I’m craaaaaazy for coconut. Sorry, I couldn’t help myself. I’m also a sugar cookie addict that hates scooping or rolling out cookies. My solution? Sugar Cookie Bars…with coconut!
These Coconut Sugar Cookie Bars have triple the coconut flavor with coconut oil, coconut extract and coconut frosting! This easy sugar cookie bar is the perfect dessert recipe.
Oh my gosh, writer’s block just sucks. And you know what? Two days ago, I had this GREAT idea for a post and I can’t remember what it was.
The memory loss *may* be because I was wine tasting at the time, in Napa. We had a driver. I was fine until the third winery and then I just…wasn’t.
Maybe the awesome post idea will come back to me. Maybe not? Until then, you’ll have to deal with me rambling about nothing.
Which, really, is not something you’re not used to. It’s all I do #ramblerambleramble
Anyway. Let’s talk about coconut, mmkay?
Another thing I love? Sugar cookie bars! I could eat an entire tray of those bars if I’m not careful.
Since I’ve already made sugar cookie bars and it’s SPRING, I decided to go with a new flavor twist: coconut. These are coconut all the way down to their core: they are made with coconut oil AND coconut extract.
These Coconut Sugar Cookie Bars have TRIPLE the coconut flavor – that icing is the best part!
I love using coconut oil in cooking but did you know it could be used in baking too?
You can substitute coconut oil for butter when baking!
Coconut oil is liquid when it’s hot and pretty darn solid when it’s cold. Depending on the brand you buy, you’ll have to microwave it in the winter to be able to scoop it. In the summer, you may be able to just scoop it easily. The Trader Joe’s brand pictured is my favorite one – it’s totally reliable. There’s another brand you can get at grocery stores that works fine, but it stays more solid year round.
For the most part in baking you can substitute coconut oil for butter or shortening 1:1. However, when you’re substituting it for solid (softened) butter, you’ll want to add a bit of milk to your recipe. Solid butter has water in it as well as fat but since coconut oil is pure fat, your recipe can come out a bit dry.
Just subbing coconut oil for butter doesn’t give an overwhelming coconut flavor. It’s very, very subtle.
How can you make coconut sugar cookies taste like coconut?
Just using coconut oil isn’t going to make them overly taste like coconut and I wanted them to scream COCONUT, so I added coconut extract to the batter in my perfect sugar cookie recipe.
Coconut extract amps up the flavor significantly. Look for coconut extract made from real coconut if you can find it (it won’t say PURE but it won’t say IMITATION either). McCormick makes it, but if you can only find imitation, that’s ok.
Sugar cookie bars are so much easier to make than sugar cookies!
Pressing the dough into a 9×13 pan makes these super easy to make. Having to roll or scoop sugar cookies is much harder than just pressing them into the pan.
Bake them until they are just slightly golden around the edges. If they look done, they’re over done, so take them out a little under-done for best results.
What kind of frosting goes on sugar cookie bars?
My favorite sugar cookie frosting is a basic buttercream. To make this suitable for coconut sugar cookie bars, I made a coconut icing:
- Coconut oil for the fat.
- Coconut milk for the milk component.
- Coconut extract for that extra punch of flavor.
Then on the top I added even more coconut. More coconut = winning.
If you love sugar cookies + coconut, you’ll love these bars. I had to freeze them immediately – after I ate about 5. They’re dangerous!
Tips for making Coconut Sugar Cookie Bars:
- If you don’t want to use coconut oil, substitute ½ cup unsalted softened butter for the cookies and 3 tablespoons for the frosting.
- Be sure to grab some coconut extract at the store.
- Don’t skip the cream of tartar; that gives the softness!
- Topping them with toasted coconut would be even better!
Tools for success:
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Coconut Sugar Cookie Bars
For the Cookies:
- 2/3 cup coconut oil
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon coconut extract
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups flour
For the Frosting:
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil
- Pinch of salt
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
- 2 tablespoons coconut milk or almond milk or soy, or nonfat/regular milk
- 1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut plus more for garnish.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9x13” pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.
- Cream coconut oil and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat in egg and both extracts. Mix in baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt. Slowly mix in flour. Mixture may be crumbly but if you keep mixing it should turn into dough.
- Press the dough into prepared pan.
- Bake for 16-19 minutes. The sides will just be getting golden and the center will look a little under done. Once the center looks done, it’s overcooked.
- Make the frosting: Beat coconut oil and powdered sugar until mixture is crumbly. Add vanilla and coconut extracts and 2 tablespoons milk. Mix until the frosting comes together and becomes smooth. Stir in ½ cup shredded coconut. (If you like a thinner frosting, you can add up to a tablespoon more milk, 1 teaspoon at a time.)
- Frost cookie bars and top with more coconut for garnish. Store at room temperature loosely covered. Frosting will semi-dry and cookies are stackable but some frosting may transfer.
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate
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Last Updated on April 11, 2019
All text and images © DOROTHY KERN for Crazy for Crust. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe. Disclaimer: Nutrition information shown is not guaranteed to be accurate.
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Published on: April 8, 2019