We had our first snow a couple days ago! Have you ever noticed how time seems to slow when it snows? It slowly descends from the sky, blankets the streets in white, and everything becomes quiet. It’s my absolute favorite, and experiencing the snow falling for the first time through the eyes of my 11 month old makes it so much more special.
The recent snow fall has me craving stews, chili, and pretty much any comfort food- And there’s no comfort food better than these Gingerbread squares! They are chewy like a cookie but light like a brownie, deeply spiced and seriously addictive. I ate these squares in the latter months of my pregnancy like they were going out of style- Probably why Oswald was born a hefty 8 lbs. He was half muffin, half gingerbread, and so are my hips! I know it’s still November and the idea of a Christmas-y recipe might seem too premature but I suggest you make these squares now, you know, for science. You’ll want to test the recipe before the holidays at least once, maybe twice, okay three times. Just to make sure you reallllyyy like these squares, before bringing them to every holiday party you’re invited to, where they will surely be gobbled up faster than you can get through your second glass of spiked eggnog.
The original recipe doesn’t call for eggnog in the icing but I had a carton sitting in the fridge beckoning me to use it for something other than lattes. The recipe doesn’t use much eggnog so its not worth buying a whole carton. I mean, you can! I’m not the eggnog police. I wont stop you. But just be forewarned that you don’t need much eggnog to get a nice eggnog-y flavor. If you want to skip the eggnog just use some milk or extra butter, and vanilla.
Gingerbread Squares with Eggnog Cream Cheese Icing
Makes approx. 8 large or 16 small bars
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1-1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp cloves
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 125g (1/2 package) cream cheese
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1-1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp eggnog (If not using sub 1 tbsp of butter and 1 tsp vanilla)
Preheat oven to 325 and line a 8 X 12 pan with aluminum foil and then spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
In a large bowl cream the butter and sugars together with an electric mixer until very light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add in egg, molasses, and vanilla and beat until incorporated. Beat in salt, baking soda, and spices until combined, then slowly add the flour on slow speed, scraping down the sides as you need, until combined. The texture will be crumbly at this point. Press the dough into the prepared pan and bake 20-22 minutes until the edges have started to brown. Set aside and let cool completely before frosting.
Make Frosting: In large bowl with an electric mixer beat the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy, add eggnog and mix until combined. Gradually add the powdered sugar, scraping down the sides of the bowl often, until fluffy and you’ve reached the consistency you like.
Frost and cut into squares. Serve immediately, or store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.