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.

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