Friday, February 3, 2012

Chai Bars with Honey Ginger Icing

I love the flavors of chai and I have another chai recipe that I’ve been waiting to make, but I saw these and made them within the course of a couple weeks. That’s pretty good for me! I thought the flavors in these sounded so good and the honey ginger icing, well, that would have to be good. These ended up taking no time to put together, too, so great all around.

The chai baked good recipes that I come across get the chai flavors through different means. Some use premade chai concentrate, either in liquid or powdered form. This recipe combines a number of spices together to create the chai. I think I like this approach, as the spices are likely something that you have in the cupboard and you can change the spices to fit your taste. The original spice mix for these cookies called for ground star anise. That was the only thing I didn’t have, so I substituted nutmeg. I don’t typically like cardamom, but I gave it a chance and hoped it wouldn’t be overpowering in the spice mixture. Yes, these do include ground pepper. Don’t worry, it’s good!

These bars are very thin, so don’t fret if you think there is barely enough dough to cover the bottom of the baking pan. Watch the time on the baking as they can get too browned very quickly. I found it easier to remove the bars from the pan before icing. I cut the cooked bars in two big pieces and it came out of the pan with no problem. The spice mix in these is really outstanding, which is nicely balanced with the sweet honey icing. These are fantastic!

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 egg
2 cups flour
1 pinch salt
1 1/2 teaspoon ginger
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 teaspoon cardamom
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon ginger
1 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9” x 13” baking pan.

In a large mixer bowl, cream the butter, sugar and brown sugars. Add the egg and mix well. Add flour, salt and spices and stir until the mixture is thoroughly combined. Press into the prepared pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the cookies are a pale golden brown. Let cool.

Make the icing: mix the honey, ginger, and powdered sugar in a small bowl. Add water, ½ teaspoon at a time, until the icing is spreadable. Spread over the cookies and allow to set before cutting into squares.

Recipe from Sweet as Sugar Cookies

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