Christmas sugar cookie bars for Santa. A small batch of sugar cookie bars made in an 8×8 pan and topped with cream cheese frosting and festive M&Ms.
These Christmas sugar cookie bars are nothing new; they’re the same as my Valentine’s Day Sugar Cookie Bars, but with a Christmas twist. The video for this recipe shows the Valentine’s Day candy hearts–just sub in the Christmas M&Ms and everything else is the same!
I decided to bring them back to the front and update them, because my Mom has been talking non-stop about how good they are since she made them in February. She said they’re the best sugar cookie bar recipe ever, and when your Mom gives one of your recipes a title like that, you take note.
I had a Christmas sweater decor idea in mind when decorating these Christmas sugar cookie bars, and used a variety of M&Ms. This year, the purple bag of dark chocolate M&Ms are all green and red, so that’s what I used. Plus, the white chocolate peppermint M&Ms are over-sized white and red.
They might do this every year, but this is my first year buying the seasonal M&Ms because we used them for potty training Camille, hah! (All I wanted for Christmas this year is less laundry! I’ve been washing cloth diapers every 3 days for 2 1/2 years–wish granted! Thanks, Santa!)
Making Christmas sugar cookie bars with kids:
This also feels like the appropriate time to brag that my toddler calls M&Ms ‘yem-a-nems.’ It’s the best thing ever.
I told Camille we were practicing making cookies for Santa when we made these Christmas sugar cookie bars last week, but she did not like that idea. The problem is, she’s never been a big fan of Saint Nick. I have 3 years of screaming on Santa’s lap photos to prove it.
She only agreed to continue making these cookies when I told her they were for Santa’s reindeer. Always an animal lover, that kid of mine. So, make these for Santa or his reindeer, it’s up to you.
I also want to point out that baking sugar cookie bars in an 8×8″ pan is loads easier than making individual cookies if you’re in a bit of a time crunch on Christmas Eve when baking for Santa. Plus, small-batch cookies are always the best way to go when baking with kids.
And Camille wants to me to say that decorating with candy is the best way to go when baking with kids because she can snack on the decorations. ;)
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
For the frosting:
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 3 ounces whipped cream cheese (about 1/2 cup)
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- seasonal M&Ms, for decorating
- Preheat the oven to 350, and line a 8x8" pan one-way with parchment paper.
- In the bowl of a mini stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, make the cookies: add the softened butter and beat on medium-high speed for about 30 seconds, to fluff it up. Slowly pour in the granulated sugar while continuing to beat.
- Next, add the egg and vanilla extract, and beat to combine.
- Turn off the stand mixer, and sprinkle the flour, baking powder and salt evenly on top.
- Turn the mixer back on LOW and beat to incorporate the dry ingredients.
- Scoop the batter into the baking pan, and press it flat with your fingers.
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out mostly clean with only a few crumbs. Let cool completely.
- In a clean mini stand mixer bowl, make the frosting: beat together the softened butter and cream cheese for 1 minute, until fluffy. Add the vanilla and beat to combine.
- Turn the mixer to low and add the powdered sugar one-half cup at a time while continuing to mix.
- Add a splash of milk if you think it needs to be thinner.
- Spread the frosting over the cooled cookie, decorate with candy, and then slice to serve.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 4161 Total Fat: 175g Carbohydrates: 628g Protein: 35g