These thick, soft and chewy sugar cookie bars are perfect as a pan cookie, cut into squares. These bar cookies are bursting cheerful with sprinkles, then topped with a generous layer of buttercream. Perfect for those who have your own sweet tooth - or know some little sugarbugs who need a treat.
This is the first of our "Follower Friday" posts. We could think of no baker better than our longest and most constant cheerleader, Tasia of Two Sugarbugs. Check out her blog and Instagram accounts for some great recipes and beautiful photography.
We made a half recipe in a 8-inch round pan, then cut into small circles and topped with piped buttercream frosting. Next time we'll make the full batch.
Recipe makes about 20 servings and can be kept in a sealed container at room temperature for a couple of days - if they last that long!
To make the bars:
1. Heat oven to 350°F.
2. Line 9x13 baking pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil, leaving a little extra overhang on the sides.
3. In a medium size bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
4. Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment (add a SideSwipe for best results), cream butter and cream cheese on medium speed for 1-2 minutes, until nice and creamy. Add the granulated and powdered sugars and mix until pale and fluffy, approximately 3-5 minutes. Add the egg, vanilla and almond extracts and beat until well combined, scraping down the sides as needed.
5. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture and blend until just combined. Fold in the sprinkles with a spatula, if using. Be sure to use the “jimmies” for your sprinkles as the nonpareil type can bleed and turn your batter an unappetizing color.
6. Press dough into prepared pan using a spatula or lightly moistened fingers. The dough will be thick and somewhat sticky.
7. Bake for 12-16 minutes or until edges are barely browned and they will look a little underdone. You do not want to over bake these bars or they will be more like a cake and less like a soft sugar cookie.
8. Allow to cool completely in the pan placed on a wire rack.
To make the frosting:
1. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment (SideSwipe!) beat the butter on medium-high speed until smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl (not needed with SideSwipe) and add the powdered sugar, vanilla and almond extracts and heavy cream (or half and half). Mix on low speed until incorporated. Increase speed to medium-high and whip until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes, scraping sides of the bowl as needed. Add a pinch of salt if the frosting is too sweet. (We did this) You can also add food coloring, if desired. (We did not).
2. Once cool, remove the bars from the pan using the parchment paper or aluminum foil "handles" and frost, adding additional sprinkles, if desired. Use a sharp knife to cut to your desired size. If you want nice, clean cuts, wipe your knife with a towel between cuts. (We used a 1-1/2inch round cookie cutter for two-bite servings)
Do you wonder how and when you should sift your ingredients? Is sifting really necessary?
For most recipes where you use a stand mixer - like cakes, cookies, cheesecakes - it's fine to combine your dry ingredients with a whisk. Whisking breaks up most lumps, including when you're incorporating cocoa powder (which can be clumpy).
When should you sift? When the recipe calls for it! Sifting is called for when you are folding dry ingredients gently into delicate, wet batter like angel food cake or our recent madeleines.
Do you need a sifter? We don't use one. We use a fine-mesh sieve over a piece of parchment paper or a bowl. A sieve can be used in many other ways and justifies its place in our kitchen.
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This recipe produced the most tender and delicious madeleines we have ever had. Do dry and dusty little cakes here! The glaze adds a burst of sweetness and helps keep the mads from drying out too quickly. The recipe is adapted from one by David Lebovitz.
Traditional madeleines rely on the whipping for loft. But we used baking powder to get a little oomph and to make sure we achieved the little "humps" on the back. If you use baking powder, they may take another minute or so to bake since the batter will rise higher. They’re done when the cakes feel just set if you poke them with your finger. Avoid overbaking them. There’s nothing better than a fresh, buttery madeleine.
Don't be tempted to speed the process on this recipe. The chilling of batter and pan are the key to perfect texture and shape. You need to be a little zen with these - or maybe channel your inner Parisienne.
If you like the tops of your mads more browned - we don't - bake them in the upper-third of your oven, so the tops get slightly-browned. You can also skip the glaze and eat the mads "naked" if you like.
Recipe makes 24 mini cakes. Glazed madeleines are best left uncovered, or not tightly-wrapped; they’re best eaten the day they’re made. They can be kept in a container for up to three days after baking, if necessary. We don’t recommend freezing them since the glaze will melt.
ingredients and equipment
This quick recipe combines the moistness and sweetness of banana bread with little hints of tartness from blueberries. The combo muffins are great for breakfast or a snack.
We made our version with a combination of fresh and frozen berries, adding frozen berries to the top just before baking for a little cuteness. We also use fat-free yogurt, which makes the muffins lower in calories, but perhaps not quite as moist as with full-fat yogurt. We didn't miss the extra fat on the first day, but we think that using a higher-fat yogurt would extend the shelf life of these little treats.
We used our mixer and SideSwipe for this recipe (as always). It makes mashing the bananas and creaming everything together a breeze. Just remember with a quick bread like this to use slower mixer speeds and to mix only until ingredients are combined. Otherwise you'll end up with a tougher textured end result.
Fold your blueberries by hand. They're too fragile for the mixer!
Makes 24 standard size muffins or 48 mini-muffins. Best within a day or so of baking.
Recipes and mixing tips
Simple recipes for home cooks using SideSwipe + your mixer. Tips for using + caring for your mixer. Our goal = Helping you get a perfect mix + great taste.