If you’re looking for a Valentine’s Day treat that’s perfect for two, look no further than Small Batch Sugar Cookie Bars With Cherry Cream Cheese Frosting!
WARNING: Lots of cuteness to follow! A couple of weeks ago, I shared my Blushing Bouquet Tom Collins, which is the perfect Valentine’s Day cocktail for two. Today, I’m coming at you with these Small Batch Sugar Cookie Bars With Cherry Cream Cheese Frosting.
All you have to do is cover dinner and I have your Valentine’s Day dessert and drinks covered. You’re welcome.
To be perfectly honest, Valentine’s Day isn’t really a thing in our house. We’re more of the thinking that love should be celebrated all year long and spontaneously (Gag, right?). But, I have to admit, I kind of love the over the top commercial aspect of the whole thing. I absolutely adored V-Day as a kid and I think that carried into adulthood slightly.
I get a little twinge of excitement when I wander down the red and pink aisle at the grocery store that’s overflowing with candy and teddy bears. I will say, that if you DO celebrate Valentine’s Day, the best gift to give someone is anything homemade.
Whether you cook their favorite meal or make a batch of these cookies, they’ll be so grateful that you took the time to even put the effort in… no matter how it turns out.
If you decide to make these SUPER easy sugar cookie bars, let me know how you and your Valentine like them!
For the Cookies
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
- 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
For the Frosting
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- 3 tbsp maraschino cherry juice (liquid from a jar of maraschino cherries)
- 1/4 tsp cherry extract *
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- Festive sprinkles or maraschino cherries for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350, and line an 8x8" pan with parchment paper.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add the softened butter and beat on medium-high speed for about 30 seconds. Slowly add the granulated sugar while continuing to beat.
- Add the egg, almond, and vanilla extract, and beat to combine.
- Turn off the stand mixer, and add the flour, baking powder, and salt on top.
- Turn the mixer back on low to incorporate the dry ingredients. Don't overmix. The batter will look slightly crumbly but that's okay.
- Scoop the batter into the prepared baking pan, and press it flat with your fingers.
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out mostly clean. Let cool completely.
- Clean out your stand mixer bowl to make the frosting.
- Beat together the softened butter and cream cheese for 1 minute, until fluffy. Add the maraschino cherry juice and cherry extract and beat to combine.
- Turn the mixer to low and add the powdered sugar a little bit at a time while continuing to mix.
- You can either spread the frosting over the cooled cookie, decorate and then slice. OR you can do as I did and use a shaped cookie cutter to create hearts or whatever you like. I then decorated them individually, but you do you. The scraps from cutting them out are free for snacking.
I used Watkins brand cherry extract. You can sub for vanilla extract if you like and it will have a very subtle cherry flavor from the maraschino cherry juice. If you don't want cherry at all, omit the cherry juice and thin out the frosting with milk as needed. If you do this and wish to have pink frosting, you'll have to add a couple of drops of food coloring, as the maraschino cherry juice adds the color naturally. Shew!
Did you make this recipe?
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