Grinch Cookies in a simple to make bar form! Grinch Cookie Bars are a delicious homemade grinch themed treat that’s so simple to make! Green frosting and a big red heart make them perfect for Christmas, or a Grinch Movie viewing party.
If you liked Grinch Cookies, you’re going to love these super simple to make Grinch Cookie Bars! These Christmas Cookie Bars are baked in one pan so they are faster to bake than a cookie recipe, but they are still sweet, chewy, and fun like grinch cookies should be!
I love the Grinch story. It’s such a wholesome tale about humanity and love. The big hearts on these bars represent how the Grinch’s heart grew three sizes that day, and everyone will immediately recognize the story on these simple grinch bars.
Grinch Cookie Bars are made from scratch using a simple sugar cookie bar recipe that uses a handful of common pantry ingredients. These bars are soft, chewy, and buttery. A sweet buttercream frosting tinted green makes Christmas cookie bars perfect for the season.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Soft and Chewy Bars: These Christmas cookie bars are like your favorite soft sugar cookie, but in a bar form! The texture is perfect here.
- Simple Decoration: While fancy Christmas cookie decorating can be fun, I think you’ll appreciate the simplicity here. Two colors of icing and some sprinkles are all you need to make these fun and festive.
- Fast and Easy: Bar cookies are the easiest! Mix up the batter, add it to the pan, bake, and decorate. Grinch Cookie Bars are much faster to make than any traditional cookie recipe.
- Flour, Cornstarch, Baking Powder, Salt: These are the dry ingredients for this grinch cookie recipe. The addition of corn starch to cookie recipes keeps them soft.
- Butter: Unsalted butter is preferred when baking, as salted butter can contain varied amounts of salt. We’ll add our own salt to be sure that we aren’t overdoing it.
- Granulated Sugar and Eggs: Two ingredients that are present in just about any good cookie recipe. Leave your eggs on the counter for a bit so that they come to room temperature before mixing them in.
- Vanilla Extract: This is the perfect flavor for Grinch sugar cookies. We will add it to the cookies and to the frosting.
- Green Sprinkles (jimmies) and Food Coloring: to get the pretty green specs inside of the grinch cookies, simple green jimmy sprinkles do the job nicely. Gel food coloring will help us to get the perfect grinch-y shade of green for the frosting.
- Buttercream Frosting: Powdered sugar, more butter, and whole milk start the buttercream frosting party. This stuff is so good, you might have trouble not licking the bowl!
Complete list of ingredients with quantities and instructions is located in the recipe card below.
How to Make Grinch Cookie Bars
- Prepare: Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a 9×13 baking dish with parchment paper and spray the paper with cooking spray. In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, cornstarch and salt) and set aside.
- Make Cookie Dough: In a large bowl with either an electric hand mixer or a stand mixer, cream the butter with the granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Next add the vanilla and mix until well combined. Add the flour mixture, stirring to incorporate it into the wet mixture. Finally, add the green sprinkles and stir to evenly distribute them.
- Bake: Press the cookie dough into the prepared 9×13 pan, using your hands to be sure that it’s evenly spread. Bake for 25-28 minutes until lightly golden brown. A toothpick inserted into the center of the pan should come out cleanly. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
- Make Frosting: Place the butter for the frosting into a large bowl. Using a hand mixer, add in the powdered sugar a little at a time until fully mixed. Next add the salt, vanilla, and milk. Mix until combined. Turn the mixer to medium-high speed, and whip the frosting for 3 minutes until it’s light and fluffy.
- Color Frosting: Separate the icing so that you have about 1/2 cup of frosting in one bowl and the rest in another. Color the smaller amount of frosting red, and color the larger amount using green. Here I used a combination of green and yellow to get the grinch cookies the color that I wanted.
- Frost and Decorate: Use the green frosting to generously ice the top of the cookie bars. Let that set for a bit, then cut the bars into squares. Using a #12 round icing tip, pipe one heart onto each bar.
The Frosting Should Be Fluffy: Make sure you whip the buttercream well to incorporate air into it so that it’s light, fluffy, and amazing.
Use Gel Food Coloring: If all you can find is liquid food coloring, you’ll have a hard time getting these vibrant colors. Gel coloring is a much better option for bright icing colors.
Take a Shortcut: Instead of Piping hearts, use large heart shaped sprinkles instead.
More Flavor: You can add almond, mint, or any other extract to the dough to change the flavor.
Watch out for Powdered Sugar! Don’t add all of the powdered sugar to the bowl at once, you’ll end up creating a Grinch of a snow storm! Add a small amount at a time, and start your mixer at a low speed to incorporate it.
Recommended Cookie Making Tools
These tools are all in my kitchen, and help me bake cookies with ease. Pick up any that you don’t already have, and you’ll be ready for baking any time.
- Pyrex Mixing Bowls: There’s something about these clear glass mixing bowls that brings me back to baking with my mother. They are a must for me, even though I’ve tried other bowls, I still come back to these every time.
- Hand Mixer: No need to use a fancy stand mixer for a batch of cookies when a hand mixer does the job just fine. I use this one from Kitchenaid.
- Measuring Cups and Spoons: This set from OXO is just so well designed! There are magnets in the handles so they stack and stick to each other perfectly.
- Kitchen Scales: for measuring ingredients or portions by weight, this glass kitchen scale is my favorite.
- Cookie Scoop: This scoop is a small size, and makes one tablespoon sized scoops, perfect for most drop cookie recipes. I suggest keeping a medium cookie scoop on hand as well.
- Cookie Sheet: I love my Nordic Ware half sheet pans. They are very high quality and last forever.
- Silpat: To line the cookie sheets, a Silpat silicone mat in half size is perfect for making everything non-stick, and you’ll never need to buy parchment paper again.
This tutorial makes it super simple! Using a round tip, it’s just two lines in a V shape. If you’re nervous, practice a few on a piece of parchment paper or a plate before piping hearts on your grinch cookies.
You can store leftover cookie bars in an airtight container for up to 5 days at room temperature. Avoid stacking them if you want to keep the decoration nice. Grinch cookie bars can also be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.
I suggest using jimmy style sprinkles in this recipe because they tend not to bleed. Other types of sprinkles, especially nonpareils (the small, round sprinkles)will likely bleed and turn the cookie bars all green. This is not necessarily a problem, just a different look.
To get this really bright green, I used a few drops of green food coloring with a few less drops of yellow. You should add the gel coloring a little bit at a time to get the right shade. Neon green works well on it’s own, or go a bit less vivid with leaf green.
Don’t let the Grinch steal your Christmas Cookie Bars! You’ll have a hard time giving these away this Christmas, but it will be worth it when you see how much everyone loves the flavor and the decorations on them.
Grinch Sugar Cookie Bars
- Hand mixer
- 9×13 Baking Pan
- #20 Round Piping Tip and Bag
For the Sugar Cookie Bars
- 4 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt or table salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 3 eggs large, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ cup green jimmy sprinkles
For the Frosting
- ½ cup unsalted butter softened
- 2 ½ cups powdered sugar
- 1 pinch fine sea salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 ½ tablespoons whole milk
- green food coloring
- red food coloring
- yellow food coloring optional
To Make the Grinch Sugar Cookie Bars
- Preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C. Line a 9×13 inch baking dish with parchment paper and spray the paper with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, cornstarch, and salt. Set aside.
- In another large bowl, add the butter and granulated sugar. Cream with a hand mixer until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes).
- Mix in the eggs, adding one egg at a time and letting each get fully incorporated before adding the next. Then add the vanilla extract and mix to combine.
- Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until fully mixed, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the sprinkles to the dough and stir them in.
- Press the cookie dough into the prepared baking dish, using your hands to ensure that the dough is in an even layer.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 25-28 minutes. When done, the cookie bars will be lightly golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the pan will come out clean. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
To Make the Frosting and Decorate the Cookie Bars
- While the bars cool, make the frosting. Put softened butter into a large bowl. Using an electric hand mixer, mix in the powdered sugar a little bit at a time until fully mixed. Add vanilla, salt, and whole milk, and mix until combined. Turn the mixer up to medium-high speed and whip the frosting for 3 minutes or until light and fluffy.
- Place 1/2 cup of frosting into a small bowl. Use red food coloring to tint the frosting until it's the desired shade for the red hearts.
- To the rest of the frosting, add green and/or yellow food coloring until the desired grinch green shade is reached.
- Add green frosting to the top of the cooled cookie bars and spread with a spatula to cover the entire pan evenly.
- Cut the bars into 15 squares and place on a tray or board for easier decorating.
- Add the red food coloring to a pastry bag fitted with a #20 round piping tip. Pipe a heart onto each cookie bar square.
- Whipping the frosting for the full three minutes will ensure that it is light and fluffy.
- I recommend using gel food coloring to get vibrant grinch-y colors for this recipe.
- To change the flavor of these Christmas cookie bars, add other extract such as mint, almond, or coconut.
- This sugar cookie bar recipe can be adapted for any time of year. Simply change the color of the frosting or sprinkles to suit your occasion.
- Large heart shaped sprinkles can be used if you’d rather not pipe the hearts on by hand.
- Store frosted cookie bars in a single layer in an airtight container for up to 4 days.