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Lemon Sugar Cookie Bars

Lemon Sugar Cookie Bars with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting are one of my "go to" dessert recipes! They are perfect for parties and potlucks!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 14 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 16 -24 bars

Ingredients

For the bars:

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • Zest of 1 large lemon
  • 3/4 cup butter at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the lemon cream cheese frosting:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 8 ounce package cream cheese at room temperature
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • Colored sugar or sprinkles optional

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a 9x13 pan (I use a glass Pyrex dish) with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, combine granulated sugar and lemon zest. Rub together with your fingers until fragrant.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and and lemon sugar mixture together until combined. Slowly add the powdered sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add in the eggs, lemon juice, and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Slowly add the flour mixture and beat until just combined.
  5. Evenly spread the cookie dough into the prepared pan with a spatula. Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until the bars are slightly set in the middle. You don't want the bars to brown. Remove from the oven and let the bars cool completely.
  6. While the bars are cooling, make the lemon cream cheese frosting. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add the lemon zest and lemon juice. Slowly add the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Mix until smooth.
  7. Frost the cooled cookie bars with lemon cream cheese frosting. I always have a little frosting leftover, but use as much as you like! Decorate with colored sugar or sprinkles, if desired. Cut the bars into squares and serve.
  8. Note-store bars in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.