Recipe 6: Chocolate Gingerbread Bars

Martha, what do you mean by “cookie”? Chocolate Gingerbread Bars do not look like cookies, but they look good!

I bet by the end of this I won’t care whether or not it’s a cookie.

Dustin said they look like brownies. My response was quick and smart: “They’re not brownies. It’s gingerbread, duh.”

This recipe was a lot of “firsts” for me, starting with the first step.

Oh! Before I begin, look at these new containers I got to hold flour and powdered sugar!

Air tight to keep the mice out.

Step 1: Butter an 8-inch square baking pan. 

I didn’t have a square. I had a 7×9 pan. That’s the same, right?

Step 2: Line bottom with a strip of parchment, leaving an overhang on 2 sides; butter paper.

This is a lot of butter. OMG, no, I did not use that whole stick! I started with half and only used a little bit of that.

Step 3: Dust paper and side of pan with cocoa. 

Martha didn’t tell me what she meant by “dust” so I may have gone overboard. Hope it doesn’t make them too dry.

Step 4: Gather ingredients: melted butter, cocoa powder, flour, ground ginger, pumpkin pie spice*, baking soda, dark-brown sugar, unsulfured molasses, egg, sour cream, chocolate chips.

That’s a lot of ingredients!
*Instead of using pumpkin pie spice, I took Martha’s suggestion of mixing cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves. How often would I use pumpkin pie spice anyway?

I also took Martha’s suggestion from a video I watched a couple weeks ago to spray the measuring cup with cooking spray before putting in the molasses. That way, it will slide right out.  (My friend Rose also suggested this for measuring honey.)

Step 5: Whisk together cocoa, flour, ginger, pumpkin pie spice, and baking soda.

Easy enough, although I knew where this was going. No Kitchenaid mixer today.

Step 6: Whisk together butter, brown sugar, molasses, egg, and sour cream until smooth.

Look at that molasses pour right in without a care. Thanks, Martha!

I was worried that my whisk would get jammed with molasses and sugar, but it surprisingly didn’t.

Step 7: Add flour mixture (do not overmix).

Wow! Just when I thought we were getting along, Martha! Way to add pressure. Don’t overmix, don’t overmix, don’t overmix.  This has to be the shit she had nightmares about in prison.

Step 8: Stir in chocolate chips and transfer batter to pan.

I don’t think I overmixed, but it does look very thick. Did I screw it up? Ugh.

It was difficult to spread in the pan, I kept picking up cocoa powder and getting it on the top and making the parchment move.

Step 9: Bake for 30-32 minutes until toothpick comes out clean

Looks like a mess.

And so does this.

Xander, stay off the table!

Like I said last time, my oven cooks a little faster than the recipe suggests, so I set my timer for 28 minutes.

I didn’t think that qualified as “clean,” so I kept it in for a couple more minutes.

Don’t burn, don’t burn, don’t burn. 

Okay! Looks pretty good!

Step 10: Let cool completely on wire rack, then using paper overhang, lift gingerbread from pan.

WHOA! That was easy and awesome!

I know what you’re thinking. Move that cutting board. Do not knock that on the floor and ruin your day. Thanks for your concern, but it would ruin my life, not just my day.

Step 11: Cut into 16 squares. 

We all know “squares” wasn’t happening, so it was 16 pieces.

Step 12: Dust bars with powdered sugar.

Again with the “dusting.” I think I did go overboard here.

They are SO GOOD! Kristina said they’re her favorite recipe yet. I will definitely make these again.

Step 13: Take a picture and pretend you didn’t already serve 3 pieces. 

Link to original recipe

Start time: 7:15
End time: 8:30 (1 hour, 15 minutes) It was actually longer because I went to Target while it cooled.
Martha’s estimated time: 45 minutes

Yields: 16
I got: 16

What did I learn?

  • Parchment paper overhang is GENIUS. I will use that for every pan recipe for the rest of my life.
  • “Dusting” is an art. (See ‘What do I need to learn?’)
  • Fearing baking nightmares is a hardcore first-world problem.

What do I need to learn?

  • How to perfect the art of “dusting”
  • Is there an easier way to transfer the batter to the pan?

If you’re one of the lucky few who gets to try this, please comment and let people know what you thought!

8 responses to “Recipe 6: Chocolate Gingerbread Bars

  1. These look wayyyyyy tasty! Might have to give them a shot!

  2. Leann

    Amazing and beautiful! I never thought of spraying the measuring cup before putting molasses in….brilliant! 🙂 Sad i did not harass you today to try them. 😦

  3. Glad I got to enjoy the last choco/ging bar. It was like the cocoa and ginger gods came together and made a baby comprised entirely of the joyous tears of innocent children, rainbows, and Peter Pan magic flying dust. Well done Marthaniel Stewartnik!

  4. DarlingMush

    Holy moly those look delish. Shan posted the pb and cinnamon cookie recipe on fb, and I have read each entry you’ve posted. I may be addicted to this blog already!

  5. Zoe @ Pantry and Fridge

    You usually have a helper – nice…

    Use your sifter to kinda lightly “shake” what you want to dust with. That works pretty well – just a shake or two. 🙂

    I’m too hungry tonight to keep going back to recipe #1… thanks.

    Nice job on the baking – for someone who doesn’t bake.
    🙂 Cheers.

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