A sure sign that it’s Christmas is here is the smell of gingerbread cookies. Dark, spicy and fragrant, molasses and brown sugar baking in the oven is heavenly. This take on classic gingerbread cookies comes together quickly and easily.
Soft and chewy, they are easier to make than the classic cookies, and topped with a fluffy cream cheese icing. These cookie-bars are perfect for gift giving as they hold their shape well due to the molasses.
The mix of spices are soft, not over-powering – and dusting the bars with icing sugar is a great alternative if you wanted to cut some of the sweetness from the frosting.
½ cup butter, melted
¾ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
⅓ cup molasses
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
In a large bowl, beat butter, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, and molasses on medium speed until creamy.
Add the egg and stir until completely incorporated. Add flour, spices, and salt and mix until well combined. Spread dough into prepared pan, using clean hands or a rubber spatula to press the dough to the edges of the pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes; do not over bake! Cool in a pan with a wire rack.
When bars have cooled, frost with cream cheese frosting or dust lightly with powdered sugar.
For the frosting: Cream together 1 stick of room temperature butter and 1 8oz package of room temperature cream cheese. Add 3 cups of powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Slowly mix on low and then beat it on high until fluffy.
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