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Christmas Bar Cookies offer all the goodness without all the fuss

Angi Gibsonhttp://angiscribbles.blogspot.com/
Angi grew up on a small sheep farm in Central Utah and currently lives in the foothills of a growing town in Northern Utah County. She is a wife, mother to six and grandmother to four active boys. Along with her husband, Jason, they run a busy family business chasing from one end of the state to the other. Angi loves writing, gardening, and finding gratitude moments in everything.

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I love Christmas. The Gibson Home goes all out on Christmas. The porch is decorated, the house is decorated, the tree is decorated. I love Christmas!

But Christmas happens to be one of the busiest times of the year in our home as I’m sure it is in many of yours. So I’m learning to simplify. 

I love Christmas goodies, especially cookies, but I simply don’t have enough time or sanity to cut out all of those cute shapes and decorate all of those fun cookie characters. Just give me the yummy stuff without all of the work!

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So I’ve gathered together three of my favorite Christmas Bar Cookie recipes that deliver all of the goodness of Christmas Cookies without all of the work.

Gingerbread Bars

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¼ Cup softened butter

¼ Cup white sugar

¾ Cups dark brown sugar

2 TBS plus 2tsp molasses

1 egg

1 tsp baking soda

1 ¼ cups flour

½ tsp apple pie spice

½ tsp ginger

1 pinch salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray 8×8 baking pan and set aside.  Cream butter, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla and molasses.  Add egg.  Mix dry ingredients and then add to wet ingredients.  Spread with greased fingers or greased spatula into baking pan.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Has a brownie like texture.  Eat plain or with frosting listed at the end of recipes.

Sugar Cookie Bars

¼ Cup softened butter

2 oz. softened cream cheese

½ Cup white sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

¼ tsp almond extract

1 egg

1 Cup plus 2 TBS flour

1 tsp cornstarch

½ tsp baking powder

Pinch salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray 8×8 baking pan and set aside.  Cream Butter, cream cheese and sugar.  Add vanilla and almond extract and egg.  

Mix dry ingredients and then add to wet ingredients.  Spread with greased fingers or greased spatula into baking pan.  Bake for 22 minutes.  Careful to not over bake or you will have a dry Sugar Cookie Bar.  

Frost with listed recipe at the end of the recipes.  Sprinkle with decorator’s sugar or candy cane pieces.

Eggnog bars

½ Cup softened butter

1 Cup white sugar

1 egg

½ Cup eggnog

1 tsp rum extract

3 Cups flour

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

½ tsp apple pie spice

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spray 9×13 baking pan and set aside.  Cream butter and sugar.  Add egg, eggnog and rum extract.  

Mix dry ingredients and then add to we ingredients.  Spread with greased fingers or greased spatula into baking pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes.  Careful not to over bake our bars will be dry.  Top with the eggnog version of the frosting below and sprinkle toffee pieces on top.

Countertop safe frosting recipe and adaptations

No dairy so countertop stable

½ Cup shortening

½ Cup softened margarine

1 ½ TBS cream cheese emulsion

1 tsp vanilla extract

4 ½ to 5 ½ Cups powdered sugar

Whip shortening, margarine, cream cheese emulsion and vanilla extract until light and fluffy.  Add powdered sugar until smooth and spreadable, slightly thicker than store bought frosting.

For eggnog frosting reduce cream cheese emulsion to 1 TBS and add ¾ TBS eggnog extract.  

If you haven’t used emulsions, they are a nice way to add additional flavoring without the alcohol bite that extracts give.

My kids are all about the sweet, I however can hit major sugar overload pretty fast.  If you are like me all of the above recipes can be done with no frosting, or a very thin layer of frosting, although the eggnog bars will have only a very slight eggnog flavor without the frosting.

Merry Christmas and enjoy some less stress baking! 

(Gibson is a Serve Daily contributor.)

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Angi Gibsonhttp://angiscribbles.blogspot.com/
Angi grew up on a small sheep farm in Central Utah and currently lives in the foothills of a growing town in Northern Utah County. She is a wife, mother to six and grandmother to four active boys. Along with her husband, Jason, they run a busy family business chasing from one end of the state to the other. Angi loves writing, gardening, and finding gratitude moments in everything.

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