Christmas Sugar Cookie Bars

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These Christmas Sugar Cookie Bars are soft, super easy to make and topped with a simple vanilla buttercream!

Christmas Sugar Cookie Bars with vanilla buttercream cut into slices

These Christmas Sugar Cookie Bars will make the perfect addition to your holiday baking line up! They’re super soft, covered in a simple vanilla buttercream and so much easier to make than regular sugar cookies. Forget about all of the chilling, rolling, cutting and painstakingly decorating a million cookies. For this recipe you simply have to make the dough, press it into a pan then slather on a delicious layer of frosting and plenty of festive sprinkles!

Why You’ll Love These Christmas Sugar Cookie Bars

  • They’re quick and easy to make.
  • No chilling, rolling or cutting! Just press the dough in a pan and bake right away!
  • They’re soft, thick and have lots of vanilla flavor.
  • The recipe can be easily doubled and baked in a 9×13 inch pan.

Ingredient Breakdown

All-purpose flour – this gives the cookie bars structure.

Baking powder – a little bit of baking powder helps the cookie bars rise slightly. Do not use baking soda!

Butter – provides flavor and structure. I always recommend using unsalted butter but salted butter works if that’s all you have on hand, just be sure to omit the 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Do not use cold or melted butter.

Granulated sugar – sweetens and softens cookies. Do not substitute it with brown sugar.

Egg – helps bind the ingredients.

Vanilla extract and salt – enhances flavor. Always use pure vanilla extract instead of imitation for best flavor.

Christmas Sugar Cookie Bar cross section

How To Make Christmas Sugar Cookie Bars

1. Make the Sugar Cookie Dough: In a small bowl whisk the all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

2. Use a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment to cream softened butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy.

3. Add the egg and vanilla extract then mix until just combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl.

4. Add the dry ingredients all at once and mix on low speed until just combined. Do not over mix the dough because it will make the cookie bars tough.

5. Press the sugar cookie dough into the prepared 8×8 inch pan using clean hands or the back of a measuring cup to smooth it out.

6. Bake sugar cookie bars at 350°F for 20-22 minutes. The edges will be slightly browned and the center will still be pale. Let cookie bars cool completely on a wire rack.

Christmas Sugar Cookie Bars in an 8x8 inch pan

7. Make the Vanilla Buttercream: Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until light and fluffy.

8. Add confectioners’ sugar and mix on low until combined.

9. Add vanilla extract and heavy cream or milk then beat until fluffy. Add salt to taste. Decorate cooled cookie bars as desired. Store Christmas Sugar Cookie Bars in an airtight container for up to 4 days at room temperature or up to 5 days in the fridge.

Pro Tips For Christmas Sugar Cookie Bars

  • Weigh your ingredients using a kitchen scale! Measuring ingredients by volume is not accurate.
  • Don’t over mix the dough! Only mix until the dry ingredients are just combined. Over mixing = more gluten development which means tough cookie bars. We don’t want any tough cookies here!
  • Wait until the sugar cookie bars are COMPLETELY COOLED before frosting otherwise the buttercream will melt.

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Frequently Asked Questions


Can You Make Sugar Cookie Dough In Advance?

Yes! Once you make this sugar cookie dough you can either refrigerate it for up to 3 days wrapped tightly in plastic wrap or freeze it for up to 3 months wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and placed in a zip-top bag. You will need to let the dough soften at room temperature before pressing into the 8×8 inch pan.

What’s the difference between sugar cookies And Shortbread?

Unlike sugar cookies, shortbread is made without eggs or any leavening agents. Shortbread also has a more crumbly texture as a result of the dough’s high fat content. If you’re looking for shortbread recipes try my Mini Chocolate Chip Shortbread Bars or Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies or Matcha Shortbread Cookies.

Christmas Sugar Cookie Bars with vanilla buttercream cut into slices

If you try this recipe then please leave a rating/comment below to let me know how you liked it and feel free to ask any recipe questions you may have! 🙂

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Christmas Sugar Cookie Bars

These Christmas Sugar Cookie Bars are soft, super easy to make and topped with a simple vanilla buttercream!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 9 large cookie bars
Calories 346kcal
Author Maria Azzarelli

Equipment

  • Stand mixer or hand mixer
  • 8×8 inch pan

Ingredients

Sugar Cookie Dough

  • 210 g (1 3/4 cups) all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 150 g (3/4 cup) granulated sugar
  • 113 g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Vanilla Buttercream

  • 56 g (4 tbsp) unsalted butter, softened
  • 120 g (1 cup) confectioners' sugar
  • 15 g (1 tbsp) heavy cream or milk
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • salt, to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8×8 pan and line with parchment paper.
  • In a small bowl whisk the all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  • Use a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment to cream granulated sugar and softened butter until light and fluffy.
  • Add the egg and vanilla extract then mix until just combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl.
  • Add the dry ingredients all at once and mix on low speed until just combined. Do not over mix the dough because it will make the cookie bars tough.
  • Press the sugar cookie dough into the prepared 8×8 inch pan using clean hands or the back of a measuring cup to smooth it out.
  • Bake sugar cookie bars for 20-22 minutes. The edges will be slightly browned and the center will still be pale. Let cookie bars cool completely on a wire rack.

Vanilla Buttercream

  • Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until light and fluffy.
  • Add confectioners’ sugar and mix on low until combined.
  • Add vanilla extract and heavy cream or milk then beat until fluffy. Add salt to taste. Decorate cooled cookie bars as desired.

Notes

  • Weigh your ingredients using a kitchen scale! Measuring ingredients by volume is not accurate.
 
 
  • Butter: I recommend using unsalted butter. You can use salted butter, just be sure to omit the 1/4 tsp salt.
 
 
  • Store Christmas Sugar Cookie Bars in an airtight container for up to 4 days at room temperature or up to 5 days in the fridge.
 
  • Nutrition: the provided nutritional information is an estimate per serving. Please read my Nutrition Disclaimer for more information.

Nutrition

Calories: 346kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 59mg | Sodium: 99mg | Potassium: 40mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 30g | Vitamin A: 499IU | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 1mg

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