I know, it’s still September; waaaay to early for gingerbread. But hey, I like gingerbread. It makes me happy. So gingerbread bars we have. I actually made these bad boys for a contest run by Dixie Crystals and Mixed, which is a food blogger’s conference I’m attending in November. It’s a fun conference. It takes place at the Mountain Lake Hotel in Virginia, which happens to be where a little film called “Dirty Dancing” was filmed. It tends to be quite chilly in the mountains in southern Virginia in November, so there’s comfy clothes, big stone fireplaces and all kinds of blogger fun. It’s a good time.
Dixie Crystals happens to be one of the sponsors of the Mixed Conference and runs this contest prior to the conference. Participants make recipes that use Dixie Crystals or Imperial Sugar, along with two of the following ingredients: dark chocolate, mint chocolate chips, pecans, pumpkin puree, apple or cranberries. I chose dark chocolate and pecans for these moist, chewy bars. Dark chocolate chips are buried in the spiced batter, while the pecans are folded into the bourbon-laced cream cheese frosting. Because what could be better than chocolate, gingerbread, pecans and cream cheese with a little bourbon and salt thrown in for good measure? Not much.
- 1½ C Flour
- 1 C + 1 Tbsp Light Brown Sugar, packed
- 2 tsp ground Ginger
- 1¼ tsp Baking Powder
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp ground Cinnamon
- ¾ tsp ground Cloves
- ¼ tsp ground Nutmeg
- pinch ground Black Pepper
- ¼ C Butter, room temperature
- 1 Egg, large
- 1 Egg Yolk
- ¼ C Molasses
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 C Dark Chocolate Chips
- ¼ C Molasses
- 2 C Powdered Sugar
- 4 oz Cream Cheese
- 3 Tbsp Bourbon
- ½ tsp Salt
- ⅓ C finely chopped Salted & Roasted Pecans
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and line a ¼ sheet pan with parchment paper and non-stick spray.
- Whisk together the flour, brown sugar, ginger, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and black pepper.
- Cut in the butter.
- Mix in the egg and egg yolk, followed by the molasses, vanilla and chocolate chips.
- Spread the batter evenly out in the ¼ baking sheet and bake in the center of the oven for 20 minutes.
- While the bars are baking, beat together all of the frosting ingredients except the pecans for about 5 minutes. Lastly, mix in the pecans.
- When the bars have finished baking, remove them from the oven and set the pan on a wire rack to cool.
- Spread the frosting over the bars and cut into 16 bars.
If these bars tickled your sweet tooth, you may want to take a bite out of one of these:
Pumpkin Gingerbread Squares | Peaches Please
Pecan Cranberry Florentine Cookies | From Captain’s Daughter to Army Mom
Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Bars | Delightful-E-Made
Pumpkin Dark Chocolate Chunk Snickerdoodles | Frugal Foodie Mama