I remember waxing poetic last year on their birthday. I talked about how insuperable they were, how sweetly they played together, how they did everything at the same time, together. Things are much different now. They've grown into their own distinct little people. And while they don't seem to connect on the same level they did as infants, they are still each other's best friend.
Tucker has a big personality; he wears his heart on his sleeve already, and lives life with so much passion. His highs are high and his lows are low. His cheeks are the most kissable cheeks I've ever kissed, and he will forever be my little cuddle-bug. He loves being held and cuddled, and Joey and I like to call him "the lego." Because when you pick him up and hold him on your hip, he just fits perfectly. He snaps right into position like a little lego.
And Henry. Sweet sweet Henry. The baby of my babies. He has such an innocence about him, and the most angelic little face. He seems to experience the world on a different wavelength than most of us. He has the softest, sweetest little voice, and I dare you to look into his big brown eyes without melting. But don't let them fool you: he's all boy, and climbs, jumps, runs, and roughhouses more than you'd believe. He's always on the go, and he doesn't stay in one place for long. But when he slows down, sits down, and lays his head on my shoulder…. it's the best feeling in the world.
My favorite time of day is getting the boys up from their nap. They are hanging out in their cribs, and when I open their door, they stand up, grab the crib rail, and start jumping and laughing. These boys turned our lives upside down, but somehow they also turned them right side up. I can't imagine the world without Henry and Tucker, and I feel so lucky that I get to be their mom.
We celebrated Henry and Tucker's second birthday this weekend, and I'll be sharing all the details of their party very soon. But for now, I want to share these funfetti sugar cookie bars. They have become a bit of a tradition in our family. I love making them to send to school for birthday treats for all the kids. Cupcakes can be messy, but these are smaller and more portable, yet still just as cute. And come on - find me a kid who doesn't love sprinkles?!
These have not only become birthday treats for our family, but I make them anytime I need a last-minute dessert to take somewhere. They are equally adaptable as far as colors go, so they can be festive for any holiday or occasion! I've made them for Valentine's Day, Christmas, soccer parties using team colors, and Halloween; and I foresee them being made using school colors for football games, spirit days, and the like as the kids get older.
These bars are so easy, so fun, and most importantly, absolutely delicious. Sprinkles make everything fun!
adapted from Smells Like Home
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cups sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 Tbs sprinkles
Whisk the flour, salt, and baking soda together in a large bowl; set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the bowl as needed. Mix in the vanilla.
Turn off the mixer and pour the dry ingredients into the bowl along with the sprinkles. On low speed, combine the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, mixing until they are just incorporated.
Lightly press the dough into the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the pan comes out clean. The bars will still look pale with barely a hint of browning around the edges.
Transfer the pan to a wire rack to allow the bars to cool completely in the pan.
Whipped Vanilla Frosting
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
- 2 tbsp heavy
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- Food coloring (gel, liquid, or paste), if you want colored frosting
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter for 6 to 8 minutes on medium speed; it will be very pale and light. Add in the sugar, milk, vanilla, and salt and mix on low for 1 minute and then on medium speed for 6 minutes; the frosting will be very light and fluffy. If using food coloring, blend it in until it is fully incorporated.
Use an offset spatula to frost the fully-cooled bars in the pan. Use a sharp knife to slice them into your desired size and shape, garnish with more sprinkles, and serve.