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Frosted Peppermint Gingerbread Bars from The Food Charlatan
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5 from 2 votes

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.

Ingredients

  • 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

Frosting:

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

*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.

Nutrition

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