Valentine Cookie Bars

Look no further for a sweet Valentine’s Day dessert! These easy Valentine Cookie Bars are simple to make and can be customized to be whatever color your heart desires.

These Valentine Cookie Bars have only eleven ingredients total! Many of the ingredients are used both for the actual cookie bars and for the frosting, so it doesn’t feel like anything is going to waste. If you’re looking to make this recipe even more simple, you can of course use store-bought frosting, like Pillsbury.

The cookie bars can be kept both in the refrigerator or on the counter (for a few days), as long as they are in an air-tight container. I’ve been keeping a few of mine on our counter as we’ve been having them for dessert and saving the rest in the freezer. To unthaw, simply take them out of the freezer a few hours before you’d like to have one.

Tools used to make muffins:

  • 9 x 13 inch glass or metal pan
  • Parchment paper or tin foil with nonstick spray
  • Medium mixing bowl x2
  • Beater
  • Rubber scraper
  • Cooling rack
  • Knife

For measuring, you’ll need these sizes: 1 tsp, 1 T, 1/4 cup, 1/2 cup, and 1 cup.

Prep: 15 minutes  Bake: 25-30 minutes  Total: 40-45 minutes

Yields: 16 cookie bars

Ingredients:

Cookie Bars:

  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 3/4 all purpose baking flour
  • 1 T cornstarch (or corn meal)
  • Red food dye (optional – use if you’d like to make the actual cookie bars pink/red)

Frosting:

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • Pinch of salt
  • Red food dye (optional – use if you’d like to make the frosting pink/red. You can also split the frosting in half once it’s made and use red food dye on half of it so some cookie bars have pink/red frosting and the others have white frosting. Up to you and your creativity!)
  • Red/pink/white sprinkles

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line 9 x 13 inch glass or metal pan with parchment paper (or tin foil, but spray foil with cooking spray).
  3. Beat softened butter in a medium bowl for a couple minutes until it is fluffy.
  4. Add softened cream cheese and beat until well combined.
  5. Add sugar and beat until well combined and fluffy.
  6. Add egg and vanilla and beat well. Scrape down sides once everything is combined.
  7. Add salt, flour, and cornstarch and beat until just combined. *If you’d like the actual cookie bars to be white, continue to step #8. If you’d like them to be pink, now is the time to add the red food dye. I used 10 drops to make mine a light pink but you can make yours whichever shade you’d like. Once the food dye is added, stir dough with a spatula until dough is evenly colored. 
  8. Transfer dough to the pan and spread evenly on parchment paper or tin foil. Use your hands (get them a little wet but make sure they’re not too wet) to evenly press dough into pan. (If hands are too wet they will stick to the dough).
  9. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Be careful to not over bake them (will not be as soft). Remove from oven when a toothpick comes out clean.
  10. Hold the edges of parchment paper and lift bars out of the pan and onto a cooling rack. Cool completely before adding frosting.
  11. While bars are cooling, make the frosting.
  12. Frosting: Beat cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl until smooth. Add powdered sugar, vanilla, salt, and food dye (if using). Beat until creamy.
  13. Once bars are completely cooled, trim the edges (about 1 inch on each side) so the sides are clean and even.
  14. Evenly spread frosting over the bars and top with red and pink sprinkles.
  15. Cut into 16 bars. Store in refrigerator and if storing bars directly on top of each other, add parchment paper between layers.

Please let me know in the comments below if you plan to make these cookie bars or what Valentine’s Day dessert you have planned for yourself! 🙂

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