Last updated on November 29th, 2021 at 04:17 pmJump to Recipe
Gingerbread Cookie Bars
Gingerbread Cookie Bars combine holiday spices with butter, molasses, and brown sugar for a decadent flavor during the days of Christmas. They are topped with rich buttercream frosting and are ready for decorating. This is a nice recipe to make with the kids.
Next time, try our scrumptious Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars made with dark brown sugar and semisweet chips. Or if you want another tasty holiday dessert, our moist Gingerbread is delicious topped with cream cheese frosting. Another sweet treat is our Best Ever Coffee Cake made with buttermilk and powdered sugar.
If this is your first time making bar cookies, you are going to love this easy recipe and so will your family. These are great for dessert or holiday parties because everyone likes gingerbread treats around this time of year.
You could even use cookie cutters to make these into gingerbread cookies for more festivity. In addition, you can serve them with frosting or just with some powdered sugar.
These make the perfect hostess gift, and also, they will make your house smell amazing when you bake them. They are perfectly served with a cup of hot chocolate and some marshmallows.
You can find our detailed recipe card at the bottom of the page but here are the ingredients you need for this great recipe:
- All purpose flour: You could also use cake flour or whatever your favorite is.
- Unsalted butter: Cut into small pieces and melt it.
- Brown sugar: We used light for this recipe, but you can use dark.
- Molasses: Unsulfured molasses is best.
- Maple syrup: You can also use dark corn syrup.
- Large egg: At room temperature.
- Vanilla: For best results, use pure vanilla extract.
- Baking soda: Not baking powder.
- Spices: We used ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and salt.
- Butter: Salted is fine, at room temperature.
- Cream cheese: Softened to room temperature.
- Powdered sugar: Also known as confectioner’s sugar.
- Vanilla: Pure vanilla extract.
How do you make gingerbread cookie bars?
- Preheat oven: First, turn your oven to 350 degrees F to preheat and coat a jelly roll pan or cookie sheet with cooking spray.
- Whisk: In a medium bowl, mix dry ingredients together with a whisk for about 20 seconds.
- Mix: Then, using a large bowl and your electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle, combine the wet ingredients except for the egg and vanilla until combined. You could also use a large mixing bowl and your electric mixer at medium speed.
- Mix: Next, mix in the vanilla and egg at a low speed while you combine flour mixture a little at a time until it is completely combined.
- Bake: Finally, pour the dough into your prepared pan and spread it before baking for 14 to 17 minutes. Then move the whole thing to a wire rack to cool.
- Frosting: Meanwhile, in a small bowl, cream butter and cream cheese with the paddle attachment until it is smooth. Add the sugar and vanilla and mix completely before frosting your cookie bars.
- Serve: Lastly, cut into squares and serve with sprinkles.
- Gingerbread flavor: Alternatively, try lighter molasses for a mild gingerbread flavor.
- Cream cheese frosting: You can also top these with our delicious cream cheese frosting.
- Other flavors: Use other flavors of extract like maple, cinnamon, or apple.
- Add citrus: Add some orange or lemon zest for a nice citrusy kick.
- Chocolate: For chocolate lovers, mix in some cocoa powder or chocolate chips.
How to serve:
Our easy gingerbread cookie bars are the perfect holiday treat, but you can serve these at any time of year. Here are some other serving ideas:
- Mix leftovers in a food processor and make crumbs to sprinkle onto yogurt, pudding, or ice cream.
- Another great idea for these cookie crumbs is to use these instead of graham cracker crumbs in a pie recipe.
- You could also top these bars with our tangy strawberry sauce.
- Feel free to add some red and green sprinkles to the top for a holiday look.
- These go great with a steaming mug of red velvet hot chocolate.
- Another good topping for these is our rich caramel sauce.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is gingerbread?
Gingerbread is actually a large category of different baked goods that are flavored with ginger. Most are made during the holiday season and flavored with other holiday spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
These can be anything from cookies to loaf cake, bundt cake, or other desserts.
Where did the gingerbread man story come from?
The gingerbread man past is murky, and nobody is quite sure where and when it really originated.
However, Queen Elizabeth, fell in love with this tasty snack and made them in her own likeness to present as gifts to other royalties. But another side of the story is a bit stranger.
During the same time, folk tales are told of magicians or witches who made them as love tokens for young ladies who wanted a mate.
The cookie was made for them and if they could get their dream man to eat the cookie, he would fall in love with her. As the story goes.
Is gingerbread healthy?
Whether gingerbread is healthy or not depends on how you make it. For example, you can make a healthy gingerbread with whole wheat flour, coconut oil, and coconut sugar instead of all-purpose flour, oil, and white sugar.
These have less than 100 calories each and only three grams of fat. These are also a good source of your daily value of iron, vitamin A, and calcium.
How to store leftovers:
- Store: After letting your chewy gingerbread bars cool to room temperature, store them in the fridge inside an airtight container for up to five days.
- Freeze: Freezing these delightful cookies is not difficult either. Just store them in a freezer-safe container with parchment paper between each one so they do not stick. They can be kept in the freezer for up to 60 days.
- Thaw: Thaw overnight in the fridge before serving for best results and serve at room temperature.
More Christmas recipes:
- It is best to use unsulfured molasses because it has no preservatives and is made from ripe sugar cane.
- Cut some of the work and time by using store-bought frosting.
- Add a piece of parchment paper on top of your cookie pan to make removing these cookies easier.
- Be careful not to let these burn. Overcooked gingerbread is hard and not very pleasant to the palate.
Gingerbread Cookie Bars
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter melted and cooled slightly
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup unsulphured molasses
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened to almost at room temperature
- 8 oz package cream cheese softened to almost at room temperature
- 2 1/2 - 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Holiday sprinkles
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- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Spray a 13 by a 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray, and set it aside.
- In a medium bowl whisk together flour, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, baking soda, and salt, set aside.
- In a large bowl, using a mixer, blend together butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, and molasses until fully combined.
- Mix in the egg and vanilla extract.
- With the mixer on low speed slowly blends in the flour mixture, mix just until combined.
- Give the batter a few stirs with a spatula and transfer it into the prepared dish, press it into an even layer using your hands.
- Bake for about 15 - 17 minutes, careful not to over-bake. Transfer the baking dish to a wire rack and let the bars cool completely before adding the frosting.
- In a large bowl, using a stand or electric mixer, cream together butter and cream cheese until smooth.
- Add in the powdered sugar and vanilla and mix until light and fluffy. If. too soft, add more sugar, 1/2 cup at a time.
- Spread the frosting over cooled bars and immediately garnish with sprinkles.
- Chill for at least one hour and after that cut into squares and serve.
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