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Soft and Chewy Sugar Cookie Bars

Serves 16     adjust servings

These soft and chewy Sugar Cookie Bars are the stuff of dreams!! Adapted from my all time favorite soft sugar cookie recipe, these bars have a secret ingredient that make them supremely chewy. The thick layer of buttercream frosting on top makes them irresistible! 

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup (1 and 1/2 sticks) salted butter, softened
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 and 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 and 3/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 and 3/4 cup all purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 batch of Buttercream Frosting for Sugar Cookies

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9x13 inch glass pan with parchment paper or foil, to make it easy to lift the bars out of the pan and slice. (Foil needs to be sprayed with nonstick spray) Or you can grease the pan directly with nonstick spray.
  2. In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat 3/4 cup butter on medium speed until it is soft and fluffy, 1-2 minutes, scraping down the sides at least once.
  3. Add the softened 4 ounces of cream cheese and continue to beat for 1 minute, until well incorporated.
  4. Add 1 and 1/2 cups sugar and beat well, 1-2 minutes, until fluffy. Scrape down the sides.
  5. Add 1 egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 1 and 3/4 teaspoon almond extract. Beat well. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula. This is my spatula that I love and use for every baking project.
  6. Add 1 teaspoon salt, 2 and 3/4 cup flour, and 1 tablespoon cornstarch. Beat until just barely combined, scraping the sides and bottom again. Do not stir too much or you will make your dough tough.
  7. Transfer the dough to the prepared pan. Get your hands a little wet (shake off excess water) and press the dough evenly into the pan. (You can also grease your hands if you prefer.)
  8. Bake at 350 for about 25-30 minutes. Every oven is different, keep an eye on it. The bars are done when there are just a few golden spots on the edges, and the center is no longer shiny. It's very important not to over bake sugar cookie bars, or they will not be soft and chewy. (They will become dry and crumbly.) When a toothpick comes out of the center with no dough on it, they are done. If you are baking in a metal pan, it will bake a couple minutes faster. 
  9. Let the bars cool completely on a wire rack. Do not frost while warm.
  10. Top the bars with one batch of The Best Buttercream Frosting for Sugar Cookies!
  11. To slice into clean bars as shown in the photos, slice off about an inch from all four edges, then slice into bars, cleaning your knife before making each cut.

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