Back around St. Patrick's Day I was searching for an easy recipe for a dessert we could have while watching a movie. (In the Heart of the Sea. Good movie.) Nothing fancy, mind you, but portable. There were a lot of "green things" floating around, of course. Plenty of what I was seeing was pretty elaborate, and that's so not what I was after. But then I found these St. Patrick's Day Sugar Cookie Bars at Over the Big Moon. They could easily be adapted to fit any holiday, occasion, or event.
Since I live in a RV with a small gas oven, I could not follow Alli's recipe exactly (the pan, if I had one, wouldn't fit!). Here's how I turned her cookie bars into cookie cake bars.
Ever go to a shopping mall that had one of those cookie counters, like Great American Cookies, or the Original Cookie Co., or something like that? They had these giant (round) chocolate chip cookie "cakes" that you could get for someone's birthday or whatever. These are probably available in every grocery store bakery now, so I'm dating myself with the mall thing.
Anyway, this is the same principle, except it's a sugar cookie baked in a commercial style 1/4 sheet pan.
The whole sugary shebang is simple to make up and, like I said before, can be customized in so many ways. (You don't have to haphazardly drizzle chocolate like I did!)
Recipe adapted from Allison Miller's St. Patrick's Day Sugar Cookie Bars:
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla (make your own!)
1 tsp salt
1/2 baking soda
5 cups flour
5 cups powdered sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 tsp vanilla
6 tbsp milk
1/4 – 1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)
Grease a 1/4 sheet pan (mine is 9"x12"x1" – like this one). Preheat oven to 375°. Cream together softened butter and sugar with a stand mixer on medium speed. Add eggs, one at a time, to the mixture. Scrape bowl as needed. Add vanilla and mix well.
Whisk together last three ingredients of salt, baking soda, and flour. Add this to creamed mixture until combined. Do not overmix.
Press dough evenly into bottom of sheet pan. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until very lightly golden brown. Allow to cool.
For the icing, use a mixer to beat the butter until smooth. (I went right back to my stand mixer, but a handheld might do.) Add in vanilla and 1/2 the milk (3 tbsp).
Add powdered sugar a little at a time, then rest of milk. Finish by beating icing a bit to aerate.
Ice sugar cookie cake. If you have mini chocolate chips, or chocolate sprinkles, you could add those immediately. If you would rather drizzle chocolate, simply melt your chips in microwave or on stove top. Put melted chocolate into a plastic baggie. Twist tie the open end if you want, then snip a small hole in one of the bottom corners. Squeeze chocolate out through small hole and drizzle over iced sugar cookie cake.
Cut into 12 big bars, or 24 smaller ones. Store in airtight container.
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