+10,000 points if you get the reference!
Since college and apartment living, I have had the freedom to cook and bake for myself, and get creative with it, too. I pulled this recipe out of an old cook book laying around the house and adjusted it to my own tastes. These bars have a consistency similar to shortbread. These tasty bars are great for holiday parties or just as snacks with a cup of insert your favorite hot beverage here.
Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients
This will cover the bars; we will get to the icing later. You will need:
- 1.5 cups flour
- 1.5-1.75 sticks of butter (more butter makes it a little moister/richer)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1-3 tsp ground ginger (1, less spicy; 3, more spicy)
- Other spices (e.g. cinnamon, allspice, cloves, nutmeg)
Step 2: Mix Ingredients
I start out by mixing the spices and flour together. Mix until they are evenly distributed. Then, add in the brown sugar. Once all the dry stuff is evenly distributed, put in the softened, or melted, butter.
For this particular batch, I used 3 tsp of ginger, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp allspice, and slightly more than 1.5 sticks of butter. You can add other spices to your tastes.
What usually ends up happening is that the the mixture is too dry. I usually have to resort to adding at least 2 tsp of water in order to turn it into dough. Alternatively, I could have simply added a little more butter. For this round, I had to use around 2.5 tsp of water to get it to the right consistency.
Step 3: Press Into Pan and Bake
Pre-heat the oven to 350 F. Use an 8x8 pan for thicker bars or a 9x9 pan for thinner bars. Grease the pan with butter and spread dough evenly out with a spoon. You may need to manually lift up bits of dough to spread it out. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Go on the short side for doughier bars and longer for cookie-like bars with crunchier edges.
Step 4: Make the Icing
In a small bowl mix:
- 3/4 cup confectioners sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 tsp milk (alternate kinds such as soy, coconut, or almond work just as well)
- 1-2 tsp of ginger and other spices (optional, adds spice)
Mix these up until evenly distributed in the icing. Set aside or put into fridge until bars are out of the oven.
Step 5: Ice the Bars and Serve
While the bars are still hot, pour the icing on top and gently spread it out. It will be easy since the heat will melt the icing and make it easier to spread. Once the bars are completely covered in icing, set them aside to cool down for at least 20 minutes; longer is better. Cut them into squares once they are sufficiently cooled off and serve. Enjoy!