I mentioned before that I don’t really care for spicy foods. However, I really like the tastes of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves. And that is a good thing too, as this recipe includes all 4 of those spices, plus molasses!
Gingerbread really makes an appearance at this time of year. Oh, you always see gingersnaps in the cookie aisle, but gingerbread men and gingerbread houses? They come out in droves during Christmas (though honestly? At the store I shop at, they were out the day after Halloween).
Gingerbread bars have a little thicker texture than a gingerbread cake. And slathered with cream cheese frosting! Yum! The gingerbread and frosting balance each other nicely. These are perfect for that after dinner dessert with coffee. Actually, they would be perfect anytime!
Gingerbread Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes 1 pan
1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs + 1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup molasses
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/4 teapsoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 3/4 cups flour
Cream Cheese frosting:
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
1 cup powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 11 x 15 pan (or line with aluminum foil & grease). Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and sugar. Add in the eggs, egg yolk, vanilla, and molasses, and mix well. Stir in the baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Add in the flour and mix until just combined .
Spread into prepared pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
To make the frosting, in a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese and butter. Add in the vanilla, then slowly add in the powdered sugar. Mix until everything comes together and the frosting is smooth.
Once the bars have completely cooled, spread on the cream cheese frosting. You can cut and serve the bars now if you want, or you can refrigerate them and let the frosting set.
Note: I used a 13×9 inch pan, and baked it just shy of 35 minutes. They were really thick…so I think an 11×15 inch pan would work better. If you only have a 13×9, by all means use it- just know the baking time will be longer and they will be thicker.
What dessert do you enjoy with coffee?
Made with love, not calories!
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