These bars were baked on a terrible, awful, no good, very bad baking day.
Some days, my kitchen is humming. Bread dough rises as it should, pie crust comes together without complaining, and frosting practically pipes itself. Those are great days.
Then, there was last Sunday. I ran out of butter without realizing it, my husband couldn’t find the chocolate candy melts at the store, and my heavy cream was suspiciously gloppy, even though it was not at its sell-by date yet. As I watched one baking project tank after another, I wondered why in the heck I do this.
Rather than ponder that very complicated question fully, I decided to try and do some disaster control. Instead of making frosting for the sugar cookie bars with butter I didn’t have, I would melt white chocolate, dye it pink, and spread it on top. I didn’t have chocolate melts, so I added some vegetable oil to chocolate chips and made the melts from scratch. And as for the heavy cream? Well, that one had no out. I had to hightail it to the store.
When the day’s baking was done and the photos safely shot before losing the best of the daylight, I was tired. And proud. Because every single recipe I’d planned for that day had some kind of issue, and all turned out delicious. And as for those cookie bars, covered in white chocolate instead of frosting?
As you can see, they turned out okay in the end! In fact, more than okay. The white chocolate top is gentler than a buttercream frosting, really allowing the cookie underneath to shine.
Plus, they were far more portable without frosting going every which way. These definitely traveled to hungry mouths outside of my house, and I didn’t have to worry about finding a mess when I opened the container. They pack up beautifully.
When I was a kid and miserable all the time because little girls are mean, my mom told me that every problem presents an opportunity. Time and time again, I learn that lesson. Sure, it sucks to have a bad baking day, or any kind of a bad day, for that matter. But boy, do we learn from that. And in the end, we come out stronger. Let’s just hope it’s with sugar cookie bars!
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
2 and 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup white chocolate chips
red food gel coloring (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350. Line an 8 x 8 pan with foil, leaving enough to hang over the sides. Coat with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Stir in the vanilla and almond extracts. Finally, add the dry ingredients and mix until a thick cookie dough forms.
- Spread the dough in the prepared pan and bake for 15-20 minutes until the edges are just golden. Do not overbake.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the white chocolate chips for one minute. Stir until smooth. If needed, heat for an additional 30 seconds to melt.
- Working quickly, mix one drop of red food gel coloring into the melted chocolate, stirring until a light pink color emerges consistently.
- Spread the melted chocolate in a thin layer over the bars. Add sprinkles.
- Allow the chocolate to harden for anywhere between 2-3 hours. Cut into squares and store in an airtight container.