Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Half-Baked: Sugar Cookie Bars

This link came up recently on Pinterest and I can't believe I never though of it--we've all had that happen with the myriad ideas that circulate there, right?  I LOVE sugar cookies but I HATE making them.  I think the cakey ones you can buy at the supermarket are gross so won't touch them either (much to my family's frustration.)  Now, I love making a quick batch of chocolate chip cookies as bars, so I have absolutely no excuse for never putting two and two together and coming up with something like this myself.

Soo, with Nicholas's birthday coming up this week, and knowing I have a bit of baking to do, I decided to compare this recipe with my own favorite sugar cookie recipe.  I clipped this recipe years ago from a Taste of Home magazine and have used it ever since.

Smooth Sailing Sugar Cookies Recipe

I've never used the icing recipe, however.  I prefer Betty Crocker whipped icings.  BUT, I can't use that now since Samantha is on her restricted diet.  Truth be told, she probably shouldn't eat any of the cookies, either, but that's another reality.  So I'm using the standard buttercream icing recipe from Wilton.  My mom made this growing up and I used it when I took my cake decorating classes.  It's simple, its yummy and I can make it any color I want :)  http://www.wilton.com/recipe/Buttercream-Icing

There was an obvious difference in the doughs.  The Lofthouse recipe was softer and gooier.  When I put it in the pan, there was also a little more.  When I do this again, I will double the Taste of home recipe and see if that works better.
The Lofthouse recipe said to spray the pan.  I did even though I had a non-stick jelly roll pan.  I didn't need to.  It would have spread better without it.  I didn't spray the pan for the second recipe, and it spread just fine.  Neither one stuck to the pan in the least when I cut them and removed them from the pan.
As you can see, the bars turned out pretty different.  The Lofthouse recipe is thicker and cakier.  The Taste of home was thinner and more cumbly.  My girls liked the Lofthouse recipe best, my guys didn't care either way.  I prefer the taste of the Taste of Home cookie recipe and the Lofthouse icing recipe--sooo, I will double the first and use the second on the next go around.

As with all good things, more experimentation is required :)  Here's to finding a version your family comes back to again and again.

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