I’m stocked with bags and bags and bags of chocolate. Kisses, chips, m&m’s, bars, chunks, filled and fruity, seasonal… you name it, I have it right now.
My favorite though… the bag of pink, white and red M&M’s. Simple yet so darn cute when used just right!
Today, there is 3 inches of new snow on the ground and it’s a perfect day to stay inside and whip up something sweet with these Valentine themed M&M’s for my daughter and her friends. They’re spending the afternoon sledding and playing in the snow… so they’re definitely going to need a little energy from these cookie bars!
Normally, when I make sugar cookies, I use a dough that needs to be chilled and rolled… but I thought I’d try something a little different this time. A sugar cookie that is cut, like a bar or with a cookie cutter, already frosted and decorated… and I use the Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Recipe. This recipe is just as easy, if not simpler and it gets pressed into a jelly roll pan!
The frosting, it’s my new favorite. A bit of cream cheese and a lot of Madagascar vanilla! YUM!
Sweetheart Sugar Cookie Bars
Makes 18+ bars
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
1 tsp almond extract
the seeds of 1 Madagascar vanilla bean (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
5 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 drop of Americaolor “Red Red” food gel
- Preheat oven to 375 F degrees. Line 13x18x1 in jelly roll pan (really big, deep cookie sheet!) with parchment paper and spray paper and sides of pan with cooking spray.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer using a paddle attachment, cream together the butter, sugar, eggs, almond and vanilla. You want to beat this mixture on high for 4-5 minutes to get it very light and fluffy!
- In another bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda.
- With the mixer on low, add the flour in three parts. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix until incorporated thoroughly.
- Press the dough into the pan. NOTE: I used a piece of wax paper to help spread out the dough into the edges and corners.
- Bake in the center of the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the edges begin to turn golden.
- Cool completely on a wire rack, in the pan, before frosting.
Madagascar Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting
2oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 lb powdered sugar
3-5 tbsp Madagascar Vanilla Cream
- Cream together the cream cheese and butter.
- Slowly add the powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
- Add the cream until you get your desired consistency. I like a thinner, smoother frosting for cookies so I add more cream than less.
- Beat on high for 5-6 minutes.
To Assemble Cookies:
Heart shaped cookie cutter
- Use a knife to loosen cookie from the pan. Gently slide the cookie out of the pan and onto the counter or a large cutting board.
- Using an offset spatula, spread a thin layer of frosting evenly over the cookie.
- Sprinkle whole M&M’s evenly over the cookie bar. Chop more M&M’s into small pieces, even crushed a bit, and sprinkle evenly over the cookie bar.
- Cut into squares and serve with a big glass of milk!
- You could also cut a few using a heart shaped cookie cutter too if you wanted to be really creative!