Sugar Cookie Bars

sugar cookie bars
These Sugar Cookie Bars were such a surprise.  That sounds rude and/or disrespectful but I certainly don’t mean to be.

Ya know, some recipes sound terrific yet they turn out to be a real fail.  Then some recipes maybe you kinda doubt but they turn out to be a keeper.

Yeah, these Sugar Cookie Bars are the latter.

Of course we all know the usual sugar cookie, the cookie itself.  The ones I prefer are soft and tender with a bit of chew, a nice, sweet buttery flavor to boot.

Soo, imagine my surprise and resultant pleasure when these bars turned out exactly that way.

sliced sugar cookie bars plated
Apologies for the very old photos, and really not so great photos but you'll get the gist.
Lots of plus marks on this little ditty, found originally on Food52

Note the recipe there offers up a frosting to go atop these and you’re definitely welcome to check it out but for me, I cut that portion of the recipe in half as my teeth felt like they were rotting from the mere suggestion. 

I love sugar, sure, but heh, c'mon, there are limits!  Count me out on over-sugary.

On this site, you will never find Oreo-stuffed cake coated in M&M's wrapped in a Snickers stuffed in cream cheese drizzled in hot fudge and chocolate chip cookie bits with caramel sauce sugar bombs.  Not sorry.

Totally unnecessary ultimately though, the frosting, in my opinion; these bars don’t need a frosting as they stand on their own, but please don’t let me stop you from trying a half recipe or the whole shebang.

So Becky, whatcha got on some of these pluses?
, you ask.

Sugar cookies normally involve rolling and chilling and slicing which obviously of course isn’t a big deal but it does add time to the process.  Here?  None a’ that, just spread and bake and eat.

These Sugar Cookie Bars turn out quite similar to a blonde, thicker with more chew than a round sliced cookie so, cha-ching, it’s like two desserts in one.

Given the pan size, these are great for a crowd, like a picnic, a potluck, oh a cookie exchange or if it’s two of you like us or even as a sole force in the world.  You can freeze them; pre-slice and pop in the ol’ icebox taking one or two out as you go.  Then it’s like a long haul secret stash of tasties.

These can be customized like sugar cookies too.  Add a dash of lemon extract or almond or whatever extract tickles your fancy.  Add a few chips maybe like white chocolate.  Or sprinkles, toss ‘em in the batter or atop when baked.

Be mindful that customization may change the baking time so hog wild may not be the best route.  Minor changes are likely fine but keeping an eye on the bake is always wise.

These bake in a 9x13* pan, preferably metal,* or in a jelly roll pan.*  This gives you options and flexibility in case you have one but not another.  Note again that baking times might vary a bit, especially if your 9x13 is glass since it conducts heat differently.

My fave is the USA* 9x13 metal pan, of which in fact, I now have two.  One for Detroit-style Pizza and the other for cakes and such.  Kinda like baking Kosher, haha.

In the comments over on Food52, there's confusion on that jelly roll pan as no size is listed.  What is meant, I believe, is a quarter sheet pan* which runs at 9x13 while what is typically known as "jelly roll pan" runs about 10x15-ish or so.

Either is fine; the latter is likely a slightly shorter baking time.

All told, in about a half hour’s time total, you’ll go from scattered ingredients to nummy baked bars.  Excellent, right?!

So ultimately, these Sugar Cookie Bars are like a fast and dirty route to fix your sugar cookie and/or deeelicious chewy buttery sugary yumminess bar fixation.

Exactly like the round cookies, drag out your stand mixer* or if you have an electric mixer,* that’s great too.  Pop the butter and sugar in the bowl and cream those up.

butter and sugars in mixer bowl prep
Next you’ll add the eggs and vanilla, whip that up into a fluff.

adding eggs and vanilla to creamed butter
After that, add the flour, then lastly leaveners and salt.  Tada!  That’s it!

adding flour and leaveners to wet ingredients
The dough is going to be quite stiff and tough to spread but get in there with a silicone spatula* and it’ll happen.  You could also use an offset spatula,* your hands or a square of parchment paper* with your hands to spread and flatten that way.

spreading sugar cookie bar batter in glass pan
Pop the pan in the oven for a brief bake and you’ll know these are done when the bars look a bit puffed, sorta rumpled, lightly golden, and slightly darker golden along the edges.

Cool on a rack and slice at will. 
baked sugar cookie bars in glass pan
Oh to make that optional frosting, pretty much drop everything in the mixer bowl and whip it up.  Quite simple then spread away.

making the sugar cookie frosting in mixer
Top, whip up the butter and cream cheese then bottom, whip everything else in.

finished sugar cookie bar frosting
Pour a nice tall glass of cold milk and relive your sugar cookie youth while enjoying a new spin.

sliced sugar cookie bars with frosting
Sugar Cookie Bars, my friends!

sugar cookie bars
Happy baking!

Sugar Cookie Bars

Sugar Cookie Bars

24 bars
Prep time
15 Min
Cook time
15 Min
Total time
30 Min
Sugar Cookie Bars are all the best of buttery sweet, chewy sugar cookies but simplified into an easy, time-saving dessert bar form.


Cookie Bars
  • 3/4 cup (170 g) unsalted butter, room temperature (12 tablespoons, 1 1/2 sticks)
  • 1 cup (198 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (53 g) light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon (5 g) vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (240 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon (4 g) baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon (3 g) baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon (3 g) fine sea salt
  • 1/4 cup (57 g) unsalted butter, room temperature (4 tablespoons, 1/2 stick)
  • 2 ounces (114 g) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup (114 g) powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon (5 g) vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1.5 g) fine sea salt
  • sprinkles for decoration, optional


Cookie Bars
  1. Begin preheating the oven to 350° F (176° C). Lightly grease any one of the following baking pans: a 9x13 metal, a 9x13 glass, or a jelly roll pan (1/4 sheet pan sized otherwise it'll be approximately 11x15).
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a mixing bowl if using an electric mixer, add the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar and cream together for about 2-3 minutes, until fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time and combine thoroughly on medium-low speed then add the vanilla. Turn the mixer to medium-high speed to blend until fluffy.
  4. Turn the mixer to low and add half of the flour. Blend until barely mixed, add the remaining flour and blend until barely mixed again. Add the baking powder, baking soda, and salt, turning the mixer only a few times to avoid over-mixing. With a large sturdy spatula, scrape the bowl sides and give the ingredients a final stir or two by hand.
  5. With the same sturdy spatula, an offset spatula, or a piece of parchment paper and your hands, spread the dough evenly in the pan.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes if using a 9x13 metal baking pan, about the same or less for the 1/4 sheet pan sized jelly roll, a bit less for a larger jelly roll pan (keep an eye on it), and add 10-12 minutes if using a 9x13 glass pan.
  7. The bars will be done when they look puffy, golden brown on top and the edges are a slightly darker golden brown.
  8. Remove the pan to a rack to cool completely.
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl if using an electric mixer, add the butter and cream cheese. Cream the two together until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Turn the mixer to low and tap the powdered sugar in slowly. Once the powdered sugar is incorporated, add the cream, vanilla, and salt.
  3. Turn the mixer to medium-high and whip the ingredients together for about 30 seconds until it resembles a fluffy frosting.
  4. Spread the frosting over the completely cooled cookie bars and decorate with sprinkles or as desired.
  5. Note: the frosting portion can be doubled or is entirely optional.


Adapted from Food52

Nutrition Facts



Fat (grams)


Sat. Fat (grams)


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Fiber (grams)


Net carbs


Sugar (grams)


Protein (grams)


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Cholesterol (grams)


Please see the "info" section for nutrition details and information about gram weights.

sugar cookie, dessert bar, bars

*The 9x13 pans, jelly roll pans, quarter sheet pans, USA pans, stand and electric mixers, silicone spatulas, offset spatulas, and parchment paper are Amazon affiliate links.  Happy baking, thanks!  Please see the “info” tab for more, well, info. 

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