Christmas Sugar Cookie Bars are quick and easy! I love, love love that they can be made in just over 30 minutes without sacrificing that thick, soft sugar cookie taste I already love!
I brought these cookies to a few holiday parties and everyone went absolutely crazy for them everywhere I took them!
My kids used to love making sugar cookies and decorating them for each of the holidays. I’m not sure how our lives got so busy and out of control, but we really don’t seem to take time for that tradition like we used to. We loved making the cookies together as a family, and we loved eating sugar cookies!
Now that we’re always in hurry-up mode, we make these sugar cookie bars in a sheet pan instead! It’s heavenly! I actually like the way they taste better than the sugar cookies that have to be rolled out, cut out, frosted, and decorated! That’s a win-win! Faster and tastier! I’m in! If you’re all about Christmas Cookie Bars be sure to check out my Chocolate Streusel Bar Cookies, Coconut Lime Sugar Cookies, Cake Mix Bar Cookies, and Mint Magic Bars!
Why This Recipe Works:
- Tips and tricks! I’ve made these cookies a million times and will walk you through all the little tips that makes this bar cookie recipe even easier to make!
- Customizable! Obviously, these are Christmas bars, but it’s easy to switch them up for the holidays by coloring the icing and using holiday sprinkles.
- Best made the day before! I’m madly in love with make ahead recipes because life is busy! The more I can do ahead of time the better, and I think these cookies are actually a bit better then second day!
Sugar Cookie Bar Ingredients:
The ingredients are simple, pantry/refrigerator-type ingredients! You don’t need anything fancy for this recipe! Here are a few suggestions.
- Butter: I always use real butter because I’m a dairy farmer and because it adds the best flavor. Salted or unsalted either are fine in this recipe.
- Kosher Salt: I love the burst of flavor Kosher salt adds. You can use table salt instead if that’s what you have on hand. Reduce the amount of salt used by a little bit.
- Almond and Vanilla Extract: Use real extract if you can find them. They add so much more flavor than immitation flavorings.
How to Make This Sugar Cookie Bars Recipe:
You might not ever want to mess with rolling out and cutting out sugar cookies again! Seriously, this method is the best!
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a half sheet baking pan with parchment paper, or spray with nonstick baking spray. Whisk flour, salt, and baking powder in a separate bowl. Set aside.
Step 2: In a stand mixer cream butter and granulated sugar on medium-high speed for 3-4 minutes.
Step 3: Add eggs, vanilla, and almond extract. Beat on medium-high speed for 1-2 more minutes.
Step 4: Add dry ingredients (flour, salt, and baking powder) to the creamed mixture. Mix on low speed until combined. The dough will be soft and a little bit sticky.
Step 5: Press cookie dough into the prepared baking sheet. See note below for tips.
Step 6: Bake for 16-20 minutes. Be careful not to overbake! I prefer them a little underbaked versus overbaked. They will continue to bake in the pan a little bit. I baked mine for 18 minutes. Let cool.
Step 7: While bar sugar cookies are cooling make the frosting. Beat butter for a few minutes until light and fluffy.
Step 8: Add powdered sugar, a dash of Kosher salt, vanilla, and almond extract. Add a tablespoon of heavy cream. Mix frosting on medium speed until combined, adding additional heavy cream as needed to reach desired consistency.
Step 9: Taste test and add more salt if needed.
Step 10: Frost sugar cookie bars using an offset spatula, the back of a spoon, or a knife. Let set. Cut into sugar cookie squares.
- Lining the baking sheet with parchment paper makes it easy to cut the bar cookies.
- Use room temperature butter. It shouldn’t be too soft or firm. When you press it with your finger it should slightly indent.
- The cookie dough is a little bit sticky and hard to press into the baking pan. It’s much easier if you use a rolling pin. Lightly flour the rolling pin and use it to spread the cookie dough inside the baking pan.
- I don’t sift the powdered sugar when making the frosting. But, if you’re powdered sugar has lumps it’s a good idea to sift it first.
- Using a whip attachment instead of a beater will make the frosting fluffier.
Yes! Although the dimensions are not exactly half, so you may need to add a little bit of baking time.
No, although you can if you’d like them that way! These cookies can be stored at room temperature for up to four days. Make sure they are in an airtight container.
Easy Christmas Dessert Recipes:
Always short on time? Me too! Bar Christmas cookies are perfect for that, but these other desserts are quick and easy too!
Here are a few other super easy recipes we love all year long, especially at Christmas time!
- Gingersnap Cookies
- Lemon Fudge
- 20 Minute Christmas Crack
- Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Peppemint Poke Cake
- Microwave Caramels
Christmas Sugar Cookie Bars
Ingredients for the Cookies:
- 1 1/2 cups butter room temperature
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 whole eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 5 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Ingredients for the Frosting:
- 1 cup butter room temperature
- 5 cups powdered sugar
- 1 dash kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 3-4 Tablespoons heavy cream
- food coloring optional
- sprinkles optional
Instructions For Making the Cookies:
- Preheat oven to 350°. Line a half sheet baking sheet with parchment paper, or spray with nonstick baking spray. Set aside.
- Add flour, kosher salt, and baking powder to a bowl. Whisk. Set aside.
- Cream butter and granulated sugar on medium spped for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy.
- Add eggs, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Cream again for 1-2 minutes.
- Add flour, salt, and baking powder to the creamed ingredients. Gently mix only until combined. The dough will be soft.
- Add the cookie dough to the prepared baking sheet. Lightly flour a rolling pin and use it to roll the cookie dough into the baking pan until it's smooth.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes. You don't want to overbake these cookies. I baked mine for 18 minutes and it was perfect. Cool cookies completely before frosting.
Instructions for Making the Frosting:
- While the cookies are baking or cooling make the frosting.
- Using an electric mixer with a whip attachment, or a beater, cream butter for 2-3 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Add powdered sugar, a dash of kosher salt (start with a small amount, it's easy to add more later), almond extract, vanilla extract, and about 2 tablespoons of heavy cream. Mix slowly until the powdered sugar is incorporated. Gradually add more cream as necessary until you reach the desired consistency. Taste test and add more salt if needed.