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Christmas sugar cookie bars topped with red and green M&Ms.

Christmas Sugar Cookie Bars

These bars go all out to impress, topping classic sugar cookies with vanilla buttercream and mini candies in festive green and red.
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

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!

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

Calories: 195kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 49mg | Sodium: 75mg | Potassium: 42mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 413IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 1mg