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December 4, 2017

Gingerbread Bar Cookies with Eggnog Buttercreme Piped Icing

Do you have a group gathering that symbolizes the holiday season to you?  For me, its the yearly Food Bloggers Los Angeles cookie exchange and holiday party.  We had nearly twenty bloggers and bakers contribute their homemade goods.  The smells, warm ambiance and welcoming conversation of this event makes the season special to me, especially on the years I don't get to travel back to be with family. 
FBLA's 2017 Cookie Exchange Table
My plate for the 2017 FBLA cookie exchange
I try to do something different for my cookie exchanges every year; this year, the recipe was new, but it was also the first time I made buttercreme icing, and tried a piping bag.

The loaded piping bag with tip.  The bag is just a regular ziploc!
I was inspired to try a gingerbread bar cookie this year by one that was sold at a fundraiser, but I wasn't able to meet the baker to ask for the recipe.  So I turned online and searched.  I was looking for the gingerbread flavor, but neither a rock-hard version, nor a cake.  I was attracted to the recipe I chose because it called for no eggs, so I thought it might make a denser, less cake-like bar cookie.  As it turned out I was right.  This recipe makes dense but not hard cookies.  It's almost a shortbread, so I cut the portions small.

Gingerbread Bars

1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp salt, or to taste
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup molasses  

1.  Mix brown sugar and butter together till creamed, scraping down the sides of the bowl well.
2.  Add spices: cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and salt and beat to combine.  
3.  Gradually add the flour and baking soda while mixing.  Mixture will be dry.
4.  Add the molasses and beat to combine.
5.  Prepare an 8x8 pan by lining with aluminum foil and spraying with cooking spray.  
6.  Pour dough into pan and pat down to hard-pack it.  It will be crumbly but bakes together much like a shortbread.  
7.  Bake at preheated 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.  Center will be set and edges will be pulling away slightly from pan when done.  Bars firm up as they cool.  Store in airtight container or freeze.  

Eggnog Buttercreme Frosting

Approx 4 cups powdered sugar
1 cup butter, softened
4 Tbsp Eggnog

To softened butter in a stand mixer, slowly add powdered sugar, blending well.  Scrape down sides completely and blend again.  Add eggnog one tablespoon at a time as mixer is running till combined, observing the consistency.  For maximum eggnog flavor, add the full four tablespoons, but if you prefer a stiffer icing, use less liquid.  Load icing into ziploc piping bag with tip, and pipe as desired.  Let stand 10-15 minutes for icing to set, or refrigerate to set. 

My Notes:  I was out of cloves, and didn't miss them in the dough.  The original recipe said not to use blackstrap molasses in the dough as it would be too heavy, but it was all I had in the pantry, so I went with it and again, I liked the results, though I haven't tried it with the lighter version to see if it would come out better.  This really was like a gingerbread-flavored shortbread--high butterfat--so cut the cookie portions small.  Dust icing lightly with nutmeg if desired. 
Original recipes for bars and frosting credited to Averie Cooks and Two Sisters Crafting, respectively. 


  1. These were SO good... My kids were mad at me because I didn't bring more home from the cookie exchange! :)

  2. I agree with Jeanne! My husband wanted more of these! ==Dorothy at Shockingly Delicious


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