Posted by Megan | Dessert

I can’t believe it’s only a week away from Christmas and I haven’t been baking more! Typically this time of year, I’m up to my ears in baking, but we’ve just been so busy that I haven’t managed to get going yet. So to inspire myself, I’m going to share this new recipe for you that I made at Thanksgiving, but that is the perfect holiday treat! Will’s not a huge person so he typically requests gingerbread-y things around the holiday season. Me? I’m a peppermint myself, though that’s not limited to the holiday season. But Will loves his gingerbread flavored treats, like these ah-maz-ing cookies, so I indulge him, particularly at this time of year. When I last visited Pinterest for a hot sec – which basically never happens anymore – I saw this recipe on my feed and pinned it ASAP because well, I knew we’d love it. It immediately jumped to the top of the “to try” list and off I went.

This was such a hit that I realized a) I need to start getting on Pinterest more again and b) frosting any sort of brownie/blondie like bar is clearly genius. I mean, in theory I knew this already, but this recipe kind of sealed the deal on that knowledge. I’m actually kind of surprised with myself that I’ve only made a frosted bar once before. I figured I’d be totally all over some mint frosted brownies, but maybe that’s another Pinterest project for another day. Anywho, back to these lovely gingerbread bars. Just try them. You won’t regret it. The simple frosting atop what is essentially a giant gingerbread cookie, is hard to beat. Our entire family enjoyed these over Thanksgiving!

Baking Notes: I didn’t have the correct size pan, so I made it work with a 9×13 baking pan which extended the baking time. Otherwise, as I tend to do with baking recipes, I follow the recipe closely.

Frosted Gingerbread Bars (adapted from Lauren’s Latest; serves 16)
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup molasses
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
Frosting
4 oz. whipped cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line your baking dish (jelly roll pan preferred but a 9×13 works) with aluminum foil sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy, then stir in egg, vanilla and molasses. Whip 1-2 minutes on a higher setting, until everything turns a light brown color. Stir in remaining ingredients and mix until dry ingredients are *just* combined. Press the dough into your pan and bake 20-25 minutes (longer for a larger pan size), until edges are barely starting to brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before frosting.

While bars cool, make your frosting. In a medium bowl, combine all frosting ingredients, whipping until smooth. Once bars are cool, spread overtop and then cut into squares. Refrigerate for several hours before serving. Enjoy!

Recipe: Lauren’s Latest: Soft and Chewy Gingerbread Bars

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