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Christmas Sugar Cookie Bars

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Prep Time: 15 mins    Cook Time: 14 mins

5 from 2 votes

Not only are Christmas sugar cookie bars quick and easy to make, but you get to be creative with them too, decorating them in red and green. The whole family is going to love these sweet bars.

Christmas sugar cookie bars topped with red and green M&Ms.
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The soft sugar cookie dough base is topped with sweet vanilla buttercream along with mini M&Ms in the colors of Christmas! Nothing says Christmas more than homemade baked treats and these are something special indeed.

Can you think of a cuter, more festive treat? These lightly golden treats are perfect for last-minute guests dropping in to wish you happy holidays and they go perfectly with any kind of coffee. Or why not eggnog; it's the season to be jolly, after all!

Speaking of eggnog, this eggnog bread pudding recipe is a hit every holiday season. And you can't forget about the classic snowball cookies either! I also love baking these cranberry apple muffins during the holidays as well.

Main Ingredients

The ingredients used to make Christmas sugar cookie bars spread out on a table.

If you’ve made sugar cookies before you’ll be familiar with the main ingredients. Even if not, you will find this wonderful holiday recipe a breeze to make. Let’s take a look at some of the key components in them:

  • Salted butter: For texture and flavor. Along with eggs, the butter adds moisture to the cookie bar batter. If you only have unsalted butter then add a pinch of salt too because it brings out the sweet flavors in there.
  • Vanilla and almond extracts: To add a wonderful aroma and flavor. Use good quality vanilla and almond extracts for the best-tasting Christmas bars. If you like, you can try hazelnut extract instead of the almond for a slightly different result.
  • Sugar: For sweetness. Regular granulated white sugar is perfect for this recipe. Golden brown sugar would probably work too, but I haven’t tried making these using that. If you do, let me know how they come out!
  • Flour: To get a perfect texture. All-purpose flour works fine and is ideal to use in this Christmas sugar cookie bars recipe. Don’t scoop the flour into cups. Pour or spoon it in there then tap the cup on the countertop so you get the perfect measurement.
  • Whipping cream: For the frosting. Use heavy whipping cream and an electric mixer to ensure the frosting comes out light and airy.

Instructions Overview

First of all, you need to make the sugar cookie dough and then the frosting. To make the dough, cream the butter with the sugar and then the eggs. Add the vanilla and almond extracts, baking powder, cornstarch, and flour and combine until just mixed.

Spoon the batter into a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake until slightly golden then let the bars cool.

Meanwhile, you can work on the frosting. Cream the butter with the vanilla then add confectioners’ sugar and heavy whipping cream, and keep beating until the frosting is light and fluffy.

Spread the frosting over the Christmas sugar cookie bars then decorate with festive red and green mini M&Ms.

Festive Tip: I strongly advise making these bars while you have Christmas music playing in the background for a more authentic holiday baking experience!

An overhead shot of Christmas cookie bars being cut into squares.

Common Questions

Do you need to chill sugar cookie dough?

It’s important to chill the dough when making cut-out sugar cookies so they don’t spread out during baking. However, since you’re making bars here, this step isn’t necessary.

Why do my sugar cookies taste like flour?

The most common culprit here is incorrectly measuring the flour and using too much. You need 2¼ cups for this recipe, so knock the measuring cup on the countertop to get any air out and use a knife to level off the top. Sift the flour too, so you don’t have lumps of it in the dough. Another potential cause of a floury taste is not giving the cookie bars enough time in the oven. If they aren’t golden, they aren’t yet done.

Why is my buttercream not fluffy?

Pop it in the refrigerator and it should firm up and become fluffy. The buttercream can come out a bit flat if you’re making it in a very warm kitchen or you mix it a little too long. 15 minutes in the refrigerator and then a quick mix can usually remedy this.

What can I substitute for M&Ms?

Mini M&Ms are good for decorating these, but you could also try red and green sprinkles or even chopped nuts or crushed candy canes.

A close up showing the inside view of a cookie bar.

Chopnotch Tips

  • The combination of vanilla and almond gives a bakery-type flavor to these bars, but sometimes I like to swap the almond extract for orange zest which also gives them a festive flavor.
  • Make sure they are completely cool before you frost them or else the frosting will melt into the bars and look messy.
  • Keep these refrigerated and eat them within 3 days. You can also freeze them on a baking sheet, not letting them touch, and when frozen add them to a large Ziploc freezer bag. They will be fine in the freezer for up to a month and you can thaw them individually if you'd like.
Christmas cookie bars stacked on top of each other.

Christmas sugar cookie bars are easy to make and just scream Christmas! Sugar cookie dough is baked to golden perfection and then topped with rich, sweet vanilla buttercream and mini candies to add that beautiful holiday touch.

Let us know what you think! Give this recipe a rating in the comments section below.

Recipe

How to Make

These bars go all out to impress, topping classic sugar cookies with vanilla buttercream and mini candies in festive green and red.
SCALE THIS RECIPE
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 14 mins
Total Time: 29 mins
Servings: 24 cookie bars

Ingredients

For the cookies:

  • 1 cup salted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • cups all-purpose flour

For the frosting:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 ¼ cups confectioners' sugar
  • mini M&M’s for decoration
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Instructions

To make the cookies:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9x13-inch baking pan with parchment paper. Let some extra parchment paper hang over the two ends of the pan for easy removal later. Lightly spray the parchment paper with nonstick cooking spray and then set it aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and granulated sugar until fluffy. One at a time, beat in the eggs while mixing well after each one is added. Scrape the bottoms and sides of the bowl often.
  • Add the vanilla, almond, baking powder, cornstarch, and flour to the butter mixture and mix slowly until just incorporated. Be careful not to overmix.
  • Transfer the batter into the prepared baking pan as an even layer and bake for 14 minutes. Remove from oven when very light golden, and then let cool completely.

To make the frosting:

  • In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and vanilla until whipped. Then add the confectioners' sugar and heavy whipping cream, alternating between the two, mixing well after each addition, until the frosting is fluffy.
  • Spread the frosting on the cooled cookies and then top with mini M&M’s. Serve and enjoy!
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Notes

  • The combination of vanilla and almond gives a bakery-type flavor to these bars, but sometimes I like to swap the almond extract for orange zest which also gives them a festive flavor.
  • Make sure they are completely cool before you frost them or else the frosting will melt into the bars and look messy.
  • Keep these refrigerated and eat them within 3 days. You can also freeze them on a baking sheet, not letting them touch, and when frozen add them to a large Ziploc freezer bag. They will be fine in the freezer for up to a month and you can thaw them individually if you'd like.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 195kcal (10%), Carbohydrates: 30g (10%), Protein: 2g (4%), Fat: 13g (20%), Saturated Fat: 8g (50%), Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 49mg (16%), Sodium: 75mg (3%), Potassium: 42mg (1%), Fiber: 1g (4%), Sugar: 8g (9%), Vitamin A: 413IU (8%), Vitamin C: 1mg (1%), Calcium: 17mg (2%), Iron: 1mg (6%)
Print Recipe
course:
Dessert
cuisine:
American

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