Sugar Cookie Bars

OMG yum!  These are amazing and so easy!  I definitely recommend them for a large party or family function because they make a ton.  They stay soft for days and can be made a day or two in advance.

SUGAR COOKIE BARS

Source:  Grin and Bake It who got it from RecipeGirl.com

COOKIES:
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract (or 1 tsp vanilla and 1 tsp almond or other flavoring)
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda

FROSTING:
1/2 cup butter; at room temperature
1/2 cup shortening
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
4 cups powdered sugar (sift after measuring)
~5 Tbsp. milk
food coloring, if desired

1. Prepare bars: In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing after each egg. Mix in vanilla.
2. In a separate bowl whisk together flour, salt & baking soda. Add to wet mixture and mix just until combined. Spread on a greased, rimmed baking sheet (use a jelly roll pan).  The dough will be just like cookie dough- heavy & sticky- so it’s best to spray your hands or spatula with a little nonstick spray and use them to help mold the dough into the pan.  Reapply the nonstick spray as needed.
3. Bake at 375 degrees for about 15 min, until light golden brown or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.
4. Prepare frosting: In a large bowl, beat butter and shortening together until smooth and creamy. Mix in vanilla and salt. Add powdered sugar (1 cup at a time) until combined, then add milk & mix until smooth and spreading consistency. Add a few drops of color, if desired. Spread over cooled cookie, then cut into bars.

Yield: 32 bars

Tips:
*Refrigerate the bars until firm… it will be easier to get nice, clean cuts.

Rhubarb Crisp

My sister grows rhubarb and she graciously gave me some to bake with about a week ago.  After deliberating with Tim, I decided on this simple rhubarb crisp.

Also, sorry about not adding pictures at the moment, my computer is still on the fritz.

Rhubarb Crisp

Source:  grocery store flyer

Ingredients:

1.5 cups flour, plus 2 Tablespoons

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 cup granulated sugar

2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup old-fashioned oats

1 cup ( 2 sticks ) butter, cold and cut into small pieces

2.5 pounds fresh rhubarb, coarse ends removed and cut into 1/2″ pieces (about 8 cups) – I used appprox 6 cups rhubarb and 2 cups chopped fresh strawberries.

ice cream for serving

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, whisk together 1.5 cups flour, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 granulated sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, and 1/4 tsp salt until well mixed.  Add oats and stir to combine.  With fingertips or pastry blender, cut in butter until pea sized crumbs form (will be dry).

In a large bowl, stir rhubarb (and strawberries) with remaining 2 Tbsp flour, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, and 1/4 tsp salt until well combined.  Spread rhubarb mixture evenly into lightly sprayed 13″ x 9″ glass or ceramic baking dish.  Sprinkle oat mixture evenly over rhubarb mixture.

Bake 45 to 55 minutes or until top is golden brown; let stand 10 minutes before serving.  Serve warm with ice cream.

Enjoy!

Orzo with Red Peppers and Corn

This was a side dish that I served alongside salmon a few weeks ago.  It was a very last minute choice, very good and easy though!

Orzo with Red Peppers and Corn

3/4 cup uncooked orzo

1 Tbsp olive oil or butter

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

1 clove of garlic, minced

1.5 cups frozen corn, thawed

1 or 2 tsp Italian seasoning – to taste

Cook orzo in lightly salted boiling water as directed, then drain.  Meanwhile heat oil in a large skillet, add the onion, red pepper, and garlic.  Cook until tender.  Add the corn and seasoning.  Add the cooked orzo and stir it all together.  Serve and enjoy!