These super decadent brown butter sugar cookie bars embody all the warmth and coziness that comes with Fall – and then some! The cinnamon bourbon buttercream is a treat on its own, but together… they just may be my new favorite Fall treat! The fact that they’re a 30 minute start-to-finish situation is just the icing on the cake 😉
Today I felt like taking a wee break from pumpkin to focus on some of the other fabulous flavors of Fall! Like cinnamon! And bourbon! And BROWN BUTTER!!! Ok… I don’t really know if those even count as Fall flavors. But what I do know is they taste like it. And that’s what really counts… right?!
Q: Have you tried it? It adds such a rich, nutty, I-can’t-even-put-it-into-words wonder to baked goods… and if this is your first rodeo with it – you’re in for such a treat! Also, please don’t be intimated to try it! I know – especially if you’re new in the kitchen – terms like browned butter can seem a bit fierce. But browned butter really just means you cook it a little longer and babysit it like a HAWK. The biggest mistake when you’re browning your butter is to walk away. Please don’t do it!
Now that we’ve got the browned butter business out of the way – let’s talk about the other butter in this recipe. Cinnamon Bourbon Buttercream. I mean… me-ow!!! It’s exactly as awesome as it sounds, and super easy to whip up! Just make sure your butter is nice and soft before you get started. That’a an important, one! The finished product will be a light, fluffy buttercream that’s just beaming with a cozy cinnamon/bourbon flavor. It’s a true winner, y’all.
I decided to be all faaaancy and top my bars off with some pretty gold sprinkles I found last week, but I really think the decorating options for these bars are endless! If I didn’t go the sprinkle route, I was highly considering some chopped toffee pieces. I think you should try it and let me know what you think 😉 xoxo
Brown Butter Sugar Cookie Bars with Cinnamon Bourbon Buttercream
For the Brown Butter Sugar Cookie Bars:
- 13 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted until browned
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
For the Bourbon Buttercream:
- 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, VERY soft
- 1 and 3/4 cups powdered sugar, to start; you may need more
- 1 tablespoon bourbon
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
For the Brown Butter Sugar Cookie Bars:
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees (F). Line a 9x13 inch baking pan with parchment, and lightly spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Place butter in a large, heavy bottomed pan over medium-low heat and melt. Once the bar has completely liquified, continue to cook it, stirring almost constantly, until it bubbles up and takes on a nutty aroma. Remove from heat at once.
- Add vanilla and sugars and mix well to combine. Add in eggs - quickly - and beat until they're fully incorporated in the batter.
- Add in the flour and salt and using a rubber spatula fold the flour into the batter until just combined - don't over mix!
- Pour your batter - it will be thick - into the prepared pan, and place it in the oven to bake for 22-25 minutes, or until the edges have set and the center doesn't wobble. Allow bars to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before lifting up the tabs of the parchment paper and transferring them to a cooling wrack to cool completely.
- In the meantime, make your bourbon buttercream!
- Place the softened butter in a large bowl OR the body of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium-speed until light and fluffy, then add your sugar - a little bit at a time. The mixture will look pasty and dry, but don't worry! Once you add your liquid it fluffs up!
- Add the bourbon, then the cream, cinnamon, and the finally the salt; beat on high for one minute. If the buttercream appears too soft, add a small bit more confectioners' sugar. If it appears too dry, add a small dash of cream (or bourbon). Once the buttercream has reached your desired texture and taste (I always add a dash more bourbon…), you may store it on the counter (as long as it's in a cool room) until needed. Or plop it in the fridge until needed, just be sure to give it a few minutes to come to room temperature before spreading.
- Spread buttercream over cooled cookie bars, cut into squares, and serve! I added gold sprinkles to the tops of mine, but I think the decorating options for these bars are endless!