Friday, December 19, 2014

Iced Gingerbread Bars

Gingerbread is one of the great flavors of the season, but I have to admit that I bake with ginger all year ‘round. I had pinned this recipe late last year and really was looking forward to making them this year. It makes a fairly small batch, but this time of year when I am making so many cookies that works out ok. The recipe was supposed to pair gingerbread with orange, but I had bought a lemon at the store and just used that instead.

These bars are easy to make, I didn’t even have to use my mixer! You just whisk everything together in a bowl and go. The dough/batter was very thick and smelled fantastic. I love all the spices of the season! The bars took quite a long time to bake, actually even longer than the time I specify in the recipe below. When I would test the bars, you could tell that the dough was pretty gooey. I baked the bars until the knife came out almost clean. I feared baking it any longer or the edges would completely dry out.

The icing is simple but I like the freshness of citrus paired with the gingerbread’s spices. I cut these bars and they were very “fudgy” even though they contain no chocolate. The molasses in these bars is very strong, actually a bit too strong for me. My husband liked them though, so I guess that’s just a difference in preference. I think next time I would use less molasses, maybe ¼ or 1/3 cup. Otherwise I do like the flavor, I’d just like less of the molasses.
Iced Gingerbread Bars
1/2 cup butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 egg
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/4 cups flour

1 teaspoon butter, melted
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8” square baking pan with foil and spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together the butter, egg, brown sugar, molasses, lemon zest, lemon juice, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg until smooth. Add the flour and again whisk to combine. Do not over mix.

Spread the batter into the prepared pan. Bake 32-34 minutes (or longer) or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Allow the bars to cool before icing.

Make the icing: in a small bowl, combine the melted butter, powdered sugar and lemon juice. Mix until smooth. If the mixture is too thick, you can add additional lemon juice (or milk) to thin. Spread over the cooled gingerbread bars. 

Lift the bars from the pan by the foil and peel away the foil. Cut into bars. 

Recipe from Elephant Eats

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