Thursday, April 19, 2012

Strawberry Sugar Cookie Bars

Maybe you've noticed that I like recipes involving strawberries on my blog.  Strawberries are one of my favorite fruits and once strawberry season hits, I'm always looking for new recipes and trying to find ways to add strawberries into some of my favorite ones.  Besides being delicious, I just love their bright red hue and that when pureed and mixed into icings and batters, it makes the most beautiful shade of pale pink-- no artificial food coloring needed!

These sugar cookie bars have been a favorite recipe of mine since I saw them on Annie's Eats blog last year.  They are delicious (who doesn't like frosted sugar cookies?), make a ton so they're great to make for company, and you can color coordinate the icing to match your favorite color or holiday-- so festive!  I was thinking recently that I bet these would taste great with chopped fresh strawberries mixed in and then I thought, why not add strawberry puree to the icing to make a nice pink strawberry frosting on top? These bars are soft and chewy and already had a vanilla buttercream on top so it was easy to incorporate fresh strawberries to both the cookie and the frosting-- a perfect and easy spring dessert.

I couldn't be happier at how these turned out--can I just say,Yum-- please go make these.  I finely diced the strawberries in order to not have huge chunks of strawberries and that seemed to work well with this batter.  The strawberry frosting was beautifully pink and had a nice sweet mild strawberry taste.  With my inability to resist pale pink strawberry studded desserts, it was hard not to gobble these up, so I had to send them off to work with my husband (especially since these make 4 dozen!).  Definitely give these a try-- I know I will be making them many more times this spring and summer!

Strawberry Sugar Cookie Bars


For the cookie bars:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
zest from 1 lemon
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 cups fresh strawberries finely diced, divided
1/8 cup sugar

For the strawberry frosting:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
pinch of salt
4 cups, powdered sugar, sifted
strawberry puree (made from 3/4 cup of the diced strawberries above)

Finely dice the 2 cups of strawberries and mix in a bowl with an 1/8 cup of sugar.  Leave on the counter to macerate while you prepare the other ingredients, stirring occasionally.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 13x18 rimmed baking sheet.

Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Beat on medium high speed until light and smooth, about 2 minutes.  Mix in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Blend in the vanilla and lemon zest. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking soda. Whisk together to blend.  Add the dry ingredients together to the mixer bowl and beat on low speed until just incorporated.  Mix in 1 1/4 cups of the diced strawberries and their juices taking care not to over mix.

Transfer the cookie dough to the prepared baking sheet and press into an even layer.  Bake 10-15 minutes until light golden brown and until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cool completely before frosting.

For the Strawberry Frosting:
Place the remaining strawberries in a food processor (if you have a mini food processor, it works great for this).  Process until the berries are pureed.

Place the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Beat on medium-high speed until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes.  Blend in the vanilla, salt, and powdered sugar and beat until smooth, about 1 to 2 minutes.  Pour the strawberry puree through a metal strainer and beat another minute or so until the ingredients are combined.  If your icing is too runny at this point, add a little more powdered sugar, a few tablespoons at a time, and mix until the icing reaches the desired thickness.  Spread over the cooled cookies and cut into squares.

Yield:  About 4 dozen

Adapted from Annie's Eats via The Repressed Pastry Chef


  1. Sugar cookie bars are the best,and so are strawberries. They have been especially good this year already. Love this, Ryan!

  2. I just adore strawberries too!!! I will SO be making these bars. Can't wait to see what other strawberry recipes you come up with in the future :-)

  3. gorgeous colour! i love the idea of a strawberry icing on top of a buttery biscuit.. yum!

  4. I am soooo glad that you made these! I just went strawberry picking and have tons of berries! These look delicious!

  5. i loooveee sugar cookie bars. and strawberry is one of my favorite flavors! these look great

  6. I'm addicted to all things strawberry. I love the pretty shade of pink. A fun treat for spring. :)

  7. I will never turn down a good strawberry recipe. These bars are definitely bookmarked!

  8. These look incredibly delicious! Strawberries in anything...makes me happy! So very pretty!

  9. Ryan, I loved this cookie bar recipe. The strawberry frosting makes it much more appealing! Wonderful clicks too!

  10. Bookmarking this - I love icing and strawberries and sugar cookies!!!

  11. I love strawberries too - and these bars sound SO delicious!
    Mary x

  12. Love these bars Ryan. They just look so inviting. I just want to nab one right off the screen.


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