This recipe for Brown Butter Sugar Cookie Bars with Fluffy Buttercream Frosting is perfect for serving at parties and easier to make than sugar cookies.
There are two kinds of people in this world. The ones who are really in it for the buttercream frosting and the ones who just want the cookie or cake that the frosting is on. Okay, okay, there is a third group of people that like the perfect combination of the two, but it seems like most people have a favorite.
I’m sure many of you already know that I am a huge frosting fan. It dates back to my childhood when I would spend my own money on frosted cookies from the McGlynn Bakeries inside Target stores in our area. So, when I decided to make brown butter sugar cookie bars, I knew they had to be topped with a thick layer of fluffy buttercream frosting.
As with my Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars, these sugar cookie bars get great flavor from the addition of browned butter. My sister told me that she wasn’t sure that it was worth the extra step of browning the butter, so she made a pan of bars with regular butter and she found out that they are way better with the browned butter.
So, brown butter is made by melting butter in a pan over heat until the milk solids are browned. Put the sticks of butter in a pan over medium heat. Continue heating, stirring often, until the butter browns on the bottom of the pan. At first it feels like it’s never going to brown and then suddenly, it’s done and you have to remove it from the heat, so this is one of those things that you don’t want to walk away from. If you want more instructions for exactly how it works, check out this video: How To Brown Butter
Immediately pour the brown butter into a bow, so that it doesn’t continue to brown. If you want, you can skim the foam off the top. Allow the browned butter to cool to room temperature. You can put the bowl in the fridge or in a shallow bath of cold water to help speed up the cooling.
Next, mix together the baking soda and water together and set aside. In a stand mixer with a large bowl,(I used my Kitchen Aid mixer), cream together the cooled, brown butter, shortening and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla, mix well. Stir in the baking soda and water mixture and the salt. Then, add the flour one cup at a time, mixing well after each addition.
Spread the cookie dough in a greased jelly roll pan (I use a Wilton cookie pan with sides) and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.
To make the Fluffy Buttercream Frosting, beat together butter and shortening until smooth. Mix in the first half of the powdered sugar (4 cups), one cup at a time. Then, add the marshmallow cream and vanilla. Next, mix in the second half of the powdered sugar (4 cups), one cup at a time. Finally, add the milk and beat until fluffy. Stir in food coloring, if desired. I used Wilton Icing Gel because you can use a smaller amount that with liquid food coloring.
Once the sugar cookie bars have cooled, spread on the buttercream frosting.
Add sprinkles and cut into bars.
I love it…there is almost an equal amount of frosting and sugar cookie bar! This recipe for brown butter sugar cookie bars with fluffy buttercream frosting makes a large batch of bars that is perfect for serving to a crowd at a party or barbecue.
Fluffy Buttercream Frosting
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup marshmallow cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon milk
- Optional: food coloring
- Beat together butter and shortening until smooth.
- Beat in the marshmallow cream.
- Mix in the powdered sugar, one cup at a time.
- Beat in the vanilla and milk until fluffy.
- Stir in food coloring, if desired.
More recipes for cookie bars:
Monster Cookie Bars | Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Bars | Snickerdoodle Blondies
Hi there! I’m needing to bake a 12″ or 14″ large sugar cookie and then cut/carge it into a simple dinosaur shape. Do you think this recipe would be doable for that? Thanks! – Emily
Yes, I think that would work. The cookie bars are very soft so you might want to chill the cooked bars before cutting them and lifting them dino shape. Let me know how it turns out! ~Tonia
Shortening is a solid lard, will come in a can, Crisco is a good brand. Look in the oils, comes in different size cans and individual bars of 3.
When you say shortening, what exactly are you using. For me shortening is a general term referring to butter, oil, crisco or tender flake bricks, etc. so what do you use in this recipe please.
I use Criso. Best of luck!