Sugar cookie bars, small batch recipe made in a 8×8 square pan.
What would you do if you were in a grocery store and overheard a woman asking where the cream cheese is, and as she picked up a tub of whipped cream cheese, she then explained that she was planning on making a cheesecake? Would you chime in to say that whipped cream cheese isn’t the best for making a cheesecake? Would you stand beside her and grab a regular cream cheese block, and hope that she notices it? Would you circle the store while you tried to decide what to do? Am I the only weird one who would be plagued by this?
I understand why she got confused–it’s more common to see a tub of whipped cream cheese. It’s in the fridge at work, and it’s what you see at the bagel shop.
I’ve wondered how her cheesecake turned out more than a few times over the past few days, and decided the only way I could apologize to her was to make her a dessert that used whipped cream cheese, like these sugar cookie bars with whipped cream cheese frosting. I mean, there’s a super small chance she reads this site, right? I just hope she wasn’t so discouraged by her cheesecake flop that she gave up baking altogether. I want her to know there’s hope left for her baking skills.
(In the meantime, I hope she checks out my cheesecake recipes).
I even made her a little how-to video for these sugar cookie bars so that she has guaranteed success with this recipe! Okay, now I’m just sounding obsessive.
We should talk more about you. Are you mad I’m sharing Valentine’s Day recipes right now? Are you sipping a green smoothie and craving a super thick sugar cookie piled high with cream cheese frosting now? Sorry. It’s just that I have so many dessert for two recipes to share with you, that I have to start sharing them now so we don’t run out of time. Valentine’s Day is just 6 weeks away!
Valentine’s Day also happens to be the official release date of my next cookbook: Sweet and Simple: Desserts for Two! We have a lot of things planned in the next few weeks, so get ready!
When I wrote my first book, Dessert for Two, I had to include a note about not using a stand mixer to make my recipes, because stand-mixers are much too large…the beaters would spin without touching the small amount of batter at the bottom of the bowl. However, that was before KitchenAid came out with their new Artisan® Mini Stand Mixer! The bowl is just 3.5 quarts, and it’s perfect for making small batches of dessert. It’s basically my dream come true, and I feel like they made it just for me!
Well, me and the woman at the store who tries to make cheesecake with whipped cream cheese.
Yields 9 bars
Best ever sugar cookie bars with whipped cream cheese frosting. For that lady at the supermarket.
20 minPrep Time
20 minCook Time
40 minTotal Time
- 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
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 3 ounces whipped cream cheese (about 1/2 cup)
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- candy hearts or sprinkles, 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.