Gingerbread Squares

When I was younger, my dad used to buy bags of candied ginger. Every holiday season, we'd start getting tins of gingersnaps from the grocery store, taking them home so we could dunk them in milk and hot chocolate. When I first started pastry school, one of the first things I learned to make were iced, decorated gingerbread cookies (I still to this day can't frost a rocking horse that isn't a little crooked). It's safe to say, though, that I'm a fan of anything ginger and this recipe is one of my favorites. Less sweet than most cakes, it's like sitting by a warm fire on a chilly fall evening-- warm, comforting, and satisfying.
 
Gingerbread
 
Tools Needed
8" x 8" x 2" Square Pan (Fat Daddio's Square Pan)
Saucepan
Measuring cups/spoons
Cooling rack (Fat Daddio's CR)
Mixing Bowl
Sifter
Spatula
 
Ingredients
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup room temperature butter
1/4 cup molasses
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup warm milk
 
Icing
2 cups confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Candied ginger for garnish
  1. Butter and flour the square pan. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
     
  2. Combine brown sugar, butter, and molasses in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Cool mixture to room temperature.
     
  3. Sift together flour, spices, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
     
  4. Make a well in the center. Pour cooled sugar mixture into well and mix thoroughly with your wooden spoon. Add egg and milk and continue mixing until smoothly incorporated. 
     
  5. Pour mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 40-45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven, cool in the pan for five minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

For frosting and decor:

  1. In a bowl, combing the sugar, butter, milk, and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until smooth and fluffy. Spread over gingerbread and garnish with candied ginger.
Quick Tip: If you're a lemon fan, you can replace the vanilla in the frosting for lemon extract and add 3 tablepoons of lemon zest. 
 
Want more recipes? Visit our Fall Baking board on Pinterest.