Wednesdays Unplugged – Sugar Cookie Bars

“Judge nothing, you will be happy. Forgive everything, you will be happier. Love everything, you will be happiest.”

~ Sri Chinmoy
NOTE: I spend my Wednesdays Unplugged from appointments. It’s my day to stay home, enjoy cooking and welcome our kids and grandkids for dinner in the evening. We end our meal with quotes from the Norwegian ‘Quote Cup’ passed on to me from my grandmother. I share a quote and a recipe here each week, along with an update and photos of what has been going on in our lives. I love trying new recipes…and love getting recipes you would like to share!

Our family reunion had to include a picture of our daughter and grandson with Aunt Fern, who they used to visit every summer. The special time was extended with time before and after at our place with cousins from NYC and California… I feel myself relaxing, just looking at Becky and Jeff hanging out on our patio.


Fern’s Sugar Cookies are always a big hit with everyone and I automatically think of them when we see her. Since I have shared them before I tried a new recipe for sugar cookie bars from the NY Times. They aren’t crispy like Fern’s cookies but are very tender… taste like a cross between cookies and cake.



  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), at room temperature
  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 8 ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered confectioner’s sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons heavy cream or milk
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Few drops food coloring, if desired
  • Assorted sprinkles, as desired

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter 9 x 13 baking pan and line it with parchment paper.

Make the bars. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. In a large bowl, beat butter and cream cheese until well blended, about 1 minute. Add the granulated sugar and beat until smooth, about 1 minute. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula. Gradually add the flour mixture, mixing on low speed just until blended, about 1 minute.

Using a spatula, scrape the dough into the prepared baking pan and spread it into an even layer. Bake just until the edges are starting to turn light golden brown and a few moist crumbs cling to a toothpick when inserted… about 20-30 minutes. Let cool completely and use parchment paper to remove from pan.

Make the frosting. Beat the butter on medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Add 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, beating on low speed until fully combined. Repeat with the remaining 1 cup confectioners’ sugar. Add 1 tablespoon milk or heavy cream, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon vanilla, salt and food coloring, if using. Beat on medium speed until the frosting is light and fluffy, scraping down the sides halfway through, about 4 minutes. Add more milk if needed to thin out the mixture. Add lemon juice and vanilla to taste. Spread the frosting on top, then decorate with sprinkles, if using. Cut into squares and serve.

Written By

I love what I do! Highly insightful, analytical and creative, there is nothing I love more than helping you find the right solution for your real estate transition. My mission is to serve my clients with honesty and integrity, exceeding their expectations in service and support… and to help others by donating a portion of every transaction to Habitat for Humanity.

Related Posts

Weekly real estate market update 7/12/24… why asking price matters more than ever right now

🖨 Print Article The market is getting back into gear after the July 4th holiday. It makes me smile how new and coming soon listings flip flop at holiday times....

Boludo… amazing Argentinian pizza

🖨 Print Article After spending time at the Weisman Art Museum one day last week I was hungry… and being not far from The Market at Malcolm Yards I thought...

Subscribe to Our Newsletter for Market Updates & Mid-Century Modern Listings

Our weekly HomesMSP Update includes current local market information and a curated list of mid-century modern properties for sale, plus posts from an inspector, a lender, a stager, info about neighborhoods, life in the Twin Cities… even recipes!


Blog Categories


Sharon and John Hensrud

About Us

The HomesMSP Team is committed to meeting you where you are and listening… really listening to understand you so we can use our extensive knowledge of the market and local neighborhoods to give you personalized service.