Peppermint Ginger Bars with Buttercream Frosting
Inspired by Candy Lasses, these gingerbread bars are full of peppermint flavor and frosted with vanilla buttercream. Gingerbread and candy cane. It's a thing. An amazing thing. Don't knock it til you try it.
- 2/3 cup butter, 1 stick plus 2 and 2/3 tablespoons
- 1 & 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 4 teaspoons Lightly Dried Ginger, or powdered ginger--see note
- 2/3 cup crushed candy canes, about 8
- 3/4 cup butter
- 2 & 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 & 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2-3 tablespoons milk
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3-4 crushed candy canes, to stir into frosting or sprinkle on top
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9x13 inch glass pan with parchment paper or foil. Spray with nonstick spray if you use foil.
In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat butter for 1-3 minutes, scraping sides, until light and fluffy.
Add the brown sugar and beat again.
Add molasses, eggs, and vanilla. Beat well, scraping sides.
In a separate bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Crush 8 candy canes in a food processor. (I like to add the Lightly Dried Ginger to let it get a little more chopped up, but you don't have to.) If you don't have a food processor put them in a ziplock and use a rolling pin. Add the candy cane and the Lightly Dried Ginger to the flour mixture and whisk in.
Stir the dry ingredients into the butter mixture until just combined.
Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan. Bake at 350 for 27-28 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Err on the side of under baking, just as you would with brownies.
Remove from the oven and let cool completely. When cool, lift the bars from the pan.
Meanwhile make the frosting. Beat 3/4 cup butter until smooth, 1-3 minutes (depending on how cold your butter is).
Add 1 cup powdered sugar and the vanilla.
Add the remaining powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons milk, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Beat well. Add more milk or powdered sugar to reach desired consistency. Beat well, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl.
Spread the frosting over the bars. Sprinkle with 3-4 crushed candy canes right away. You could also stir them straight into the frosting. Then stuff your face.
*2 teaspoons regular powdered ginger can be substituted. I tested the recipe both ways.
This recipe is really easy to cut in half and bake in a glass 9x9 or 8x8 inch pan. The bake time is roughly the same, but start checking at 25 minutes to be safe.
I prefer to bake these bars in a glass pan because the edges come out softer. A metal pan will also make them bake a few minutes faster so watch out for that.
Serving: 1 bar, Calories: 588 kcal, Carbohydrates: 94 g, Protein: 3 g, Fat: 23 g, Saturated Fat: 14 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6 g, Trans Fat: 1 g, Cholesterol: 85 mg, Sodium: 516 mg, Potassium: 200 mg, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 73 g, Vitamin A: 714 IU, Vitamin C: 1 mg, Calcium: 80 mg, Iron: 2 mg