Not every dessert has to have chocolate. I was explaining that to my husband Brian when I had to pause about what to do next. Get him some Kleenex or his asthma inhaler. While he preaches about wanting variety in his desserts, the fact is that for him variety is whether the chocolate is 68% or 71% cacao.

“Look,” I said, “the recipe head notes say it’s just like a blondie.” He paused. Blondies are almost brownies, so he had to rethink. “And,” I added, “It has ginger, just like gingerbread.” Gingerbread to him immediately suggest mounds of whipped cream on a steaming cake. I had just sucker punched him.

He put the inhaler down. He nodded. We proceeded with these cookies.

This recipe is simple called “Ginger Bars.” I know that is a mistake. These should be the Super Ginger Bar or the Generous Ginger Bar. The cookie does look like a blondie and has that moist chewiness that blondies are famous for. The ginger flavor is immediate and obvious, but not over the top.

The power of this cooked comes from its versatility. This cookie is fine by itself but you’ll immediately think of ways to employ it:

  • Frost it with a maple glaze and dot with pecans
  • Use as the base for an ice cream treat [egg nog ice cream would be outrageous]
  • Team it on a cookie plate with some sugar cookie coated with sweet icing

 

Ah, one note here for you. The recipe calls for 2 extra-large eggs. I hardly ever buy eggs that large because most recipes call for large. In this case, I used 3 large eggs and all was well. I told Brian it was variety.

Ginger Bars

Yield: 32 bars

Ingredients:

  • 9 ounces (2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon =salt
  • 2 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 ¼ ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 6 ½ ounces (13 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature; more for the pan
  • 1 ⅓ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 ½ teaspoons molasses
  • 4 ½ teaspoons honey
  • 2 extra-large eggs
  • Confectioners’ sugar for sprinkling

Preparation:

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Lightly butter a 13X9 inch pan.

In a medium bowl whisk the flour with the baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves until blended.

With a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter, sugar, molasses, and honey until creamed 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 pick inserted into the center comes out almost clear, 23 to 25 minutes. Set the pan on a rack to cool completely. Cut into bars, squares or triangles. Sift a 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.

Source: Cookies Special Holiday Issue 2010 from Fine Cooking