Ginger Bars

by Jill Chen on December 4, 2011

in All Recipes, Desserts, Food Gifts, Holiday

Holiday baking season has officially begun and we’re excited to share so many handmade food gifts over the next several weeks. The Eat Boutique team has put together a lovely line up of blog posts, including several great cocktails we’ll share later in the month. First up, these ginger bars are a delicious and different additional to your upcoming cookie swap. Jill even shared packaging ideas below. -Maggie

It was at a cookie exchange years ago that I was a lucky recipient of a box of these ginger bars. It was love at first bite, and I have been making them ever since.  It isn’t fancied up with chocolate dip or sparkles of sugar or sprinkles. It’s just plain and simple but the wonderful combination of molasses and honey is what makes this a stand out in both taste and texture. The moment you take a bite, you will want more. Even my kids prefer this over a chocolate-dipped cookie any day.

Though it’s a very easy recipe, I still managed to do a few things out of order, like not cream my sugar with the butter or add the eggs at the wrong time. After all, it’s been a year since I made these.

But no matter, the machine kept mixing and it still turned out brilliantly.

This batter is the most delicious thing. The texture is dry but sticky, almost like taffy.

Scrape the batter into a buttered baking pan and spread to the edges.

Bake until the edges start to pull away from the sides of the pan, and a toothpick inserted comes out almost clean. Let it cool, then cut into squares. I did 3 rows by 4 rows, then cut diagonal triangles from that. This combination yields 24 pieces. You could cut it smaller if you wish.

Dust with powdered sugar, and enjoy. Or package in tins or cello bags to give away as gifts or cookie swap.

Paper doilies were added between bars to keep from sticking.


Ginger Bars
Adapted from Cookies, Brownies, Bars & More, from Fine Cooking

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3-1/2 teaspoons ground ginger (originally 2-1/2 tsp, wasn’t gingery enough)
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1-1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup plus 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1-1/2 teaspoons molasses (I used 3 tablespoons)
  • 4-1/2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 extra-large eggs
  • powdered sugar for sprinkling

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 13- by 9-inch baking pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon and cloves until blended.
  3. With a standup mixer (use the paddle attachment) or a hand mixer, beat the sugar, butter, molasses and honey until creamy and well blended, about 4 minutes.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition until blended.
  5. Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until just blended.
  6. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly.
  7. Bake until the edges just begin to pull away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out almost clean, 23 to 25 minutes.
  8. Set the pan on a rack to cool completely.
  9. Cut into bars, squares or triangles.
  10. Sprinkle light coating of confectioners’ sugar over the cookies just before serving.
  11. Store at room temperature or freeze in an airtight container, separating the layers with waxed paper.

All photos styled and photographed by Jill Chen.

Eat Boutique is an online magazine + market for food enthusiasts to celebrate the best pure, local + comforting handmade foods. We call it: food that hugs you back. Looking for the perfect gift? Eat Boutique sells gift boxes filled with handmade sweet and savory treats. Send a gift box of handmade food today.

Did you know we’re hosting our Holiday Local Market on December 10, 2011 in Boston? Meet, taste and shop for holiday gifts!

Jill Chen

Jill Chen, photographer, graphic designer, and urban farmer resides in Toronto, Canada with her chickens and mini pet pig named Henry. After running a design studio for twenty years, Jill gave it all up for a simpler way of living. When she's not making food or photographing food, she's growing food with the goal of being self-sustaining with year-round organic produce, despite the harsh Canadian winter. Charcuterie, wine-making, mushroom cultivation, aquaponics and shrimp farming are just a few of the projects on her plate right now. You can follow Jill's blog, Freestyle Farm, for beautiful photos that will inspire you to cook or grow something.

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  • the roman nose

    very pretty presentation! fresh ginger bars are divine.

  • Chez Us

    Happy Holidays Jill.  I was dying to see what you made, and you more than filled my expectations.  Love ginger, and love that you made bars out of it.  Beautiful holiday presentation as well!

  • http://www.eatboutique.com Maggie

    I am in love with these ginger bars and plan to make them this week! I imagine they’d do well in a little sundae with a ginger-spiked caramel sauce too. :-) Thanks, Jill!

  • http://www.freestylefarm.ca Jill@FreestyleFarm

    I’m so happy to share and happier that you will all give it a whirl! We can’t seem to keep it around long enough, EVERYONE who walks by steals a piece. Maggie, they would be divine with some sort of ice cream and sauce!

  • http://www.healthygreenkitchen.com Winnie

    Great recipe and beautiful photos! I did a gluten free version of these, with a ginger icing, on my blog today. Delicious!

  • Cat

    Looks so beautiful and crumbly. I made something similar a few days ago. So so so good! I baked them in disposable pans which is PERFECT to freeze!

  • Anonymous

    I love ginger in any way, shape or form.  Thanks so much for sharing this recipe, I can’t wait to try them.

  • Alysia

    I made these the other day and boy are they addictive!! I was a little concerned when I put the batter in the pan that there wouldn’t be enough to spread it, but with patience it did somewhat thinly cover the bottom. Thankfully these puff up quite a bit into delicious chewy bars that are now in my regular Christmas backing rotation.

  • http://twitter.com/MilanoLovesFood Franceschina

    I’ve posted a link to your recipe for a Ginger Christmas Recipes Post, you can find it here http://zuccherolattefiordifarina.blogspot.com/2011/12/ricette-con-lo-zenzero-per-nataleginger.html

  • see-how-i-run.com

    I might be a little late to the ginger bar party, but I am still definitely going to try these out. Thanks for the delicious step by step photos.. Perfection!

    • http://www.freestylefarm.ca/ Jill@FreestyleFarm

      It’s NEVER too late! I love the texture of these so much, I’m trying to figure out how to tweak it into a brownie!

  • http://www.takeamegabite.com/ Megan

    These are so in the oven right now. Can’t wait to try them!

  • http://www.freestylefarm.ca/ Jill@FreestyleFarm

    I can almost smell them baking Megan!

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