Back-to-back recipes from the New York Times! These have such a similar taste to Cream Wafers (a family favorite), that there’s already been a discussion of the merits of immediately baking up another pan. The icing is supposed to be ‘green’ for St. Patrick’s Day, but the neon version was the final decision, which is why it came out the color of Shrek. You need these bars in your life – enjoy!
1 c. butter AND 1 package (250 g) cream cheese, both at room temperature
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 egg AND 2 t. vanilla
2 3/4 c. (350 g) flour AND 1/2 t. fine sea salt
6 T. (85 g) butter, room temperature
2 c. (245 g) icing sugar
1 T. cream + more if needed
1 t. lemon juice + more if needed
1 t. vanilla AND 1/4 t. fine sea salt
food coloring and sprinkles – as you wish
To make the bars – preheat oven to 350, butter a 9 x 13 baking pan, line the pan with parchment (ideally with 2 overhanging edges to help with removal later), and butter the parchment.
Using your electric mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese together for a minute or 2 until well blended then add in the sugar and continue to beat until the mix is smooth. Add in the egg and vanilla, beat on low until combined, then gradually add in the flour and salt and mix on low until all is just combined – scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Scrape the batter into your prepared baking pan and smooth out the top as best as you can. Bake until the edges are just starting to brown – 20 to 25 minutes – the middle will still look moist but it should be baked just long enough not to jiggle. For myself, 22 minutes was perfect. Remove the pan from the oven and leave the bars to cool completely on a rack.
For the frosting – when the bars have cooled completely, you can either leave them in the pan to frost, or use the edges to remove the whole cake to a cutting board. Put the butter in the bowl of your electric mixer, beat for about a minute until creamy, add half of the icing sugar and mix on low to combine, then repeat with the remaining sugar.
Add in the cream, lemon juice, vanilla, salt and food coloring (if using) and then beat on medium speed until the frosting is fluffy and perfect. Add more cream if needed, but this recipe worked beautifully for me. Frost and decorate the bars as you wish and dive in – there won’t be any leftovers!