The most popular cookie recipe on this blog is, by far, my Soft Sour Cream Cut-Out Sugar Cookies. They are fun, festive, and oh-so-yummy. However, they are admittedly very time consuming to make. The mixing, rolling, cutting, baking, and decorating takes time. Although they're a family favorite, sometimes I just don't have time to do all that.
Enter these short-cut Sour Cream Sugar Cookie Bars. They have the same ingredients and taste of my cut-out cookies, but you can whip up a batch of these in a fraction of the time. They're easy peasy and every bit as delicious as the originals. Like cut-out cookies, these bars can be decorated with different frosting and sprinkles colors to fit any occasion. That makes them versatile and a great option when you need a quick yet special treat.
Nutritional Information (per bar, when cut into 24 bars): 186 calories, 6.3g fat, 3.8g sat fat, 22mg cholesterol, 119mg sodium, 34mg potassium, 30.7g carbs, 18.4g sugars, 2.2g protein; Weight Watchers SmartPoints: 9
Step 1. Assemble the ingredients:
Step 2. Whisk flour, baking soda, & salt together & set it aside.
Step 3. With an electric mixer, cream the butter and sour cream at low speed; add the sugar, eggs, and vanilla & mix them until uniformly combined. It's okay if it's a little lumpy as long as no butter chunks are visible.
Step 4. Gradually add the flour mixture to the sour cream mixture, mixing until they're well combined. Expect the dough to be sticky.
Step 5. Transfer the dough to a quarter baking sheet or 9x13 pan that is lined with parchment paper. Lightly spray your hands with cooking spray, and spread the dough to evenly cover the entire pan. Don't worry about finger marks--any that don't bake out will be covered by the frosting later. Bake until bars are set in the center. To maintain a soft, moist texture, do not overcook or allow them to brown. It should take approx. 18-20 minutes. Place baked bars on a cooling rack until they're completely cooled.
Simple frosting & decorating. I frost these with a simple, tasty frosting and then add color with sprinkles. Nothing fancy--these are all about quick and easy.
Step 6. To make the frosting, combine the powdered sugar, vanilla, softened butter, and half of the evaporated milk in a large bowl.
Step 7. Combine the ingredients on a low speed until it's a thick paste consistency and all of the lumps are gone. It's much easier to remove the lumps when the frosting is thick. That's why I only add half of the milk in the beginning. (I use a handheld electric mixer for the frosting; you can also mix it by hand with a wooden spoon.)
Step 8. Gradually add the remaining milk and continue mixing until the frosting is a smooth, silky, spreadable consistency. If it's still thicker than you want, add more milk 1/2 teaspoon at a time until it's how you like it.
Step 9. Pour the frosting onto the baked, cooled bars and spread it evenly with a frosting spatula.
view on Amazon: frosting spatula
Step 10. Add decorating sprinkles. This is where you can customize the cookie bars with whatever colors fit the occasion. Here are some color combinations to consider:
view on Amazon: decorating sprinkles
Try decorating 1 pan of bars 2 ways. This is an option if you'd like your cut bars to have more variety on the plate. It's easy to do. Choose 2 different kinds of sprinkles. Hold a stiff piece of paper or card stock in the center of the bars (see photo below) and shake on one kind of sprinkles on one side and a second kind on the other side. The paper barrier keeps the 2 sections free of the other sprinkles. Here are some I made for Easter:
view on Amazon: Easter sprinkles
I made the double-decorated bars pictured below for Valentines Day. I added red cinnamon candies to half of them.
Decorate with multi-colored frosting squiggles. This is a fun, easy way to add color to your bars. It's a great default method if you don't have a variety of sprinkle colors. You simple add 2 different food colorings to small amounts of the frosting. Below, I'm using orange and yellow. Frost the bars all over with uncolored (white) frosting. Use a spoon to drizzle one of the colored frostings in an uneven pattern on top of the white frosting. Repeat with the second colored frosting. Add colored sugar or sprinkles, if desired. I added some clear sugar sprinkles below, just to add some sparkle to the colorful bars.
view on Amazon: clear sugar sprinkles
For the Christmas bars below, I squiggled on red and green frosting and added some red, green and white nonpareil sprinkles. Fun and festive!
Here are some bars I made for Mardi Gras by just adding green, yellow, and purple sprinkles on top of uncolored frosting.
I made these in a jiffy for the 4th of July.
view on Amazon: red,white & blue nonpareil sprinkles
Cutting tip: A bench scraper/chopper works great for straight, even cutting.
Storage tip: Cover the bars and store them at room temperature for up to 5 days. Although, the fresher the better.
Freezing tip: You can freeze unfrosted bars for up to 1 month. Place a piece of parchment paper, waxed paper, or plastic wrap on top--this prevents ice crystals from forming on the bars. Then cover the pan with a lid or place the pan inside a large 2-gallon Ziploc bag. Remove the cover, thaw, and bring to room temperature before frosting.
These short-cut sugar cookie bars are such a yummy treat to customize for any occasion.
Make it a Yummy day!