Chewy, perfectly spiced Gingerbread Bars meet sweet, luscious Cream Cheese Frosting and it is a match meant to be! These are one of the best holiday bars and once you try them you’ll want to make them every Christmas season! My list of cookies I need to make every year just keeps getting longer and longer :).
These bars are a nice meet in the middle kind of gingerbread. They aren’t overly spiced, more of a mellow yet still deliciously gingery bar. So kids and adults alike will love them. Sometimes when I make gingerbread with a lot of ginger or molasses it can be a little too strong for my kids but these are perfect. It still had enough ginger and molasses in them that I loved them and it wasn’t too much for my kids because they loved them just as much.
Another great thing about these is that they are so easy to make. I like bars because you don’t have to bake up individual portions like cookies, instead you just spread it all into one pan. Feel free to add as many festive Christmas sprinkles as you’d like. I couldn’t resist adding some itty bitty little gingerbread men to mine as well. If you really want to get into things you could make some homemade mini gingerbread men like I did here. Then just keep them in the freezer and add them to all your gingerbread treats throughout the month.
Try these gingerbread bars soon, you just can’t go wrong with these during this time of year! Who could resist? They’ll be enjoyed down the the last little crumb.
Gingerbread Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting
Yield: About 20 bars
- 2 cups + 2 Tbsp (300g) all-purpose flour (scoop and level to measure)
- 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup (169g) unsalted butter, diced into 1 Tbsp pieces, melted and cooled slightly
- 1 cup (220g) packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup (60ml) unsulphured molasses
- 1 large egg
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup butter , nearly at room temperature (I like to use 1/4 c salted butter 1/4 c unsalted)
- 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, nearly at room temperature
- 2 1/2 cups (325g) powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13 by 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray, set aside. In a medium mixing bowl whisk together flour, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, baking soda and salt for 20 seconds, set aside.
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, blend together butter, brown sugar and molasses until combined. Mix in egg an vanilla extract. With mixer set on low speed slowly add in flour mixture and mix until combined. Fold batter with a spatula as needed until batter appears to be evenly incorporated.
Pour dough into prepared baking dish and spread and press into an even layer using your hands. Bake in preheated oven until bars have baked through, about 14 - 17 minutes (be careful not to over-bake). Transfer baking dish to a wire rack and let bars cool completely.
For the cream cheese frosting:
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream together butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add in powdered sugar and vanilla and mix until light and fluffy. From here I like to freeze the frosting in 3 minute intervals then I mix between intervals using the stand mixer until it's the consistency I like (it usually takes about 9 minutes total). Spread frosting over cooled bars. Cut into squares. Cover with lid or plastic wrap and store in refrigerator.
Recipe source: Cooking Classy