Melissa’s Menu: Caramel-Gingerbread cookie bars

This week on Melissa's Menu is caramel-gingerbread cookie bars with caramel frosting. (Photo courtesy of Delish.com)

This week on Melissa's Menu is caramel-gingerbread cookie bars with caramel frosting. (Photo courtesy of Delish.com)

Nothing can get you into the holiday spirit quite like a delicious dessert, and gingerbread is definitely the most classic holiday treat. This week’s recipe, caramel-gingerbread cookie bars with caramel frosting, introduces the amazing flavor combination of gingerbread and caramel. It takes a holiday staple and gives it a unique and delicious twist. These cookie bars will be a hit at any holiday party. Step aside, gingerbread men.

Ingredients:

  • For the Cookie Bars
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tbsp. molasses
  • 2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • Pinch of cloves
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • For the Frosting
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cup powdered sugar
  • 5 tbsp. Caramel
  • Sprinkles

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a 9-by-9-inch baking dish with foil along the bottom and up the sides. Cream butter and sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy, which should take about 3 to 4 minutes. Add egg and molasses and beat until well combined. In another bowl, whisk together flour, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, baking soda and salt, then add the mixture to wet ingredients and mix until smooth. Refrigerate dough for roughly 30 minutes.

Evenly spread dough into prepared pan and bake until lightly golden, about 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let them cool in the pan. When completely cool, remove bars from pan.

To make the frosting, beat butter until smooth. Add powdered sugar and mix until smooth, then add caramel and mix until smooth. Spread frosting onto bars and top with sprinkles. Cut into squares and serve. Store in an airtight container for up to four days.

If you are searching for a unique holiday cookie, look no further. I love taking classic holiday recipes and adding new elements to them to make them even more special. Gingerbread cookies alone can get boring after a while, but the addition of caramel makes these bars taste fresh, exciting and delicious. These cookies will leave your friends, family and even Santa craving more!


Melissa Scrivani is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at melissa.scrivani@uconn.edu.