Sunday, December 13, 2009

Gingerbread bars with white chocolate icing

Sometimes, some thing just tastes so good, that you can't even compare what it tastes like with an actual taste. For example, say you're at a restaurant and you order the jerk seasoned shrimp with mango salsa and mashed sweet potato with fried plantains on the side... you taste it, and you get such an explosion of hot, spicy & sweet that sometimes all you can
say is: "Oh man. That tastes like the freakin' bahamas right there."

And somehow, everyone will nod their head and totally know exactly what you mean even though in reality it makes no sense whatsoever.

These bars... are kinda like that.

I want to say they taste like gingerbread bars that have been tinted with a nice white chocolate (and cream cheese) icing laced on top. I want to say they taste subtly spicy with a sweet tone. I want to say they taste like a thousand gingerbread men, only in cake form... but none of these seem to fit the description as well as my sister-in-laws words:

"It's like I just bit into Christmas."

Y'took the words right outta my mouth. Except not literally because that would be awkward.

Just look at these. They are so delicately weighed. Not too light or heavy. A perfect little snack cake that would do well with or without the icing (but because we like to take things to the next level and once is never enough, we'll just go ahead and ACCIDENTALLY cross over another healthy helping of lacy icing on these babies. Remember. Accidentally.) It's not rich at all and it
really does taste like you are biting into Christmas Day itself. It's like a total nostalgia rush to the fifth degree. Even if you've never had gingerbread before, you'll be swept away into Christmas.

Or just another piece.
Extra icing, please.

I was actually going to opt for Martha's AMAZINGLY DELICIOUS looking white chocolate gingerbread blondies BUT... 2 sticks of butter martha?! 2 whole sticks!?

...WELL, MARTHA, I DON'T HAVE TWO STICKS OF BUTTER TO USE. So you and your fancy pants recipe will just have to wait another week before they get their grips on my waistline.

So there.
(I'm sorry, I had to get that out. Forgive me.)

'Till then, I'm going to savor what has to be the best version of gingerbread I have possibly ever had. And I encourage you to do the same.

Gingerbread Bars with White Chocolate Icing
Stolen from Culinary in the Desert who adapted it from Bon Appetit


For gingerbread bars:
2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup molasses
1 cup white chocolate chips (optional)

For white chocolate icing:
1 oz white chocolate, melted and cooled
4 oz cream cheese, softened
3-4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tbsp milk (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13x9 inch pan with foil, with the foil going over the length-wise edges of the pan, sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, add flour. SCOOP OUT 2 TABLESPOONS OF FLOUR and place in separate bowl to reserve for topping.

3. Into the flour (not reserved flour), whisk in ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

4. In large mixing bowl, cream together butter and 6 tablespoons of granulated sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating just to combine after each addition. Mix in vanilla and molasses. Add dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Stir in white chocolate chips if using.

5. Scoop batter into prepared pan and, with an offset spatula, smooth out top. Sprinkle the top with reserved flour, then sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons granulated sugar over that.

6. Place into oven and bake until bars are golden brown and a toothpick comes out mostly clean with a few crumbs attached, about 20-24 minutes. Remove and place pan on wire wrack to cool completely before cutting.

7. While gingerbread is cooking, make the icing. take a clean medium-small bowl and blend together the cream cheese and powdered sugar. Blend in the melted white chocolate. Then blend in the vanilla. IF your icing is too thick, thin it out with a tablespoon of milk. If it's too think, add more powdered sugar.

7. When bars are cooled, lift the bars out of the pan with the foil that you lined over the edges of the pan. Cut into desired bars and, using a pastry bag (Or take a ziplock bag, put the icing in it and then cut off a little hole with scissors at the pointy tip), drizzle white chocolate icing over bars. Save leftover icing in fridge if desired.


Jo on December 13, 2009 at 4:34 PM said...

I love ginger in cakes and cookies and these bars look so darn good.

SeaBird on December 14, 2009 at 9:20 AM said...

My husband LOVEs gingerbread so I will have to try these sometime this weekend! Yum!


Anonymous said...

I used this recipe and served the bars for my family for our Christmas cake. It was absolutely amazing!! They loved it and the recipe was so easy to follow. Thanks :)

Alexandra on December 26, 2009 at 7:08 AM said...

alcor, I'm SO glad it turned out great for you! :)

SammyLou_USA on December 23, 2013 at 11:02 AM said...

Hiya when does the brown sugar get added? In with the other dry ingredients mixed?

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