Have you ever come across a recipe or food concept that just totally blew your mind?

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I’m not talking about elaborately decorated layer cakes or tiny petit fours with ridiculous fillings, I’m talking about a simple notion that just takes your brain by storm and makes you wonder why you didn’t stumble upon it sooner.

This happened to me during the infancy of my obsession with food blogs, and it came by way of a recipe for gingerbread bars with white chocolate chips.  I was still a relative baking novice and for some reason, the idea of making a gingerbread bar resonated with me on every level.

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Well, I tried it, and the bars came out way undercooked.  Still totally delicious, if you don’t mind your gingerbread being a bit runny.

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Fast forward to present day, where I was struck again by the idea of a chewy gingerbread bar, this time with bittersweet chocolate chips.  The results were definitely better this time around: the bars came out chewy and luscious; deeply flavored by molasses that was tempered by the sweetness of the chocolate.

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Gingerbread: my new Wednesday pick-me-up!

One Year Ago: Chocolate Pecan Pie

Two Years Ago: Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream

Chewy Molasses Chocolate Chip Bars

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: Makes one 8x8" pan, about 12 servings

Ingredients

  • ½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick), melted
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • ½ cup molasses (not blackstrap…does anyone use that kind of molasses)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8x8” baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large, microwave-safe bowl (I love my glass Pyrex bowls) melt the butter, then let cool slightly, about 5 mins.
  3. Add the egg, brown sugar, molasses, vanilla extract, spices, and salt, and whisk until smooth.
  4. Add the flour and stir until just combined, but don't overmix.
  5. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  6. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, and spread evenly.
  7. Bake for about 30-35 minutes, or a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter. (If you like your bars on the chewy side, err towards the 30 min mark.) Let the bars cool in the pan for at least an hour before slicing and serving. They will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months. (They are amazing out of the freezer if you let them sit for like 10 mins before eating.)
http://www.bashfulbao.com/2014/01/chewy-gingerbread-chocolate-chip-bars/

Adapted from the wonderful Averie Cooks

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