These soft and chewy Gingerbread Cookie Bars are topped with lashings of sweet cream cheese frosting and Christmas sprinkles. An easy, kid friendly festive bake you will make again and again!
Happy Thursday! Notice anything different around here?
I’ve had new logos and graphics made for an awful long time to give the blog a refresh and I actually have a new theme, but we just haven’t had time to do the whole works. On Tuesday night, I suddenly had the urge to update my logo and graphics.
For now, I’ve only given this theme a freshen up, I hope to do a whole redesign next year, but I’m loving the sleeker look. I feel like this is a more mature Annie going monochromatic! What do you think?
How has your week been? This week has been very up and down for us. For the first time in about 6 weeks, I woke up not instantly feeling my back this morning. I still very much feel like I’m on a knife edge and the slightest thing will make it go off the edge again. It’s definitely still painful, but if I can breathe without pain it feels like an improvement!
Unfortunately there’s no good news about our friend. She is still asleep and the doctors are not very hopeful. We are just wishing and hoping beyond hope that it will take time, but there will be some improvement.
Let’s talk gingerbread, are you a fan?
I do love a ginger biscuit and the odd gingerbread man, but I don’t have the patience to make my own gingerbread men and decorate them. If you’re like me, then these Gingerbread Cookie Bars are going to be perfect!
You just whip up the batter with a bowl and wooden spoon, bake it, spread some cream cheese frosting over the top and go mad with Christmas sprinkles; that’s it, you’re done. All the gingerbread flavour in a soft and chewy bar! And let me tell you, these are so flavourful, spicy, chewy, soft… simply amazing!
I just adore cookie bars because of how versatile and easy they are. I love normal cookies, but I find I need to make the dough a day ahead to get the perfect shape. I mean in the grand scheme of things, it’s not really a hardship making cookie dough, but with cookie bars there’s no chilling. You just make and bake and they’re out of the oven in 20 minutes.
I am still in denial that it’s Christmas day next week, but it’s time for me to sign off and say have a lovely Christmas! I hope you have a good one surrounded by friends and family and I’ll be back sharing recipes in the new year!
Gingerbread Cookie Bars
- For the cookie bars:
- 1 1/2 sticks (170g) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
- 1 cup (200g) light brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup (170g) black treacle/molasses
- 2 1/2 cups (350g) plain/all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda/baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 1 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- For the cream cheese frosting:
- 1/2 cup (130g) full fat cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/2 stick (56g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2-3 cups (240-360g) icing/powdered sugar
- Sprinkles for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F and spray a 9x13 inch pan with cooking spray. Place a strip of grease proof paper long ways and another short ways to help you lift the cookie bars out later on.
- Place the melted butter and sugar into a large bowl and whisk until there are no lumps of sugar. Add in the eggs and whisk until combined.
- Pour in the black treacle/molasses and whisk until the mixture comes together and goes a little stiff.
- Add in the flour, bicarb, baking soda, salt and spices and use a wooden spoon to gently fold the flour into the mixture. The mixture will be thick and sticky. Stir until there are no lumps of flour.
- Spoon the mixture into your prepared pan and spread into an even layer. I found it easier to use my hands for this as it's sticky and kept sticking to the wooden spoon.
- Place in the oven for 15-20 minutes until it looks matte in the oven light and the edges are firm to the touch. If you wiggle the pan it should move as one, but still be soft in the centre. You can insert a skewer, it shouldn't have liquid batter on it, but a few crumbs is fine. You want to be careful not to over bake as you'll end up with a rock!
- Leave to cool in the pan completely, then make the frosting: Place the cream cheese, butter and vanilla into a large bowl and beat until well combined and fluffy, around 2 minutes on medium speed with a hand held mixer.
- Slowly add the icing sugar, mixing between each addition, until you have a thick, spreadable frosting. NOTE: I used 2 1/2 cups, but after spreading it, I should have used the full 3 cups. It will depend on what cream cheese you use because some are not as thick as others. Philadelphia is my favourite, I used Waitrose this time and will go back to Philly next time! It was thick, but slightly glaze like this time. Still tasty and the drips look good in photos, but I will still use Philly next time as this recipe always makes luscious, thick frosting when I use it!
- Spoon the frosting onto the cooled cookie bars and spread to cover. Top with Christmas sprinkles (or any sprinkles) then slice into 12 bars.
- Gingerbread Cookie Bars will keep in an airtight container, in the fridge, for 3 days. You can also keep them without the frosting, in a container at room temperature for 5 days.