About a month ago I volunteered myself as baker for a party. The party originally was supposed to cap off at 50 people, but the host decided to move the location in order to accommodate more people. Now the guest list is well over a hundred people. I quickly had to add to my baking list in order to ensure that everyone gets bit of everything.
I have said it before and I’ll say it again- the easiest way to bake for a crowd is to serve bars! So far, I have made these bars, snickerdoodle blondies, raspberry cheesecake swirled brownies, and monster bars (brownies, oreos and m&m cookie dough). I also made a large 3 layer vanilla bean sheet cake filled with Oreo almond truffle filling and vanilla bean frosting. I have a few more things to bake, and then I am retiring.
Well, not really cause then I have to start prepping for Easter Brunch!
These bars were inspired by Heather Christo’s St. Patricks Day Vanilla Cookie Bars. While I love sugar cookies, I decided to go with a thick shortbread cookie. I used the same recipe that was used in the Tagalong Bars.
All in all, these came out fantastic! The vanilla bean flavor shines in the dense cookie and fluffy frosting.
Vanilla Bean Shortbread
- 2 cups AP flour
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 pinch of salt (1/8 tsp)
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9×13 in pan with parchment paper, or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
Mix butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add egg yolks and vanilla, mix until combined. Slowly add flour and salt until everything is mixed together.
Bake until the edges are golden, about 12-14 minutes. Cool completely before frosting.
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
- 2-3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
- 3 tablespoons milk or heavy cream
Beat butter and extract for 2 minutes. Add powdered sugar and milk or cream. If the frosting still looks to wet, add more powdered sugar in 1/2 cup increments. Beat with whisk attachment for 3 minutes on high.
Frost the bars and decorate, if desired. Allow the frosting to set for about an hour before cutting.