Strawberry sugar cookie bars

Pillowy soft Strawberry Sugar Cookie Bars topped with a creamy, dreamy berry frosting and slices of fresh summer berries. Mmm! 

I am a market girl.

Picture a girl in athleisure clothing, white sneakers and a kitschy (but sturdy) canvas bag. Plop some wild hair on top and you’ve got me, gearing up for my favourite Sunday activity. For the past few weekends, I’ve been making the trek to Montreal’s Jean Talon Market to feast on all of the amazing produce they have in season.

The farmers really know how to make a girl spend money.

They arrange their fruits and vegetables in these big, beautiful collages of colour. Then, they slice up big chunks of said fruits and vegetables and put them on a pedestal for me to sample.

I wish I’d brought a few extra hats so I could keep sneaking back to the peach display.

The most beautiful arrangements of all? The berries.

We’re talking row upon row of jewel-bright, glossy strawberries, plump little blueberries and raspberries. Sometimes, they arrange a selection of berries in the same basket so you can get a little bit of everything in your order. It’s enough to bring a tear to a market girl’s eye.

The strawberries are my favourite, with blueberries following closely behind. Sadly, strawberry season is winding down. But, a few farmers still have some pretty gorgeous strawberries to sell.

These Strawberry Sugar Cookie Bars are my tribute to the fading days of strawberry season.

The bars themselves are so soft and buttery. They pair perfectly with the subtle strawberry flavour in the frosting and the tartness of fresh berries. I was very much inspired by the very much inspiring Sally of Sally’s Baking Addiction for the bars themselves. This is the recipe I based my bars on, with modifications of course!

The frosting is so easy to make. Don’t be intimidated by the first step – making a mini-serving of jam. But, if you are intimidated or short on resources or time, there is a hack! You can always just use 1/3 cup of store bought jam (but homemade is better, if you have it!) We’re all about the baking hacks here.


Like anything I make in the summer, I picture it at a picnic. This particular recipe went along with C. to a barbecue for work.

If you happen upon this recipe around Valentine’s Day, it might be just the perfect thing for a berry-loving loved one.

In the meantime, I’ll be over here mourning the end of strawberry season and stuffing my face with local blueberries.

Wishing you the best! xx

Strawberry Sugar Cookie Bars
Makes 20 medium-sized bars 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp corn starch mixed with 3 tbsp water
  • 1/2 cup salted butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • A few drops of red food colouring
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup salted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • Sliced fresh strawberries for garnish (optional)

Directions

  1. Begin by making your jam. Add the strawberries, water, sugar, lemon juice and corn starch/water mixture to a pot on the stove on medium. Once it begins to bubble and the water turns red, turn down to low. Cook for 30 minutes, mashing down the berries until they form a jam-like consistency. Set jam aside to cool NOTE: If you are using premade jam, you can skip this step and just use 1/3 cup of strawberry jam! 
  2. While the jam cools, prepare your bars. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a 9 x 9 baking pan with parchment paper.
  3. Cream together butter and sugar before adding the egg and vanilla. Once the wet mixture is fully combined, add dry ingredients and blend until just combined. Spread into your prepared pan and bake for 23-25 minutes or until the corners are golden brown. Set aside to cool.
  4. Make your frosting by mixing together the jam, butter, icing sugar, vanilla and salt. If it is too liquidy, add more powdered sugar and adjust with salt as needed.
  5. When the sugar cookie bars are completely cool, spread your frosting over the top and garnish with berry slices. Cut into pieces and serve!

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