Sunday, January 20, 2019

Gingerbread Bars

I like the winter spices, even in the summertime. Gingerbread may conjure up memories with grandma, however, the flavor is classic but very much part of today. It has been too long since I have indulged in some gingerbread.

Today's post is actually a combination of two elements. The first element of the ginger bars are a spicy blend in which has a moist texture that is teetering between a cookie and a cake. They are thin enough to use for sandwich cookies. Instead of a cookie cream filling, I opted to make ice cream sandwiches.

To go along with the spice theme, I chose to fill them with the apple spice ice cream that was made in a previous post.Winter spices in a cookie bar as well as in the ice cream...this combo makes for a wonderful dessert.

Gingerbread Bars
adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine 2009

2 eggs, room temp.
1/4 cup molasses
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of butter (1 1/4 sticks), room temp.
1/4 cup plus 1 tbs and 1 1/2 tsp granulated sugar, divided
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2 cups flour

Prepare a baking sheet (10x15x1 inches) by buttering the interior. Lightly dust with flour and tap out excess. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Measure out the flour into a bowl and take out 2 tablespoons. Reserve the 2 tablespoons of flour for later use. Take the bowl of flour and the six ingredients listed before flour and sift together. Set aside.

Fill the bowl of a stand mixer with the butter, dark brown sugar and only 6 tablespoons of granulated sugar. Cream the ingredients together, running the mixer on medium high speed and stopping at intervals to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Once the mixture is nice and fluffy, add one egg and blend for 30 seconds. Repeat with the second egg. Then stir in the molasses until evenly distributed.

Using a wooden spoon, fold the 1/3 of the sifted ingredients into the egg/butter blend. Repeat with the next 2 additions of the sifted ingredients. Combine until no dry streaks remain.

Empty bowl of batter into prepared baking sheet. Using a spatula, spread and smooth the batter evenly, covering the interior of the pan.

Take the reserved 2 tablespoons of flour and dust over the surface of the batter using a sifter. Then sprinkle a second layer, this time with the remaining sugar (1 tablespoon and 1 1/2 tsp) over the top. Place pan in oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until tester comes out clean.

Remove and cool completely. Cut into desired size. If making ice cream sandwiches, let your ice cream soften a little (like soft serve) before putting between the 2 bars. Press together and smooth the edges with a spatula and freeze.

If you cut them 3 1/2 x 1 3/4,  you will have 24 bars or 12 ice cream sandwiches.

Tips and Notes:
1. The flour on the surface is still noticeable after baking, you can eliminate that step if you do not like the look.

2. Evenly smoothing the batter is key. Too thin and it will bake up as crust, too thick and it will be more cake like.

3. The bars can be made 2 days prior to sandwiching them together

                                          **LAST YEAR:Bear Claws**