Baking disasters. They are the absolute worse. Almost nothing makes me grouchier. As I see it, there are two kinds of baking disasters: Those of epic proportions (like a cheesecake that cost $30 to make and then doesn’t turn out, a Pyrex bowl full of hot lemon curd actually exploding all over your kitchen, or accidentally leaving the sugar out of a pumpkin pie,) and then there are mini-baking disasters. Like cookies that fall flat, incorrect baking times that make the center of your bread sink, a minor ingredient being left out, etc.
These bars are beautiful, and you would never know that I had a mini-baking disaster while making them. But, alas, I did. When making the frosting part of this recipe, I went to add in a dash of salt, forgetting that I had taken the part off of my giant Costco-sized sea salt container that makes it come out slowly. I went in for my dash and ended up with like two cups of salt in my frosting. A couple of choice words, a smack in the forehead from myself, and I started over.
I love baking things that are festive and beautiful but also taste amazing. These buttery sugar cookie bars definitely fit the bill. And they were so easy. When I saw them on Pinterest, I thought to myself “Well, duh! How come I never thought of doing this?”
This leads me to believe that Sarah of High Heels and Grills is some kind of culinary genius. Because these are so cute and so yummy. Oh, and EASY! I had the dough made and the pan prepped before my oven was finished pre-heating. People will think you worked hard on them when you totally didn’t! That is the best kind of recipe!
Make these up for your kids’ class, your co-workers, a Halloween party, whatever. I promise they’ll be a big hit.
If you’d like a bigger batch, double the recipe and use a 9×13 pan.
Recipe adapted from High Heels and Grills
1/2 cup salted butter, softened
1 cup of granulated sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons of sour cream (or Greek yogurt)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Yellow and red food coloring
Sprinkles *optional. I believe in the right to choose to sprinkle or not to sprinkle.*
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup softened butter
1/8 cup half and half
1/2 teaspoon almond extract (or clear vanilla extract- regular vanilla will taste fine but will make the frosting less white.)
a pinch of salt (a pinch, not 2 cups.) 😉
Preheat the oven to 375°. Grease a 9×9 or 8×8 baking dish and line with a parchment paper sling.
Cream together butter and sugar. Add the egg, sour cream, almond and vanilla extract and mix well.
Add in flour, baking powder, and salt, and mix until combined.
Add in the yellow food coloring a few drops at a time until you get a deep yellow color. Remove half the dough and press into the bottom of your prepared pan.
Add a few drops of red food coloring at a time to the remaining dough and mix until you have a nice, deep orange color. Press that dough on top of your yellow dough, as evenly as possible.
Bake for 18-20 minutes until the edges are a light golden brown. Remove and cool completely.
While cooling, mix together your frosting ingredients until smooth. Spread over the cooled cookie and refrigerate for at least an hour until it sets. Cut it into triangular bars and enjoy!