Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Candy Cane Kiss Sugar Cookie Bars

I finally found a new recipe for my beloved can-only-be-found-at-holiday-time Hershey Candy Cane Kisses!!!   Not that I really needed one being that the Espresso Mint Cookies (see 8-14-12 post) are my favorite cookies.  I just thought the office might like a switch in case they don't love the cookies as much as I do.

These wonderful kisses are only found around November/December, although you might still be able to find a few in the clearance aisles if you are lucky.  As soon as I find them each autumn, I stock up on at least a dozen bags to get me through until the next year.  I pop the bags in the freezer and they stay good for the year.  And although I'm not a big candy eater, these little nuggets are pretty darn good all by themselves.

This is a basic sugar cookie recipe made as a bar in a 13"x9" dish with chunks of the kisses in the mix and a cream cheese frosting sprinkled with more chopped kisses.

CANDY CANE KISS SUGAR COOKIE BARS (makes a 13"x9" dish, number of bars depends on how small/large you cut the bars)

1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
3 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 (10 oz) bag Hershey Candy Cane Kisses (remove about 10 Kisses to use as garnish), about 50 kisses, chopped

4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
2-3 Tbsp milk
about 10 Hershey's Candy Cane Kisses, finely chopped for garnish, optional

Preheat the oven to 350F and line a 13"x9" baking dish with parchment paper or spray it with cooking spray.

For the bars:
In a large bowl beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until combined.

In a separate bowl whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt until combined.  Slowly add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and mix until combined.  Gently fold in the chopped Hershey Kisses.

Press dough into the baking dish and bake for 20-25 minutes or until edges begin to have a touch of golden brown.  Remove from oven and let the bars cool in the pan.

For the frosting:
Beat the cream cheese and butter until fluffy.  Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and beat until creamy.  The mixture may seem dry at first but will become creamy after being beaten for a while.  Add a tablespoon of milk at a time until the frosting reaches the consistency you desire.  Frost cooled bars.  Sprinkle with additional chopped Candy Cane Kisses.

Recipe Source: www.the-girl-who-ate-everything.com

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