I love sugar cookies, but rolling out, cutting dough, and decorating individual cookies can be time consuming and messy. Behold–sugar cookie bars! Since they’re baked in a 9×13 baking dish, all you have to do is press the dough down, bake, and frost. Easy peasy, plus there are no special ingredients so no extra trip the grocery store needed!
These cookies are buttery, soft, and chewy, just how sugar cookies should be. If you’re looking for a quick and delicious sugar cookie, give this recipe a try.
3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened to cool room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 tablespoon lemon zest (optional)
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, softened
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons milk or cream
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter, granulated sugar and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix for 1-2 minutes. Stir in the lemon zest, flour, baking powder and salt. Mix until combined.
Lightly grease a 9X13-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Press and/or spread the sugar cookie mixture gently into an even layer into the bottom of the pan.
Bake for 10-13 minutes. The bars shouldn’t have any color around the edges and barely be set in the middle. Let the bars cool completely before frosting.
For the frosting, cream together the butter and powdered sugar until smooth (if the mixture has trouble coming together, add a drop or two of milk). Add in the vanilla and mix. Add the milk or cream and mix until the frosting is light and fluffy. Add food coloring, if desired.
Recipe from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe.
And for even more recipes, check out Brown Eyed Baker.
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Rosh Hashanah at my parents’ house means at least 15 people (we used to have around 50!) over for dinner. And each year, I try to make something new, but usually end up with my old favorites. Since we had such a small group this year, and I didn’t have to make a gazillion different things, I decided to go with a new recipe for apple cake.
On Rosh Hashanah, you wish your friends and family a happy and sweet new year, and apples (dipped in honey) are a traditional food, as is apple cake. This recipe by Deb’s mom is definitely sweet and made everyone happy. In fact, a couple of guests told me this is one of their favorite things I have ever baked. It’s super moist, and that was even after making it ahead and freezing. And an added bonus: It’s made with oil so it’s so dairy free.
6 apples (I used Fuji)
1 tablespoon cinnamon
5 tablespoons sugar
2 3/4 cups flour, sifted
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a tube pan. Peel, core and chop apples into chunks. Toss with cinnamon and sugar and set aside.
Stir together flour, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together oil, orange juice, sugar and vanilla. Mix wet ingredients into the dry ones, then add eggs, one at a time. Scrape down the bowl to ensure all ingredients are incorporated. (My batter was really thick at this point. Don’t panic.)
Pour half of batter into prepared pan. Spread half of apples over it. Pour the remaining batter over the apples and arrange the remaining apples on top. Bake for about 1 1/2 hours, or until a tester comes out clean.
Recipe from Smitten Kitchen.Print This Recipe
When I’m down in San Diego visiting my parents, I always jump at the chance to bake in their amazing kitchen, and my parents are usually willing guinea pigs. Since it’s stone fruit season, I figured a peach cobbler was the way to go.
I have to admit, I’ve never been much of a cooked fruit fan, unless we’re talking apples. But this recipe received five stars from my family, and my dad kept asking, “Have you photographed it yet?” because the house smelled so good!*
My mom got caught in the act.
While this cobbler didn’t sway me on cooked peaches, my mom declared it “perfect” and the next day, my dad immediately pulled it out of the fridge to let it come to room temperate as soon as he got home from work. And for you non-cooked fruit eaters like me, the crust topping is the best ever, I think maybe because it’s made with both white and brown sugar. Yeah, I may have picked at the top while everyone else enjoyed the peaches, don’t judge.
Finally, here’s an amazing tip that I’m probably the last to know: To easily peel peaches, place one peach at a time in a pot of boiling water, let cool for about a minute, then peel the skin off using your fingers. It’s like magic, and perfect for people like me whose knife skills leave a lot to be desired.
Note: the peaches I used were nowhere near ripe, but they worked beautifully in this cobbler.
*You know you’re a food blogger when people ask you that before daring to taste anything, right?
8 small (or 6 large) fresh peaches – peeled, pitted and sliced into thin wedges
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1/4 cup cold water
Cinnamon Sugar Mixture Ingredients
3 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
In a large bowl, combine peaches, 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice, and cornstarch. Toss to coat evenly, and pour into a 2 quart baking dish. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine flour, 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Blend in butter with your fingertips, or a pastry blender, until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add a few teaspoons of water at a time, until the mixture is just combined.
Remove peaches from oven, and drop spoonfuls of topping over them. Sprinkle entire cobbler with the sugar and cinnamon mixture. Bake until topping is golden, about 25-30 minutes.
Recipe adapted from All Recipes.
Last weekend, my sister and I got an early start and headed to the OC Fair. It was a gorgeous day and we were ready to explore! We knew we had a lot of eating ahead of us so we paced ourselves well.
After a leisurely stroll to check out all of the food options, we decided to start with the Krispy Kreme fried chicken sandwich. We were both pleasantly surprised by the savory/sweet combination and found the chicken to be extremely moist.
Krispy Kreme Fried Chicken Sandwich
Next up were the fried artichoke hearts which I had been looking forward to since I heard about them weeks prior from a friend who ate at them at the Del Mar Fair. While they weren’t my favorite (a little too much breading for my taste), they were still delicious. If you get them, make sure to get some ranch for dipping.
Not yet totally stuffed, we decided we had to try the fried cookie dough as we were told it was one of the most popular items at the fair. It sure lived up to the hype! Gooey, chocolately, and covered in a fried batter, this was pretty damn amazing and my sister’s favorite thing we ate.
Fried Cookie Dough
Knowing there is a fine line between content and stuffed, we called it quits after the cookie dough, which turned out to be the right decision.
And in case you’re counting calories (who are we kidding? at the fair?), there are non-edible food related things to check out. There’s a Culinary & Crafts exhibit in the OC Promenade with tons to do, including chocolate demos. We watched a toffee demo in front of the wall of chocolate, and I learned the reason my toffee sometimes separates is because I used unsalted butter; always use salted! Side note: The Silpat used during the demo had a lip on it so it covered the lip of the baking sheet. Brilliant! Has anyone ever seen that? I want one!
Wall of Chocolate
Wall of Bundts
Of course, there are plenty of other things to check out like the livestock, rides, and a ton of exhibits. For more information, visit:
The Orange County Fair is open Wednesday – Sunday through August 11. Don’t miss out!
Disclosure: The kind folks at the OC Fair knew I couldn’t wait to taste the deep-fried cookie dough and offered me two tickets for admission and food vouchers as well as two tickets to give away. Obviously I couldn’t say no.