Sunday, April 12, 2009

sugar cookie bars

happy easter!

i had in mind this easter to make sugar cookies as i often do for other holidays, but i was feeling lazy and didn't want to refrigerate, roll, cut, and pipe royal icing for hours. i knew i had this new easter egg cutter that i wanted to use but could not think of a cookie fit for spring that i felt up to. then i came across these sugar cookie bars from beantown baker and saw the light. i asked her if she thought these bars were stable enough to be cut into simple shapes (i figure an egg isn't that far off from a square) and she said they were, so it was decided. and with my mother in town, i put her to work in the kitchen with me.

these are a lot like regular sugar cookies at the start. the dough tastes the same and out of the oven, they smell the same. but they're baked in a jelly roll pan and cut after they're done. this results in a thick, cakey "cookie" with layers almost like a good biscuit. and instead of royal icing, you use old fashioned bakery frosting.

sugar cookie bars (from beantown baker)
1 c butter at room temp
2 c sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
5 c flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda

1. cream butter and sugar until fluffy
2. add eggs, one at a time, mixing after each
3. add vanilla & mix well.
4. in a separate bowl combine flour, salt & soda & stir with a whisk to combine
5. add to wet mixture and mix just until combined.
6. spread on a jelly roll pan lined with parchment paper
7. bake for 10-15 min, until light golden brown or until a toothpick comes out clean
8. cool completely before frosting

now you could do what she does and frost them right in the pan, but i wanted shapes decorated like easter eggs. so i cut mine out and mom and i piped the frosting with some basic tips.

bakery frosting
1/2 c butter at room temp
1/2 c shortening
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
4 c powdered sugar
5 tbsp milk
food coloring (optional)

1. combine butter and shortening and mix until smooth and creamy
2. add vanilla and salt
3. add powdered sugar in 1-2 cup increments until combined
4. add milk & mix until smooth and spreading/piping consistency

frosting cookie bars

this part was fun. its not quite as easy as slathering the frosting on while the bars are in the pan, but it beats decorating with a knife or piping royal icing and then flooding each part. plus...this tastes so good!

mom was nervous before piping. even though she did all of my birthday cakes growing up and has her own mad skills, she wasn't sure how she'd do with my tips. not three minutes later mom started to pipe, got the hang of it and declared herself "in love with piping". look out coworkers, family, and friends. she has decided this is her calling and you will be receiving trays of hand piped sugar cookie bars for all future occasions.

frosting with matching sprinkles!

so these were fun, easy, and best of all...they taste excellent! they are definately better with a good coating of frosting, because they are a little on the dry side. i say this because i like a chewy cookie and a super moist cake, and these are neither. but they do satisfy the need for a sugar cookie without all of the hassle, and piped or frosting coated, they remind you of a good bakery cookie (not those weird ones that have whipped air frosting that leaves a curious film in your mouth).

i have yet to note, using a shape cutter does result in some waste. in my case, we ate those first with lots of frosting.


Jen said...

Aren't these great?!? I made them again for Easter and was going to cut shapes like you did, but Hubby didn't want to waste any, so we went with squares again. I definitely agree that slathering on a decent amount of frosting makes these delicious.

Thomas said...

Yum! I love the layers and the detail in the piping is crazytown. I have to try at least the layered cookie part.

Joelen said...

Great job in decorating!!