It feels like I haven't baked something in such a long time.  This weekend, I wanted to bring something to a high tea themed event, so I decided to make a bite-sized sweet treat.  Sugar cookie bars have been on my to-do list for a while now, and they are very easy to make, so it was settled.  I sourced several different recipes and ended up with the one that required less flour, since my stock was low and I was being lazy about going to the grocery store.

Baking is without a doubt a precise activity when it comes to ingredients and measurements. Fortunately, buttercream is a little more forgiving because when I absentmindedly reached into the cupboard to grab the vanilla extract, I took the coconut extract instead.  I didn't realize my mistake, of course, until I watched clear liquid, not brown liquid, pour into my buttercream.  I balanced out my mistake with the vanilla that was supposed to be in the bowl and hoped for the best.  The end product was actually quite delicious, assuming you like coconut as much as I do.

Coconut Sugar Cookie Bars

For the bars:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the buttercream:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 lb (16 oz) confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon coconut extract (if you don't like coconut, then another tsp of vanilla or consider almond)
3 Tablespoons milk

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Line a 9x13 baking dish with parchment paper
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the softened butter and sugar until fluffy
4. Beat in egg and vanilla extract lightly
5. Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl and add to the wet, one third of the dry mixture at a time
6. Spread dough evenly in the parchment lined pan
7. Bake for 20 minutes or until the edges show signs of browning
8. Let cool completely before frosting
9. For the buttercream, in an electric mixer, put all the ingredients in the bowl and mix until combined.  Add additional milk if the consistency is too thick.
10. Mix in preferred coloring, then spread on top of the cooled cookie block.
11. Decorate with preferred sprinkles and cut into 1" square cookies
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