Forget the hassle of refrigerating and rolling out dough; make these maple-frosted sugar cookie bars instead. The bars are a thick layer of soft and sweet sugar cookie, topped with a rich and unique maple frosting.
Sugar cookies are one of favorite treats to
eat make. They’re a hit just about anywhere I take them and, to be honest, they’re one of my absolute favorite desserts. It just doesn’t get much better than a perfectly-baked sugar cookie- crunchy outer edges, soft interior- spread with homemade frosting.
But, if I’m still being honest, sometimes I’m just not in the mood to make them. They really aren’t that complicated, but the flouring and rolling and cutting involved just seemed too overwhelming to me this past holiday season. The first trimester of this pregnancy is wiping me out, so I was all about shortcuts when it came to Christmas baking. The fact that a shortcut turned into a much raved about treat was an unexpected bonus.
The sugar cookie portion of these bars is great, but the maple frosting stole the show. It’s such a rich, unexpected twist, and it makes these bars smell so good. I brought these to a family gathering, made a batch for my students, and shared them with my coworkers. Each time, the reactions were the same: “Is that maple?” “These are really good!” “This frosting is amazing!”
Maple-Frosted Sugar Cookie Bars
adapted from my own frosted sugar cookies recipe
For the Cookies
1 1/4 cups butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
5 cups flour
1 tsp salt
4 tsp baking powder
For the Frosting
3 cups powdered sugar
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/2 tsp maple extract
4 tsp whole milk or cream
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream together butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, vanilla, and milk and mix well. Add flour, salt, and baking powder and mix just until combined. Spread dough in a large greased baking sheet, about 18 by 26 inches (like this one), or use two 9 x 13 pans. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until dough is just beginning to turn golden around the edges.
While the bars are cooling in the pan(s), make the frosting by beating together the butter and powdered sugar. Add the maple extract and milk or cream and beat until fluffy. You may need to scrape the beater(s) and the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula to get everything to come together.
Spread frosting evenly over cooled bars and allow frosting to set up for 10 to 15 minutes before cutting.
If, like me, you can’t get enough of easy bar dessert recipes, you’re going to want to check out these frosted cranberry white chocolate cookie bars and these peanut butter cup bars.
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