Thursday, April 19, 2012

Strawberry Sugar Cookie Bars


Confession:  this is a trial and error recipe.

The thought is there.

The family liked it.

I would change a thing or two.

The family doesn't care what I change -- as long as I make it again!

We debated what to call this.

It's kind of like a sugar cookie.

But it's thick like a cake.

It's dense like a shortcake.

It's moist like a  .  . .

Ummm.  I don't know what it's moist like.

It's just moist.

I would add more frosting.

The family says there's enough.

What I think I like about this recipe is the flexibility!  If you want a buttercream frosting -- do it!  If you don't have time for homemade frosting, use a canned frosting.  I think a cream cheese frosting topped with some chopped fruit would be tasty too. 

This dessert is like an artist canvas, just waiting to be colored!  (Gag!)

Point is -- there's no wrong here! 

Strawberry Sugar Cookie Bars

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1/8-1/4 tsp. Fiori di Sicilia flavoring (or 1 TBSP vanilla)*
5 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Frosting:

1/2 cup of butter
3-4 TBSP strawberry jam
3-4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
6-8 strawberries, diced; optional
milk, as needed (1-2 tsp. at a time)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

Reduce the mixer speed to medium and add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

*  Add the flavoring of your choice.  I used the Fiori di Sicilia because I like citrus and strawberry together; but vanilla is just as good.  Use what you've got!

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda, mixing well.

Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Mix until thoroughly combined.

Bake for 20-25 minutes.   DO NOT OVERBAKE!!!  When you touch the center of the cookie-ish, there should be some give to it.  It's better to underbake than overbake.  Remember, it will continue cooking once you remove it from the oven.  (They should be light golden brown).

Let the bars cool completely.

To make the frosting, cream the butter and the strawberry jam together.  Slowly add the powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, until you reach the desired consistency.  If your mixture becomes too thick, add 1-2 tsp. of milk, alternating with the powdered sugar.  Create your frosting to your desired thickness.

Gently stir in the fresh chopped strawberries.

Frost cooled cookie bars. 

Store in the refrigerator.

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