Christmas is coming and that means it’s baking season. Every year without fail I make the same three favourite recipes: gingerbread bars, gingerbread cookies, and rum balls. My husband isn’t a sweets guy, but even he can’t resist these delicious Christmas desserts.
These gingerbread bars are soft and chewy and insanely delicious. But the icing on the cake is literally the icing on the bars. It is my all time favourite cream cheese icing. I use it for everything–like my White Macarons. What I like about it is that the cheese flavour is mild while the sweetness is high, yet it doesn’t just taste like icing sugar. I can’t recommend this icing enough!
Both the gingerbread bars and the icing recipe are from Six Sisters Stuff. You will have quite a bit more icing than you need; I don’t recommend you simply pile it high and use it all, that makes it just way too much icing. So save the leftovers for something else or eat it by the spatula full, you won’t regret it!
Gingerbread Bars Recipe
0.5 cup melted unsalted butter
0.75 cup granulated sugar
0.25 cup brown sugar (I always use golden but dark would enhance the molasses flavours)
0.25 tsp pure vanilla extract
0.33 cup molasses (NOT blackstrap! Blackstrap is bitter. You can use a cooking, light, dark, or fancy molasses which are all sweet varieties)
2 tsp baking soda
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp cinnamon
0.5 tsp ground ginger
0.25 tsp ground cloves
0.25 tsp nutmeg
0.5 tsp salt
8 oz cream cheese
0.25 cup softened unsalted butter
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 cups icing sugar
one: preheat the oven to 350 F and grease a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.
two: cream the butter, sugars, vanilla and molasses, then mix in the egg.
three: add all the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until combined. Press it into your prepared pan.
four: bake for 15-20 minutes (don’t overcook, it’s meant to be chewy not crumbly). Cool completely before topping with icing.
five: make the icing by creaming the butter and cream cheese, then add in the vanilla. Gradually mix in all the icing sugar until you get the most delicious, creamy, smooth icing of all time. But like I said, don’t use it all to frost your bars; it’s too much and you don’t need it that thick. One year I did use the entire batch of icing and even with my insatiable sweet tooth I found it to be too much. Look at the picture to get an idea of how thick you want the icing to be.
Trust me when I say these bars are out of this world. You can add sprinkles or cinnamon or nutmeg or maybe even broken candy canes on top, but I like them with just the icing. These freeze great, too–even eating them frozen is delicious! Let me know what you think in the comments below, and stay tuned for my gingerbread cookie and rum ball recipes!
Ralph Lauren Grey Paisley Table Runner: This was from my wedding registry 5 years ago and purchased at Hudson’s Bay. I can’t find it anywhere for sale online, but try eBay.