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About This Recipe
Another Top 5 favorite recipe from my All Things Sweets Cookbook is here! Presenting these Sugar Cookie Bars with Strawberry Frosting. Holy freaking sweet perfection! 😍
Dense, sweet, buttery, and topped with yummy frosting, these sugar cookie bars hit the spot when you need a classic sweet treat.
They’re truly a staple dessert and are great for any occasion. Plus, they’re lightened up so you can enjoy with no guilt. And you’d never know because they’re still packed with that good stuff. 😉
I love baking these bars to have on hand at home. They’re also super customizable, so if strawberry isn’t your thing, feel free to use a chocolate or vanilla frosting, or really any kind you wish!
You can also change up the sprinkles to make these bars more festive. Add red and green sprinkles for Christmas or orange and black ones for Halloween! You could even add food coloring to the frosting and bring to a baby shower. Whatever you choose, you really can’t go wrong.
Why You’ll Love These Sugar Cookie Bars
- One of the most classic and all-time loved desserts!
- Perfectly sugary sweet with hints of butter and vanilla, frosted with sweet, whipped strawberry frosting, and coated in sugary sprinkles!
- So easy to make! Just mix ingredients in one bowl and bake for 30 minutes.
- You can change up the frosting and the sprinkles to any color, flavor, holiday style you wish!
- Enjoy guilt free because they’re low calorie and lightened up. 🙌🏼
- EVERYONE LOVES THEM! Truly. They are a classic and cannot be beat. 😍
- Light butter – I used I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Light.
- Brown sugar – This helps create the ‘chewy cookie” effect. I used Swerve brown sugar. You can use brown sugar, coconut sugar, or other brown sugar sweetener alternative of your choice.
- Sweetener – I used Swerve granular sweetener.
- Vanilla extract
- Unsweetened applesauce
- Flour – I used all-purpose flour. This white flour helps create the best sugar cookie texture. You could replace with Bob’s 1:1 gluten-free flour to make gluten-free if necessary.
- Protein powder – I used PEScience Gourmet Vanilla. Cake Pop or a birthday cake flavor would also work great. Not all protein powders bake the same, so if you use another brand, just make sure it is also a whey + casein blend and one that bakes well. For all PEScience products, you can save 10% off your purchase with my affiliate code Laurenfitfoodie.
- Frosting – I used whipped strawberry! Use whatever kind sounds good.
- Sprinkles – Get creative here! You can use these to make these bars more festive around the holidays!
How To Make
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 8×8″ baking dish with parchment paper and/or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, combine the butter, brown sugar, sweetener, and vanilla. Beat with a hand mixer or whisk until smooth. Add the egg, applesauce, and molasses and beat again. Then, add in the flour and protein powder. Stir just until combined.
- Pour batter into the prepared pan and even out so the top is smooth. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the center is set.
- Let the blondies cool to room temperature. Then, place them in the fridge for an hour or until ready to frost.
- Spread the frosting evenly over the bars and top with sprinkles, if desired. Cut into bars and enjoy!
These are best eaten chilled the next day! Keeping them in the fridge overnight allows them to get to the desired temperature and allows the flavors to come together. Store the bars in an airtight container in the fridge (frosted or not frosted) for up to a week.
To freeze, hold off on frosting. You’ll want to wait until you’re ready to eat as the frosting won’t hold up well when you defrost the bars. Wrap bars individually and store in an airtight Ziplock bag in the freezer for 3 months.
What’s the difference between cookies and cookie bars?
Cookie bars are made by pressing batter into a pan whereas cookies are made from individual pieces of dough. Technically, any cookie could be made into a cookie bar. Bars are typically a little more dense and chewy.
Do I need to use strawberry frosting?
Not at all! Feel free to use your favorite. Chocolate, vanilla, or another flavor would work great.
How do you recommend I serve these bars?
I think these bars taste best chilled and eaten the next day. Storing them overnight allows the flavors to come together a little more!
Sugar Cookie Bars:
- 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp light butter (84g) room temperature
- 1/4 cup Swerve brown sugar (48g)
- 1/4 cup Swerve granular sweetener (48g)
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce (122g)
- 1.5 cups all-purpose flour (180g)
- 1/4 cup vanilla protein powder (31g)
- 3/4 cup whipped strawberry frosting (144g)
- Sprinkles of choice optional for presentation
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- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 8×8" baking dish with parchment paper and/or spray with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl combine the butter, brown sugar, sweetener, and vanilla; beat with a hand mixer or whisk until smooth.
- Add the egg and applesauce and beat again. Then add in the flour and protein powder and stir just until dry ingredients are incorporated.
- Pour batter into the prepared pan and even out so the top is smooth.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the center is set.
- Let the blondies cool to room temperature then place in the fridge for an hour or until ready to frost.
- When ready, spread the frosting evenly over the bars and top with sprinkles, if desired. Cut into bars and enjoy!
Nutrition is hand-calculated and accurate. No autocalulations! However, note that values can vary based on the brands you use and if you substitute ingredients.