Ultra Soft Sugar Cookie Bars Recipe
For the Bars
- 1 stick unsalted butter (1/2 cup), softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp almond extract (optional, but recommended)
- 1/2 tsp lemon zest (optional, but recommended)
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 3/4 tsp kosher salt
For the Frosting
- 1 stick unsalted butter (1/2 cup)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp lemon zest (optional but recommended)
- large pinch of salt
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 2-3 TBSP milk
- Preheat your oven to 350F. Line an 8X8 or 9X9 baking dish with parchment paper and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or a large bowl with a hand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs, one at a time, and mix just until incorporated. Mix in the vanilla and almond extracts and the lemon zest.
- Add the salt and the flour into the mixing bowl and mix just until combined. Scrape down the sides and the bottom of the bowl if needed. Make sure not to over-mix.
- Press the dough into the prepared baking dish. It will be sticky and thick. You may need to use slightly damp fingers to press the dough in evenly.
- Bake at 350F for 14-16 min, until very lightly golden. the center of the cookies will look under baked.
- Cool completely on a wire cooling rack before frosting.
For the Frosting
- In a large bowl, beat butter, vanilla, lemon zest and salt until smooth.
- Add powdered sugar (1/2 cup at a time) mixing until combined.
- Add the milk and mix until smooth.
- Frost cooled cookies before cutting into bars. I find they cut more easily if chilled first. I also like the texture of these bars when chilled.