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Spread some holiday cheer with these festive Peppermint Sugar Cookie bars. This is my easy sugar cookie recipe baked as a bar and loaded with peppermint crunch. You’ll love this step by step tutorial to decorate these bars!
TABLE OF CONTENTS
While I love making traditional sugar cookies, sometimes it’s just easier to bake them in a 9×13-inch pan and turn them into bars! These bars are thick, buttery and perfectly chewy. They’re loaded with a peppermint crunch and topped with my easy vanilla buttercream recipe.
I loved making these sugar cookie bars. I’ve been wanting to decorate a Christmas tree cake since last year and I finally got around to it. I wish I was talented enough to think of this idea on my own, but I follow several very talented cake decorators on Instagram that inspire me so much!
Instead of traditional Christmas colors, I went with a pink and teal theme and I just love how this turned out. Now I want to share all my tips for you on how to decorate these sugar cookie bars.
For the cookies:
- Unsalted butter
- Granulated sugar
- Peppermint extract
- All-purpose flour
- Baking soda
- Pinch of salt
- Cream of tartar- these make the cookies extra chewy
- Andes Peppermint crunch thins or baking chips
For the frosting:
- Unsalted butter
- Powdered sugar
- Heavy cream (or milk)
- Vanilla or peppermint extract
- Cream together the butter and sugar.
- Add the eggs and peppermint extract and beat them until they’re incorporated.
- Slowly add the dry ingredients
- Fold in the chopped peppermint candy
- Press the dough into a 9×13 inch pan lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Bake and cool completely before adding the frosting.
The perfect frosting for decorating
I always whip up a batch of my perfect vanilla frosting. It’s thick but fluffy and it’s the best consistency for frosting.
My recipe starts with cold butter, which allows you to control the consistency of the frosting. You’ll need to spend more time beating the butter in the beginning until it’s really light and fluffy. You’ll repeat this process again when you add the powdered sugar.
I chose to top these sugar cookies with vanilla frosting, but if you love peppermint, you can use peppermint extract instead of vanilla.
How to decorate these bars
This is actually much easier than you think, and it’s so fun! If you are looking to improve your frosting skills, you might find these tutorial helpful: how to use a piping bag and how to color buttercream.
- Large piping bags, small piping bags, coupler,
- Piping tips: tip 866 (or 864), tip 1M, tip 21, tip 199
- Gel colors to dye frosting
- Print out a Christmas tree template place it over the cookie bar and hold it in place with toothpicks.
Preparing the frosting
- Color 2 ½ cups of frosting for the pink. To achieve the pink color, I used one drop of pink and the tiniest touch of brown (or black), like the size of the tip of a toothpick. This dulls the frosting just a bit, and to further dull the color, add a tiny bit at a time.
- Fill a large piping bag fitted with piping tip 866 with pink frosting.
- Color 2 ½ cups of frosting for the teal. To achieve the teal, I used a combination of AmeriColor teal and Turquoise. To dull the color, you can also add a touch of black or brown.
- Fill a large piping bag with 2 cups of teal frosting, without a pipping tip. I recommend using a double bag method for this color so you can easily change out the tips. Prepare a second piping bag with 1M tip, but do not fill with frosting, instead, place the filled bag inside of the other.
- Prepare a small piping bag with the remaining ½ cup of teal frosting fitted with a coupler and either tip 21 or tip 199.
- Pipe the edges: Start by piping the pink around the outside edge of the Christmas tree until completely covered. If you have smaller areas to fill in, I recommend using a tip 199 or tip 21.
- Carefully remove the paper cut out. It is helpful if you have a knife or angled spatula to help lift the paper up. You can carefully slide it out from under your buttercream.
- Start to decorate the tree: To decorate the tree, first pipe large and small rosettes with the 1M tip.
- Fill in the tree: Then change the tip to 866 and fill in other areas around the tree. Adjusting pressure of the bag will alter the size and shape of the frosting.
- Fill in the gaps: Then fill in the remaining holes altering between tip 21 and tip 199 making small rosettes.
- Use sprinkles to decorate the garland: Use various size bead sprinkles to make the garland and then garnish with additional sprinkles. I used a combination of Sweetapolita sprinkles.
The best part about these bars is that they can be adapted into so many flavors. If you don’t like peppermint, you can use vanilla or almond extract, even lemon or orange zest are all good options.
Whether you store this whole or as cut bars, it’s best kept at room temperature in an airtight container.If you don’t need to slice them all at once, then just slice off what you need and store the rest uncut for the best results.
Can I freeze these bars?
If you’re looking to get ahead on your holiday baking, I recommend freezing the cookie, uncut. Cool it completely, and then tightly wrap in parchment paper and plastic wrap. Thaw overnight prior to frosting.
Follow Beyond FrostingPrint
These Peppermint Sugar Cookie Bars are soft and chewy and topped with a perfect vanilla frosting decorated to look like a Christmas tree. They’re buttery, dense and so delicious!
For the cookie bars:
- 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter
- 2 cups (380g) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon (5ml) peppermint extract
- 3 cups (420g) all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup (60g) chopped Andes Peppermint Crunch thins or baking chips
For the frosting:
- 2 cups (454g) unsalted butter, cold
- 5 cups (650g) powdered sugar
- 2–3 tablespoons (30-45ml) heavy whipping cream
- 1–2 teaspoon (5-10ml) vanilla extract to taste
For the cookies:
- Preheat oven to 375° F. Prepare a 9-inch by 13-inch pan lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat
- Combine butter with sugar and beat on medium speed until well creamed together.
- Add the eggs and peppermint extract. Mix until well combined.
- In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients and add slowly, beat on medium low speed until dough starts to come together. Then add the peppermint candy and beat until combined. Press the dough into the prepared pan.
- Bake at 375°F 18-20 minutes. Allow the cookie bars to cool completely.
For the frosting:
- Cut butter into pieces, about 1 tablespoon size. Using the paddle attachment, whip butter for 5-7 minutes, scraping down the bowl occasionally. Beat until butter look light in color.
- Alternate adding 2 cups powdered sugar at a time with the liquid ingredients and mix on low speed until incorporated into butter, then beat on high 60 seconds before adding additional powdered sugar. Ensure the frosting is whipped and spreadable prior to coloring.
To decorate these bars:
- Color 2 ½ cups of frosting for the pink and fill a large piping bag fitted with piping tip 866.
- Color 2 ½ cups of frosting for the teal. Fill a large piping bag with 2 cups of teal frosting. I recommend using a double bag method for this color so you can easily change out the tips. Prepare a second piping bag with 1M tip, but do not fill with frosting, instead, place the filled bag inside of the other.
- Take the remaining ½ cup of teal frosting and fill a small piping bag fitted with a couple and either tip 21 or tip 199.
- Start by piping the pink around the outside edge of the Christmas tree until completely covered then carefully remove the paper cut out.
- First pipe large and small rosettes with the 1M tip.
- Then change the tip to 866 and fill in other areas around the tree.
- Then fill in the remaining holes altering between tip 21 and tip 199
- Use various size bead sprinkles to make the garland and then garnish with additional sprinkles.
- Frosting amounts: If you are not planning to decorate these bars the way I have, you don’t need to make this much frosting. You’ll need 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter/ 3 ½ cups (455g) powdered sugar / 1 tablespoons (15ml) heavy whipping cream / 1 teaspoon (15ml) vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- Freezing these bars: If you’re looking to get ahead on your holiday baking, I recommend freezing the cookie, uncut. Cool it completely, and then tightly wrap in parchment paper and plastic wrap. Thaw overnight prior to frosting.
- How to store these bars:Whether you store this whole or as cut bars, it’s best kept at room temperature in an airtight container.If you don’t need to slice them all at once, then just slice off what you need and store the rest uncut for the best results.
- Additional details for decorating and equipment are listed in the blog post
- Category: Cookies
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: sugar cookie bars, cookie bars recipe, easy cookie bars, sugar cookie recipe, peppermint sugar cookies, Christmas Cookie, Peppermint cookie