13 September 2010

Sugar Cookie Birthday Cake Bars

I am passionate about cake (understatement of the year--see other blog), especially cake of the celebratory variety, i.e. birthday cake and wedding cake. My dream birthday would involve scores of cakes with numerous layers with several fillings, all of which would be covered with PLENTY of sweet buttercream. My husband is neither a foodie nor a big fan of cake (such a travesty), so for his birthday celebration this weekend I was a little at a loss. As far as sweets go, he really only likes cheesecake and frosted sugar cookies. However, with a toddler and a newborn in the house, both of these time-consuming sweets weren't really an option.

Enter The Sugar Cookie Bar Recipe, which food bloggers have been swooning about for months. With all of the sweet deliciousness of a decorated sugar cookie at a fraction of the work, it seemed the perfect choice. What's more, these came together quickly and easily enough to hold the attention of my 2 yr old "sous chef," providing fun and entertainment for a boring Friday afternoon! But the best part about them? They were terribly yummy. The Birthday Boy loved them (Confession #1: I did, too...many times over, if you catch my drift.) (Confession #2: I committed a cardinal sin of baking and used a jar of Pillsbury Butterbream frosting rather than making my own, even though I used to bake and frost for for an ACTUAL PAYCHECK. I blame the sleep deprivation.)

Sugar Cookie Birthday Cake Bars

For the cookie bars:
*1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter (room temp if possible)
*1 cup sugar
*2 large eggs
*2 teaspoons vanilla extract
*2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
*1 teaspoon salt
*1/4 teaspoon baking soda

*3 cups of your favorite buttercream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (325 for a convection oven). Generously grease a 9x13 baking pan.

Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until light and smooth. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients to the mixer bowl and beat on low speed just until incorporated.

Transfer the cookie dough to the prepared baking pan and press into an even layer. Bake 10-15 minutes, until edges are light golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Do not overbake. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely before frosting.

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