Last summer our good friends took a long Great American Road Trip and were gone for raspberry season. While they were enjoying their travels, they generously invited me to make myself at home in their rather substantial raspberry patch.
I did just that and with gusto! Jonathan and I picked pounds and pounds and pounds of raspberries and ate the bounty all summer.
One of my favorite new treats was raspberry buttercream frosting! It just bursts with raspberry flavor and smacks of summer no matter what you slather it on.
I made cakes, cookies, brownies, you name it, with various versions of this raspberry treat and shared them around at gatherings. The responses were ecstatic!
While there are several methods to making a raspberry frosting, I found that just mixing fresh berries into the frosting made a very wet buttercream. It was yummy but always sloppy.
These chewy sugar cookie bars are frosted with a simple raspberry reduction . It has the advantage of a bolder raspberry flavor and no seeds!
These would be perfect for Mother’s Day or a Memorial Day BBQ or just for dessert tonight because it is Friday. Really there is no bad day for sugar cookie bars – particularly the kind frosted in sweet, fruity buttercream!
Sugar Cookie Bars With Raspberry Buttercream
For the Cookies
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 1 cup butter
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- 1/2 tsp. almond extract
- 2 ½ cups flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. salt
- sprinkles optional
For the Frosting
- 12 oz raspberries fresh or frozen
- 1 cup butter
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- To Make the Cookies: Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Beat butter and sugar together in a stand mixer on high for 90 seconds. Add eggs, vanilla and almond extract. Beat again on medium until fully incorporated.
- Add remaining ingredients and beat on medium until everything is combined.
- Press dough evenly into a 9"x14" pan with hands (easier than a spoon).
- Bake in preheated oven 25-28 minutes or until cookies are brown at edges and fully set. Do not overbake or cookies will not remain chewy and moist.
- While cookies are cooking, start preparing the frosting.
- To Make the Frosting: Put raspberries in a medium sauce pan over medium high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Keep berries at a low boil for up to 10 minutes until they have fully disintegrated.
- Use the back of a large spoon to press the raspberries through a sieve and collect most of the juice. Discard seeds.
- Place juice back in the pan and simmer on medium until the juice is reduced by about half.
- Cool juice completely before making frosting.
- In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat together butter and powdered sugar until crumbly. Add half of the cooled raspberry reduction, the vanilla and the salt. Beat on high until combined.
- Taste. If stronger raspberry flavor is desired, add the rest of the raspberry reduction. Beat on high for several minutes to ensure fluffy texture. (If frosting thickens it can be thinned with a tablespoon or two of cream or milk.)
- Spread frosting on cooled cookie bars. Shake on sprinkles if desired. Cut and serve.
- Any leftover raspberry reduction is amazing added to drinks, stirred into yogurt or sweetened and spooned over ice cream.
Did you catch my post for Mother’s Day? I shared a little bit about love languages, figuring out how to connect with mom and my wonderful list of cooking gifts under $20. The list includes some of my favorite all time tools – the kind you keep in the top drawer because you use them every day or week. I think you will love it! Read it here if you missed it.
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