Fun, fast and easy, these Ugly Sweater Sugar Cookie Bar Cutouts are soft, thick and chewy and require no rolling or chilling. A perfect holiday baking activity for kiddos.
The other afternoon my 4-year-old asked if we could make our Elf, Charlie, some cookies as a special treat. Octavian had been especially cheeky that day and was looking to do a little ass kissing since, “oh, sorry”, for the millionth time in one day no longer counts. After remembering that we will make Santa cookies on Christmas Eve, he decided we should make some for Charlie, too.
Great idea, I thought! Tis the season, after all. And then I remembered the rolling, and chilling and rolling and chilling (because even if a recipe says you don’t need to chill, I still chill). I wasn’t feelin’ it.
But, I didn’t want to squash my child’s sweet and creative apology.
I needed something easy.
So I got to thinking…how can I get my kid some sugar cookies to decorate without the headache? Well, I can make sugar cookie bars (easy) and use cookie cutters to make shapes (easy). After all, my child is four. He’ll decorate two cookies, get bored and walk away. It’s not like I need a million cookies.
My plan turned out perfectly!
My child was happy. Charlie was happy (can’t you tell…), and I was happy.
Ugly Sweater Sugar Cookie Bar Cutouts
Prep Time: 20 minutes | Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
>for the frosting
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter. softened
3 tablespoons cream cheese, at room temperature
2-3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract or almond extract or vanilla extract
1-2 candy canes, crushed
Red and green sprinkles
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line a 9×13 inch baking sheet or jelly roll pan with foil. Lightly grease the foil and set aside.
In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of a large standing mixer, cream the butter until light and fluffy- approximately 1-2 minutes. Add the granulated sugar and powdered sugar and continue to mix until fully combined. With the mixer on low, add the egg, sour cream, and vanilla. Mix well.
Gradually begin adding flour mixture to the wet ingredients and continue to mix until the dough comes together. Avoid overmixing.
Transfer dough to the prepared pan and gently press and spread dough into the bottom of the pan. Transfer pan to the preheated oven and bake for approximately 18 minutes. Remove cookie bars from the oven and allow to cool for 4-5 minutes. While the cookie bars are still warm (but not hot) use the Ugly Sweater Cookie Cutter to cut out cookies (use a smaller cookie cutter to cut out cookies from remaining cookie bar). Transfer cutouts to a wire rack to cool completely.
As the cookie bars cool completely, prepare the frosting. In a medium bowl mix together the butter for 2-3 minutes until very fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the cream cheese and continue to mix until fully combined. Mix in the peppermint (or almond) extract. Gradually start mixing in the powdered sugar, approximately 1/2 cup to 1 cup at a time, and mix until fully combined.
Spread a generous helping of frosting over cooled cookie bars and sprinkle with crushed candy canes and colored sprinkles.