There is just something about the smell of gingerbread at Christmastime. There is also something about the taste of gingerbread at Christmastime. There are a billion different recipes out there featuring combinations of ginger and molasses. Some are for functional gingerbread, such as for building a house. Others are cookies, either dropped or made into men or other shapes. Others make actual bread in loaf form or as bars.
I've tried a number of recipes over the years. When it comes down to TASTE, this is the best by far. It also helps that they are super-easy to make and also travel well; when my husband was in the Navy, I even mailed these to him during deployments! The sealed-up bars remained soft and delicious, even after a week of abuse in transit.
EASY GINGERBREAD BARS
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup butter, softened
3 tablespoons molasses
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
For the top: 2 tablespoons sugar
1. Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Combine first four ingredients in a large bowl and combine until creamy. Then, add everything except the sugar.
2. For easy clean-up, I recommend placing parchment paper in a jelly roll pan or bar pan. Press the dough into the pan and even it out as much as possible. Sprinkle the sugar over the top.
3. Bake for 16 to 20 minutes, or until very light brown at the edges. Cool completely. Try not to drool on the pan as you stand over it to breathe in the wonderful smell. Cut gingerbread into bars and enjoy!
Beth Cato is a writer of fantasy, science fiction, poetry, and essays. She bakes evil, naughty cookies that destroy diets and cause much weeping and gnashing of teeth when it's time to step on the scale. You can read more of her writing (and find the occasional recipe) at bethcato.com