in the egg, sour cream, vanilla, and almond extract until combined. Scrape down the sides as needed.
- With the mixer running on low speed, add the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and mix until just combined. The dough will be thick. Once combined, wet your hands slightly (to prevent sticking) and then press the dough into the prepared pan.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until lightly browned on top. A toothpick inserted into the middle of the pan should come out clean. You want the cookie bars to be extra soft, so be careful not to overbake them. Allow the bars to cool completely on a wire rack at room temperature.
- Once cooled, frost with cream cheese frosting. Cover and store leftover bars in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 to 3 days.