Spread the holiday cheer with these Gingerbread Sugar Cookie Bars. Theses soft and chewy spiced cookie bars topped with smooth cream cheese frosting is divine!
Gingerbread Sugar Cookie Bars
Hi friends! Melanie here again from Garnish & Glaze. Can you believe the holidays are right around the corner?! This year has flown by and now it’s time to bring on all the delicious treats like Chocolate Peppermint Blossoms, Homemade Christmas Caramels, White Chocolate Dipped Gingersnaps, and these Gingerbread Sugar Cookie Bars!
The base of these bars are perfectly spiced and slathered with the most delicious cream cheese frosting. Forget the gingerbread men. These bars are easier, faster, and more delicious!
How to Make Gingerbread Sugar Cookie Bars:
First, you’ll start by making your gingerbread dough. In a mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients including all the spices. Mixing all the dry ingredients together ensures that all the spices and leavening agents will be evenly dispersed throughout the bars.
Next, mix the sugars, molasses, and butter together and then mix in the egg and vanilla. Mix in the dry ingredients until everything is combined and you’re ready to press it into the pan.
You can line your pan with parchment paper or just grease it with cooking spray. Spread the dough out evenly to the edges using a rubber spatula. Bake for 15-17 minutes and set the pan on a cooling rack. Cool completely before frosting.
Feel free to top the frosting with sprinkles, chopped nuts, a sprinkle of cinnamon, or nothing at all.
How to make perfect cream cheese frosting:
It’s best to use softened (but not too soft!) butter and cream cheese. I recommend letting them sit on the counter for 20 minutes before beating.
First, beat the cream cheese and butter together in an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for 2-3 minutes until smooth. Next, sifted the powdered sugar into the bowl and begin mixing on low so you don’t get a cloud of sugar in your face. Beat until smooth. Mix in the vanilla and add any more powdered sugar if needed.
Cream cheese frosting is often pretty yellow but the trick to making it white is to add the tiniest bit of purple or navy food coloring. And by tiny I mean you just need to dip the very tip of a toothpick into the dye and then poke it into the bowl of frosting. Mix until the frosting turns white. Add a little more if necessary.
How do I store Gingerbread Sugar Cookie Bars?
These should be stored in an air tight container. Due to the cream cheese in the frosting, these need to be stored in the fridge for food safety.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ cup butter melted, cooled
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup molasses (unsulphered)
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup butter softened
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened
- 3½ cups powdered sugar sifted
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- purple or navy food coloring
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 9×13 inch baking pan (I used a metal pan) with cooking spray.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk all dry dough ingredients together. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix melted butter, sugars, and molasses together until well combined. Add the egg and vanilla until smooth.
- Add in the dry ingredients a little at a time and mix until combined. Spread the dough evenly into the bottom of the pan and bake for 15-17 minutes. Set pan on a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before frosting.
- Beat butter and cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until there are no lumps. Sift in the powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Mix in the vanilla and then a tiny bit of purple or navy food coloring to make it more white. Get the air bubbles out by setting the mixer to stir and allow to mix for 1-2 minutes.
- Spread the frosting over the cooled bars and add the sprinkles. Store covered in the fridge.