Friday, December 12, 2008

Chocolate Gingerbread Bars

I always know the holidays are right around the corner when cookies start showing up everywhere - at work, in the mail and mysteriously, in my own kitchen!

I use the holidays as an excuse to try new cookie recipes that have been tempting me throughout the year. Suddenly, cranberries, pecans and molasses are all the rage and in December, just about anything goes. Some of my favorite blogs to find great cookie recipes and inspiration are Baking Bites, Cookie Madness and Baking Blond. But when it comes to cookies, no one knows better than Martha.

This year one of my first cookies of the season was Martha's Chocolate Gingerbread Bars.

These were thick and moist. The semi-sweet chocolate chips were a perfect complement to the rich molassess flavor, reminiscent of the holiday season.

Chocolate Gingerbread Bars

Makes 16.

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pan
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for pan
3/4 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon pumpkin-pie spice
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
1/4 cup unsulfured molasses
1 large egg
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
confectioners' sugar, for dusting (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan. Line bottom with a strip of parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two sides; butter paper. Dust paper and sides of pan with cocoa; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together cocoa, flour, ginger, pumpkin-pie spice, and baking soda; set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together butter, brown sugar, molasses, egg, and sour cream until smooth. Add flour mixture; stir just until moistened (do not overmix). Stir in chocolate chips. Transfer batter to prepared pan; smooth top.

Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely. Using paper overhang, lift gingerbread from pan. Transfer to a cutting board, and cut into 16 squares. Before serving, dust bars with confectioners sugar, if desired. (To store, keep in an airtight container at room temperature, up to 3 days).


redmenace said...

This is an excellent idea! I was thinking of adding gingersnaps to my xmas tins, but I just may have to add choco gingerbread bars instead. Thanks!

Vanessa said...

These look good. I have to say I secretly want to be Martha!