Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Gingerbread Bars...

Today and tomorrow, Jeff is in meetings with his local co-workers, along with a few that had driven up or flew into Minneapolis to participate. He asked if I could make a treat to bring in today, in addition to the regular Wednesday item - when I asked what he thought might be nice, his only suggestion were those dangerous Oreo Truffle Balls that we've made several times now! Yesterday I got rounds dipped and to change them up a bit, we sprinkled Oreo crumbs over the top.

I also suggested for those peanut butter and chocolate lovers out there that we do a version with Nutter Butters! I used the same proportions, expect we used a darker chocolate dip, rather than the white chocolate we do with the Oreo version.

To be a little unconventional with this week's Wednesday Treat Day, especially after sending in those truffle balls this morning, I offered up these Gingerbread Bars and Jeff jumped right on board with the idea!

I think of fall and the cool winter time when I hear gingerbread, but that doesn't mean it has to only be made during that time! Peppering the dry ingredients with familiar, richly aromatic spices in these bars are pungent ginger, sweet cinnamon, fresh grated nutmeg and a pinch of seductive cloves.

To sweeten the batter, instead of using a lighter brown sugar, a more robust dark brown is used, adding moisture and a little chew, with a good measure of granulated sugar for depth and a touch of crispness. Giving gingerbread its classic darker golden color, along with a potent essence that is faintly bitter, yet still sweet is of course molasses! A little does go a long way here as you don't want the viscous syrup to overwhelm the bars. This recipe used an interesting technique that drew me to it - once the batter was spread into the baking sheet, flour was dusted over the top, followed by a light sprinkle of granulated sugar for crunch.

It didn't say why this was done like this, but as I pulled the bars out of the oven, I found it to be a spiffy way to add an attractive, sparkly top that reminded me of an old-fashioned ginger cookie. Just before I retrieved the pan though, I kept thinking to myself how that the spicy aroma that flowed out from the kitchen to meander all over the house was reason enough to give these bars a chance!

Sliced into hefty squares, after Jeff and I sat down and gave these a try after dinner, I found myself attracted to the lovely texture - kind of like a cross between a moist, dense cake, a tender blondie and an exciting cookie. Jeff tried to go back for another piece, but I reminded him he needed to share and to slowly back away! Besides, I have a feeling it won't be too long before these are made again and he'll get his share.


  1. What tasty bars, I love gingerbread - it should be enjoyed year round!

  2. LOVE gingerbread, must give these a try.

  3. Those look really good and I've been looking for a good gingerbread recipe. The last one I tried was way too dry. I'll be filing this one away to try!

  4. Wow.. I just stumbled across your site this morning.. totally addicted. You have some awesome looking recipes on here. can't wait to try them!

  5. I'll be thinking of the Nutter Butter ones for a long time. Gosh, they are beautiful!

  6. Kerstin - I agree!

    Bethie - Please do! Let us know what you think.

    Angela - I know what you mean about some being dry.

    Anon - Thanks!

    Luana - Love that chocolate and peanut butter combo!