Spiked Gingerbread Bars

Susan Palmer | Girl in the Little Red Kitchen
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Spiked gingerbread bars are covered in a delectable bourbon vanilla glaze. They’re just the right thing for your grown-up holiday party!

Spiked Gingerbread Bars Photo

As a kid, I was always a little jealous of all my friends’ Christmas celebrations. Don’t get me wrong, we had our Chanukah traditions, but it never seemed as exciting as trimming a big Christmas tree, decorating the house with glowing lights and the baking… so much holiday baking!

Mom and I baked, but it was never for days on end and it was generally the same thing every year. A batch of chocolate chip cookies, some rugelach, and simple cut out sugar cookies in the shape of a driedel and menorah with blue sugar on top.

Was it tasty? You bet. But did I want more? Maybe just a little bit. Luckily, I had friends who always invited me into their traditions of decorating trees and baking along, but it never really felt the same as if it was my own.

Spiked Gingerbread Bars Picture

Those feelings may be long gone now but there are still some things I’m trying to catch up one. One prime example, gingerbread. I’m not talking the men here, all dressed up with royal icing and looking a little too pretty to eat.

No, I mean a soft chewy cookie with molasses, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg. A smell that envelopes your entire house and says the holidays are here.

These gingerbread bars do all that, and without the fuss too. Of course, to make it just a little more special, there’s some bourbon tossed in there as well.

Spiked Gingerbread Bars Image

These bars are easy as 1 - 2 -3. 1) mix it all together, 2) press it into the pan and 3) bake it until they are soft and chewy.

The last step is the hardest part and that’s letting them cool down enough to drizzle the bourbon glaze on top. Serve them alongside a glass of eggnog and you’ll be holiday ready! 

Spiked Gingerbread Bars Pic

Spiked Gingerbread Bars Recipe

    9 Servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Unsalted Butter, Room temperature
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1/3 cup Light Brown Sugar
  • 1/3 cup Unsulfured Molasses
  • 2 large Eggs, Room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Soda
  • 2 teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons Ground Ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon Allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
For the Glaze:
  • 1/2 cup Confectioners Sugar
  • 2 ounces Bourbon
  • 1/4 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract

Directions

  1. Heat your oven to 350°F, grease a 9x9 square baking pan and line it with parchment paper.
  2. Add the butter and sugars to the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on medium speed until light and airy about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add in the eggs and beat for about 1 minute and then the molasses and vanilla extract. Mix until combined about 1-2 minutes and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  4. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda, spices and salt.
  5. Add to the mixer in two parts, mixing on low speed until combined.
  6. Scoop the dough into the prepared baking pan, spread into an even layer and bake for 23-25 minutes. The center should still be slightly gooey when it comes out of the oven, you want to make sure not to over bake the cookie bars.
  7. Let cool for about 1 hour on a wire rack, remove from the pan and cut into 9 squares.
  8. In a small bowl whisk together the confectioners sugar, bourbon and vanilla until smooth.
  9. Add more sugar if necessary for your desired consistency on the glaze and then drizzle over top of the bars.
  10. Let set for about 5-10 minutes before serving.
  11. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days. 

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Susan Palmer

About Susan

Susan bakes up delicious treats as the Girl in the Little Red Kitchen at home in Brooklyn. She's joined Food Fanatic as a Cocktails and Boozy Desserts Fanatic, and we could not be more excited!