Hey Chickadees! Happy New Year!
It's been a while since Beck and I last blogged--since November, in fact. How did that happen?! It's not like we didn't bake during the month of December. On the contrary, I lost track of how many batches of Toffee Almond Crunch and Christmas Gingerbread I made, and only the elves know how many Spritz Cookies were spritzed because we ourselves stopped counting at about 249 million.
Yes. 249 million.
But it's the new year now, and I'm looking forward to blogging. I can't promise we'll be blogging every Sunday--there are simply too many other things on our plates right now (mainly the planning of a certain very special occasion for Becky and the Music Man!) But when I do have the time, I enjoy baking and photographing and blogging; it's one of the small joys in my life.
Which, btw, is one of my new year's resolutions--to find more joy in the little things.
Things like sunsets, and discovering a new restaurant. Things like Pinterest, and crackle nail polish, and sprinkles.
Here's a story about sprinkles: Once, when I was about 13, I put sprinkles on some ice cream and when I bit down, there was a sprinkle positioned just right to make the sealant on one of my teeth pop off. I had to go back to the dentist and sit there with the UV light in my mouth all over again.
Good story, huh?
Yet another small joy: baking several dozen sugar cookies without dirtying a rolling pin or cookie cutters.
These Sugar Cookie Bars bake up in less than 30 minutes and are frosted and ready to be cut in less than an hour. And as an added bonus, one batch yields close to 249 million.
Which, btw, is the number of small joys I hope to experience this year. What little joys are you looking forward to in 2012?
Sugar Cookie Bars
Adapted from A Little Bit Crunchy A Little Bit Rock and Roll
Makes approximately 70 bars
5 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a half sheet (13x18 inch) pan and line with parchment paper.
2. In a medium bowl, sift flour, salt, and baking soda together and set aside.
3. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla.
4. Add dry ingredients and mix until combined.
5. Press dough into prepared pan. An offset spatula might be helpful here. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until edges just begin to brown and the middle no longer looks wet. Set on a wire wrack to cool completely. Frost with frosting below.
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup shortening
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt
4 cups powdered sugar
5 tablespoons of milk
food coloring (optional)
1. In a mixing bowl, beat shortening and butter until creamy. Add vanilla and powdered sugar. Gradually add tablespoons of milk until you reach your desired consistency (I used about 4 tablespoons).
2. Frost cookie base using an offset spatula or knife. Place bars in refrigerator for about 15 minutes so frosting can set. Cut into bars. (These cut great with a pizza cutter.)
Stored in an airtight container, bars will stay fresh (and even get better!) 3 to 4 days.