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Firecracker Sugar Cookie Bars with cream cheese frosting are the perfect 4th of July treat. Candy Pop Rocks are sprinkled on top for an added surprise!
Firecracker Sugar Cookie Bars
These Firecracker Sugar Cookie Bars are a fun 4th of July sweet treat! Kids are crazy about the Pop Rocks on top. It is like firecrackers popping in your mouth! I love making sugar cookie bars when feeding a crowd because they are just SO easy. You don’t have to scoop out perfectly sized dough balls and you can bake them in just one quick batch. Also, you don’t have to chill the dough at all when you are making these. You don’t need the dough to be stiff to do cut outs so chilling just isn’t necessary. So they’re done in a fraction of the time of regular sugar cookies and they taste so delicious!
Ingredients for Sugar Cookie Bars
This cookie dough is so easy to make! And the buttercream frosting is super simple too. Here’s all you need for the batter:
- Shortening or butter – make sure it’s softened to room temperature. You can also use a combination of both butter and shortening.
- Milk – use whole milk for this recipe
- Vanilla extract – for an even deeper flavor, you could combine the vanilla with some almond extract.
- Baking powder – note this recipe does NOT call for baking soda.
- Salt – you only need a little bit for flavor, so there’s not a lot of extra sodium in these cookies.
Cream the butter mixture together in a stand mixer first, then add the flour mixture slowly. Spread it into a prepared baking pan using cooking spray. The dough is quite sticky, so you may need to use your hands to spread it in the pan. You can also use parchment paper to keep the dough from sticking.
Make your frosting by whisking cream cheese, butter (room temperature), vanilla and powdered sugar together until it’s light and fluffy. Use food coloring to make the frosting any color you like. Spread evenly over the cooled sugar cookie bars and then decorate!
Sugar Cookie Bars for Any Occasion
This simple sugar cookie base can be dressed up for any holiday or any occasion or anytime your sweet tooth strikes. Use purple, orange and green sprinkles for Halloween, red hots and pink hearts for Valentine’s Day, pastel candies and sprinkles for Easter, green and red sprinkles and candy for Christmas, and of course, all the red, white and blue to make this a special 4th of July dessert.
Tips for Cutting Out Shapes
If you want to make things harder on yourself and make cut outs, that is totally ok, too. If you decide to go this route, after mixing, you will want to roll the dough into a ball after mixing and allow to chill in the fridge for little while. Remove from the fridge and roll out dough onto a floured surface using a rolling pin. Don’t roll them out too thin though– you want them to be chewy still. Use cookie cutters to cut out shapes (I have to admit, star shaped cookies would be SUPER cute for these). Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes. Don’t overcook or they will be too hard. Store them in an airtight container on the counter or in the refrigerator.
For the toppings:
I used a combination of Pop Rocks, rock candy, and edible star sprinkles. If I could have found blue Pop Rocks I would have ONLY used Pop Rocks but I couldn’t find them at my grocery store this time so I got rock candy instead. I know blue Pop Rocks exist because I have had them before. They are usually in stores but I was just unlucky this time.
If you plan a couple days ahead, you can order them online HERE. They are actually a really good deal online, cheaper than what I got them for at the grocery store. Plus, you can get a few extra to pass around for your 4th of July party. I’m sure you won’t have any complaints. Kids love that stuff!
I found the edible star sprinkles (see above picture) at Hobby Lobby but you can also find them online HERE. Again, they are cheaper online than they were at my craft store. If I was smart and planned ahead I could have saved a little cash.
Need more ideas for the 4th? Check these out:
Firecracker Sugar Cookie Bars
- 9×13 inch pan
- 2/3 cup shortening or butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 cup flour
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 8 ounces cream cheese-softened
- 1/4 cup butter softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 to 1½ pounds powdered sugar
- 4 packets Pop Rocks (A combination of red and blue -see notes above)
- edible star sprinkles optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat shortening (or butter) and sugar together.
- Add eggs, milk and vanilla.
- In separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.
- Slowing add dry ingredients to wet ingredients.
- Mix together until dough can hold together into a ball. Spray a 9×13 glass baking dish. Drop clumps of dough evenly around pan.
- Press dough down evenly with hands or spatula. Bake 15-18 minutes or until dough BARELY starts getting golden around the edges. Do not over bake!
For frosting and topping:
- Beat together cream cheese, butter, and vanilla. Add powdered sugar to desired consistency.
- Allow the cookie base to cool to room temperature before frosting (best if covered and chilled in refrigerator). Spread over cooled cookie bars.
- Top with Pop Rocks and sprinkles and cut into squares. Serve chilled.
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I’m with you, bars are much easier which is usually what I’m looking for particularly in the summer. These are perfect for Independence Day.
How completely FUN for the 4th! Love this idea! They sound tasty too!
What a fun idea to use pop rocks to top with!! Can’t wait to see my kids’ expressions when they take their first bite.
So festive and soooo delicious! Definitely going to make these again for our 4th of July party.