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Valentine’s Cookie Bar Recipe

What’s cuter than a sweet, pillowy soft cookie bar?! Why, one that you make for Valentine’s Day! These Valentine’s Cookie Bar Recipe is everything you need for a sweet February.

This Valentine’s Cookie Bar recipe is scrumptious! Cake flour yields a light, fluffy cookie and the butter and shortening help give the cookie its shape. Though I typically try to avoid shortening, in this recipe, it really helps the delicate crumb of the cookie. I got inspiration for this bar from one of my ultimate favorite cookie recipes, featured here.

Disclaimer! While this is one of my go-to favorite recipes, this recipe calls for shortening. and honestly, I’m not a big fan of the Crisco. I typically try to get Spectrum Organic Butter Vegetable Shortening, but I haven’t been able to find it in awhile. So, I get Crisco. It makes me really sad that the top ingredient is palm oil, so I hope Spectrum brings back their eco friendly butter shortening.

However, that aside, Crisco is a product that has a higher melt point, and can help cookies retain their loft and volume.

Get Ready…

First, turn on the oven to 375. Next, gather your ingredients needed for the Valentine’s Cookie Bar Recipe.

  • cake flour
  • all-purpose flour
  • sugar
  • butter, room temperature
  • butter flavored shortening
  • eggs, room temperature
  • baking powder
  • cream of tartar
  • table salt
  • vanilla
  • almond extract
  • lemon extract
  • zest of lemon (optional)

You’ll also want a stand mixer, a quarter sheet pan, parchment paper, and an offset spatula. These tools are super helpful for all chefs and bakers!

You’ll want to beat your butter, sugar, and shortening together. After a few minutes, it will get fluffy.

While you’ve got the butter and sugar beating in a separate bowl, in a separate bowl, whisk together your flours, baking powder, salt, and cream of tartar.

Next, gradually add one egg at a time to the butter mixture. Then, add in the extracts.

Lastly, you’ll want to add the flour and mix until combined, about 1 minute. Dump the cookie mixture onto your prepared pan.

Using your hands and with some help from your offset spatula, spread the mixture as evenly as you can into the cookie sheet. It’s not a very precise act, so just do the best you can. Once I’m finished, mine has lots of finger prints on the dough, from me spreading with my hands. Remember, you’ll be covering this with frosting, so don’t let aesthetics bother you!

Frosting fixes everything.

Pop into the oven for 15 minutes. Remove once the edges start to turn a light gold. If you wait until the edges a a dark golden, then the cookie won’t be as moist! 15 minutes is typically the limit.

Take it out, and allow the sheet to cool completely. If you rush this step, the cookie will be too warm and your frosting will melt! You’ll want to wait at least 30 minutes, or until the pan and cookie has cooled.

In the meantime, let’s do the frosting. The frosting is a basic butter cream. Simple and sweet, and a perfect compliment to the bars. Since it’s a basic recipe, you’ll just need:

  • unsalted butter
  • powdered sugar
  • salt
  • vanilla
  • water

Dump all the sugar and butter into your clean bowl and beat until light and fluffy.

Once fluffy, add the vanilla and salt. Continue beating. Then, gradually add 3 tablespoons of water. Beat for an additional 2 minutes.

Dump the frosting onto your cooled bars. Spread with your offset spatula.

Once you’ve spread the frosting, gently remove the cookie from the pan. To do this, I just grab the parchment paper and lift it out, quickly moving it to the cutting board.

Cut into pieces, top with sprinkles, and enjoy!

A few favorites…

  • Love the quarter sheet pan size. It’s perfect for baking small appetizers, tiny pizzas, or even cookie bars. We haven’t used this Nordic Brand quarter size sheet, but we love all our other Nordic Brand cooking sheets. Great quality and very well made.
  • Stand mixer! Though I have an on again-off-again relationship between my stand mixer, I always reach for the Kichenaid Mixer. I prefer the tilt head, like this one. Bonus, it’s hot pink!
  • Me and I LOVE our offset spatulas! Though I mostly reach for the smallest size, I do find all 3 sizes handy to have. This is a similar set, though Meg and I have about 5 each of the small spatulas.
  • I haven’t worked this recipe enough to find a substitute for the shorting. If you’re unfamiliar with shortening, it’s usually found in the baking aisle, near the sugars and baking powders. This recipe calls for the butter flavored shorting. I like these tiny packages, because I can use one and save the rest.
  • If you don’t have almond or lemon extract, then just adjust the vanilla to 2 teaspoons. Also, it’s not necessary to use lemon zest, but I love the extra zing that the zest provides.
  • I’d love to give a shoutout to the original recipe, found on Natalie’s page! Thanks for the inspiration.

Valentine’s Day Sugar Cookie Bar Recipe

Soft, pillowy, and perfectly sweet bars
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Dessert

Equipment

  • stand mixer
  • quarter sheet baking pan
  • offset spatula
  • parchment paper

Ingredients
  

Valentine's Day Cookie Bar Ingredients

  • 2 cup cake flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup butter flavored shortening
  • 2 eggs
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • .25 tsp cream of tartar
  • .25 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1/4 tsp lemon extract
  • zest of 1 lemon

Frosting

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 tbsp water

Instructions
 

Prep Work

  • Line a quarter sheet pan with parchment paper, and set aside.
  • Turn oven on 375 fahrenheit

Cookie Bar Directions

  • In one bowl, mix flours, baking powder, cream of tartar, and salt together.
  • In a seprate bowl attached to the stand mixer, combine butter, sugar, and shortening and beat on medium high until light and fluffy.
  • Add eggs to butter mixutre, and beat until mixed in, apx 45 seconds.
  • Next, add the vanilla, lemon zest, and extracts to the butter mixture. Scrape everything down with your spatula, and beat until incorperated.
  • Turn off mixer, and slowly add flour mixture into the butter mixture. Beat slowly for a few seconds, and gradually raise mixer speed to medium high. Mix everything unti just combined, about a minute.
  • Plop dough out onto prepared sheet.
  • Cook for 15 minutes, or until the edges start to turn light brown. Let cool before frosting.

Frosting Directions

  • Combine butter, sugar, and vanilla. Beat on low speed, and gradually increase mixer speed. Beat until fluffy.
  • Add vanilla and pinch of salt.
  • Gradually add water and beat until mixed.

Assembly

  • Once the bars have cooled, spread frosting on top.
  • Cut into even squares and enjoy.

Looking for other great recipes? Try these Salt Harvest Creative Creations!

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