Calling all cookie lovers. You will love this Frosted Guinness Cookie Bar. It’s the new way to cookie!
Think soft and chewy butterscotch cookie with the added depth of Guinness’s coffee and malt notes minus the hassles of scooping and shaping cookies and baking one batch at a time.
The best part about this recipe is it’s completely customizable. You can take the base recipe and pump it with your favorite add-ins. Try crushed bacon, potato chips, pretzels, chopped chocolate, toffee bits, or your favorite candy for a sweet and salty finish . . .so many possibilities!
Below are a few notes to keep in mind, and I’ve tried to anticipate some questions you might have.
- Guinness: You might be asking if the 2 teaspoons of Guinness is necessary. Do you really need the two teaspoons of vanilla? Yes. The slight and subtle coffee notes and malt flavors of Guinness adds a counterpoint to the sweetness.
- Flour: I used a mix of bread and all-purpose flour for a more tender finish. If you don’t have any bread flour on hand, you can replace it with all-purpose flour. Keep in mind the cookies will not have that chewy soft, tender texture that following the flour ratio in the recipe will yield.
- Eggs: Resist the urge to go with 2 whole eggs. The lack of egg white in the second egg keeps the hydration of the recipe in balance.
- Frosting: Of course, you don’t need it, but why would you skip it? It’s like a cookie and cupcake mash-up! Aside from that, where else will the sprinkles go?
Now that we have the details and notes out of the way, fire up the oven and get your Guinness ready. Never mind milk, that is so 2022!
Frosted Cookie Bars
- 1 cup (5oz/135g) bleached all-purpose flour
- 1 cup (5oz/135g)bread flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon table salt
- ½ cup (2oz/50g) chopped pecans
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup (7oz/195g) light brown sugar
- ½ cup (3.5oz/105g) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg + 1 egg yolk
- 2 teaspoon Guinness
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups preferred buttercream frosting (homemade recipe included at the end of recipe instructions)
Heat oven to 325 degrees. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position. Line a 13x9-inch pan with a foil sling.
In a large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose and bread flour, baking soda, and salt; aside.
In a skillet, over medium heat, add 8 tablespoons of butter. Cook and stir until butter is dark golden brown and has a nutty aroma, about 3 to five minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and transfer browned butter to a large heatproof bowl. Add the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter and whisk to combine. This will help to cool the brown butter.
Add brown and white sugar and whisk to combine. Add the egg, egg yolk, Guinness, and vanilla, and using a stand mixer or hand-held mixer, beat until the mixture is well combined.
Fold in the flour mixture just until there are no visible streaks of flour. Do not over-mix. Scrape dough into the prepared pan.
Bake until the top is light golden brown and the edges start pulling towards the center, about 22 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven and let it cool completely on a wire rack. The residual heat will continue to slowly bake the cookie bars. Remove bars from the pan by using the foil sling. Spread the frosting on top, then decorate with sprinkles. Cut and serve.
To make the frosting: Place 8 tablespoons of room temperature butter in a large bowl. Beat the butter until creamy, about 1 minute. Add 1 cup of powdered sugar and beat on low until combined. Repeat with the remaining cup of powdered sugar. Add 2 tablespoons of milk and 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract until the frosting is light and fluffy. (*If the frosting is too stiff, add another tablespoon of milk to loosen it.)
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