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.
Adapted from Cookies, Brownies, Bars & More, from Fine Cooking
- 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
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 13- by 9-inch baking pan.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon and cloves until blended.
- 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.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition until blended.
- Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until just blended.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly.
- 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.
- Set the pan on a rack to cool completely.
- Cut into bars, squares or triangles.
- Sprinkle light coating of confectioners’ sugar over the cookies just before serving.
- 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!