I’m a pretty unique person. Want more proof than you already have? I like going to the dentist. That’s right, I said it. Every six months, and sometimes a visit or two in between depending on what’s going on in the life of my mouth (Invisalign, whitening, though hopefully no cavities!), I look forward to my visit. There’s nothing quite as nice as having your teeth cleaned, all the stains from my insatiable desire for fruit gone for the time being. Through the aforementioned Invisalign and whitening, I have also come to love my teeth and smile, something I didn’t think was possible a year or so ago.
But more than any of the obvious dental benefits, I enjoy hanging out with the people who work there. My love of the dentist wasn’t always present; in fact before switching to the office I currently visit, I faced a deep feeling of hatred and dread every time I had to go. I was normal! Going to the dentist was torture; I’d do anything to get out of it, unless it got me out of school. I hated that dentist office smell that I felt like I couldn’t get off of me for days on end. But now there’s no yucky smell and the best staff ever.
Stefanie cleans my teeth. The only problem is I wish we could chat more during cleaning time, but we manage to get in plenty of conversation somehow. Then there’s the dentist herself, Dr. Dolores Baran. Not only is she an incredibly talented dentist who made me fall in love with my smile, but she’s also such a nice person. Many a cocktail party or fashion show at Neiman Marcus has been improved by hanging out with her. I consider the receptionists, Katie and Kelly, among my short list of friends. They are always kind and have smiles on their faces. Able to answer questions about various dental topics, they are well versed in the field. I love when they join Mom and me at fashion shows or dinner. If you live in the Detroit area and are looking for a dentist, I highly recommend this office. You just might learn to like going to the dentist too.
As a token of my appreciation for their hard work and kindness, I whipped up some sugar cookie bars to bring to the office on my latest visit. However, with trying to run and promote my blog as much as possible, work on my novels, bake, cook, watch TV, exercise, and leave the house to have some fun when time allows, my brain is on overload and not always very helpful. I forgot the bars at home. It was too late to turn around and go back, so after my appointment and some grocery shopping, I picked up the bars and took them back to right the wrong. Anyone else ever wonder what is wrong with their brain? I hope they enjoyed them, and even more, I hope they know how much I relish my time in their office.
The sugar cookie bars are fabulous. The bar itself is kind of plain but has a great chewy texture, similar to that of a brownie, so that made me really happy. Then it’s topped with a smooth buttercream made with both butter and shortening, which I love. Mom was kind of grossed out about the idea of shortening in it, but I loved it. The flavor did not disappoint, tasting kind of like the canned Dunkin Heinz Creamy Vanilla, my guilty pleasure (don’t judge), but even better. Topped off with rainbow sprinkles, these are a real winner and make for a great summer treat! They’d be perfect for your Fourth of July celebration tomorrow!
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 5 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
- ½ cup vegetable shortening
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 4 heaping cups confectioners’ sugar
- 2-4 tablespoons milk (I used 2 tablespoons skim)
- Rainbow sprinkles
- Make the bars. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a rimmed sheet pan or cookie sheet. Line it with parchment, then butter the parchment.
- In a large bowl, mix the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. I did this with a wooden spurtle, but a hand or stand mixer would work too. Add eggs and mix to combine. Add vanilla and mix until fully incorporated. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, salt, and baking soda. Add to butter mixture and mix until a thick dough comes together.
- Dump the dough into the prepared pan and spread it evenly using spoon and fingers. Bake for about 15 minutes, until lightly golden brown, quite firm to the touch, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs. Cool completely in pan.
- Make the frosting. In a large bowl, using a hand mixer, a stand mixer would also work, cream butter and shortening until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and confectioners’ sugar. Beat until mixture forms dry clumps. Add milk 1 tablespoon at a time, until a thick and creamy buttercream results. Spread frosting over cooled bars. Sprinkle sprinkles over top and gently press into the frosting. I love sprinkles and really think they add pizazz to the look and texture of the bars.
- Using a sharp knife, cut into 32 squares, 4 bars on the short side, 8 on the long side. May be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 4 months, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag. Thaw at room temperature for several hours.