Cookie Sheet Sugar Cookie Bars

We’ve got a certified, grade-A sweet tooth, which probably comes as no surprise, but it means that we’re constantly on the hunt for new, delicious dessert recipes, especially ones that don’t require too much time or effort, but that have a big impact when we look at and bite into them. Which is why these cookie sheet sugar cookie bars are so good! Forget about rolling out cookie dough and taking your cookie cutters to stamp out perfectly even cookies (and then repeating the process three more times until you’ve gone through all your dough…).

We’ve got a completely different method that still serves a crowd, but that only takes a fraction of the time and effort. In fact, skip the rolling pin and cookie cutters entirely, you don’t need them, since you’re just spreading your dough into an even layer on a baking sheet, then slicing them up into bars once they’ve baked to perfection. This is a little wetter than a typical sugar cookie dough, but you’ll press it into your cookie sheet and then let it bake for 12-18 minutes – cooking time depends on your oven – or until the edges are just golden and the center still looks slightly underdone; don’t worry, it sets more as it cools.

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract, optional
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons heavy cream
red or yellow food coloring
sprinkles or nonpareils, optional

Preheat oven to 350º F and lightly grease a 13×17-inch baking sheet with butter or non-stick spray.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt and baking soda until combined.
Cream together butter and sugar for 3-4 minutes in a large bowl or mixer.
Beat in eggs one at a time, then beat in vanilla and almond extracts. Gradually mix in dry ingredients until just incorporated.
Drop large scoopfuls of cookie dough onto prepared baking sheet, then use your hands or a flat-bottomed measuring cup to flatten dough into an even layer.
Place in oven and bake for 12-17 minutes, or until edges are golden brown and center is puffed up, yet still looks slightly undercooked.
Remove from oven and let cool completely.
In a large bowl or mixer, beat butter and cream cheese together for 3-4 minutes, or until smooth and fluffy.
Mix in vanilla extract, then gradually beat in powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons heavy cream. If looser frosting is desired, beat in remaining 1 tablespoon.
Add food coloring until desired color is reached, then spread over cooled cookie.
Chill before serving, then slice, serve and enjoy!