Did you know that today is National Gingerbread Cookie Day? Well it is! Since there are only so many ways to make a gingerbread cookie my food blogging friends and I are celebrating by sharing all things gingerbread!
I was excited to participate because I really like gingerbread. In order to make it you really just need ginger and molasses. That's what gives gingerbread it's flavor. You can use ground ginger in this recipe or fresh ginger. I chose to use fresh because I had some in the refrigerator and it really shines through in these bars.
These Gingerbread Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting are a decadent cookie bar that is perfect for serving around the holidays. The cookie is rich and dense with the sweet cream cheese frosting on top. My son was very excited about the frosting and kept coming into the kitchen and yelling for more. It's that good!
My husband said that these are reminiscent of the Cranberry Bliss Bars but without the cranberries and he's right. The bars are similar except these gingerbread ones have a lot more spice in them. They have a very similar cream cheese frosting but these ones are topped off with sprinkles.
A quick note on the sprinkles. I am a huge fan of sprinkles but on these bars I think simple is better. There's so many flavors going on in the bars and with the frosting that the sprinkles really just add a quick pop of color. You don't need them for texture or for flavor so just sprinkle a few on top.
The resulting bars were awesome. I ate two which is saying a lot. I thought they were the perfect combination of spicy ginger and cinnamon with sweet brown sugar and cream cheese frosting. These bars would be perfect for the holidays!
For the bars:
- 2 c. flour
- ½ t. baking powder
- 1 t. baking soda
- 1 t. cinnamon
- ½ t. nutmeg
- 12 T. butter, softened
- 1 c. brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 t. vanilla
- 1 T. fresh ginger, grated
For the frosting:
- 1 stick butter, softened
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 1 t. vanilla
- 1 T. milk
- 3 c. powdered sugar
- festive sprinkles
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 x 9 pan with foil or parchment paper.
- In a large bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mix well and set aside.
- In another large bowl cream together the butter and sugar. Add in the egg and vanilla and mix well.
- Stir in the ginger.
- Pour the flour mixture into the butter mixture and mix until combined.
- Spread into the prepared pan and bake for 17-20 minutes.
- Remove from oven and cool completely on a wire rack.
- To make the frosting put the butter and cream cheese in a large bowl and beat on medium high speed until combined.
- Add in the vanilla and milk and beat well.
- Add the powdered sugar, a half cup at a time, and mix until desired consistency is reached.
- Spread the frosting on top of the bars and sprinkle with the sprinkles.
- Cut into 16 squares and enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Jamie Cooks It up!
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