Sugar Cookie Bars

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Last weekend I had big plans to make sugar cookies for a friend of mine, but I ran out of time. I made the dough but knew if I baked them that I wouldn’t have time to decorate them.  Instead, I wrapped up the dough and froze it for future use.  Well, turns out I couldn’t stand having cookie dough in my freezer.  I wanted to use it.  So I did.  So there.

There’s a little bakery in a town nearby that sells the best sugar cookies I’ve ever had, hands down, no competition.  Their cookies are thick and chewy and just absolutely slathered with a perfectly sweet buttercream.  My Mom has been known to order five or six dozen of those cookies at a time, and let me tell you what – that makes for a good weekend!  I’ve been trying to find a similar recipe for nearly two years now and have been unsuccessful.  This one is pretty darn close.

What makes these special is the chewy, soft cookie and the lightly sweet whipped buttercream.  For the cookie, I used my favorite cookie dough recipe and it worked perfectly!  Honestly, they didn’t even need frosting but that didn’t stop me.  This frosting is fabulous.  Magnificent.  Spectacular.  It’s whipped so it’s much lighter than a normal buttercream.  It has a silky texture and isn’t too sweet – it reminds me of whipped cream, but it’s much sturdier.

This is really an easy recipe.  The hardest part about it was letting the cookie dough thaw enough so I could easily spread it into my cookie pan.  I used a half-sheet/jellyroll pan so my cookies were a little on the thin side, but I didn’t want them too thick so it worked perfectly.   If you have any sugar cookie fans in your life, you must make these!

Can you see the specks of vanilla in there?  Can you?  They taste like magic.  Please make these!  And enjoy!


1 1/2 cups of unsalted, room temperature butter (3 sticks)

2 cups white sugar

5 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

4 eggs, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 vanilla bean, seeded
Zest of 1 large lemon


In a large bowl (I used my stand mixer), cream together butter and sugar until smooth and fluffy, about 5-6 minutes. Add eggs one at at time, beating each one until incorporated before adding the next.  Add vanilla, vanilla beans and lemon zest.  Add in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight). 


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Press dough into an even layer on a large cookie sheet (at least 10×13).  Bake for 15-18 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.  Don’t rely on the look of the cookie, because it won’t “look” done.  Once the tester comes out clean, take it out of the oven, and let it cool completely in the pan.

Whipped Vanilla Buttercream:
2 sticks (16 Tablespoons) softened unsalted butter
1/2 cup whipping/heavy cream
1 Tablespoon clear vanilla
2 and 1/2 cups powdered/confectioners sugar

In the bowl of  stand mixer, whip the butter until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.  Add cream, vanilla and powdered sugar, stirring slowly to combine.  Turn mixer to medium-high and whip until frosting is light and airy, about 6 minutes.  Spread on cooled cookies.   Cut cookies into bars and store in an airtight container.


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  • Anonymous


  • Kelly @ Eat Yourself Skinny

    Wow these look so delicious and your photos are absolutely gorgeous!! I’m SO glad I found your blog, its amazing!! Consider me your newest follower and I’ve added you to my favorite blogs on my site! <3 xoxo

  • Erin @ Lemon Sugar

    Thank you Kelly! =) Checking out your site now!!

  • Carrie@Bakeaholicmama

    These look amazing! I will be making these very soon for sure!

  • Mis-Cakes

    totally gonna make this soon. looks great just need some vanilla bean and lemon otherwise i would be making this tonight.

  • LilaLoa

    This is a completely brilliant idea! And I can’t wait to try the whipped vanilla buttercream!! It all looks SO delicious!

  • Lauren

    Love me some sugar cookies. and I’ll be excited to try that frosting recipe, it’s slightly different than one I use – it has more cream. which…. always = good.

  • Angelique

    I La la la la love, love,love,love,love, LOVE!!!! sugar cookies. My favorite sweets to make. I enjoy making them with the kiddos for the holidays, our family tradition. Can’t wait to try these.

  • Elizabeth Hays

    Love this idea. Looks like a great way to save a little time without sacrificing taste!