Tuesday, October 5, 2010

White Chocolate Gingerbread Bars

I've been bad at taking pictures of the things I've made recently. Then when I do take pictures, the pictures are bad. Which is worse, a blog with no pictures, or a blog with bad pictures? I don't know, neither one is going to increase traffic to your site. I'll never have a bazillion followers like some blogs. I was pretty jazzed when I saw I was up to 10! That's a pretty big deal to me.Anyhow, this picture of White chocolate gingerbread bars from Crepes of Wrath does not do this dessert justice. I brought a pan of these to my husband's family reunion and they seemed like a big hit. With the huge spread of various sweet things, I felt pretty cool that I brought home an empty pan.

There was one part of the recipe directions that I thought was weird. Before sticking the bars in the oven, 2 T, each of flour and sugar get sprinkled on the top. I understood about the sugar, but I couldn't figure out what the flour added to the bars. That 2 T of flour seemed like an aweful lot. No one seemed to have any qualms about the flour on the top. I don't think anyone could even tell. All the white chocolate drizzeled over the top hid any sugar or flour weirdness.

After I made a squiggly white chocolate lattice over the cooked and cooled bars, I had what I thought was a brilliant idea. When you go to cut the bars, don't wait until the white chocolate has set completely. If you wait until the chocolate has fully hardened, the chocolate will flake off of the bars as you cut through it. I waited until the chocolate had just barely begun to set, then I zipped through the whole thing with a pizza cutter. Some of the chocolate got smeared on the pizza cutter wheel, but I just cleaned the wheel off after a few passes through the bars.

I liked these bars, but I don't know if they were my favorite. I asked Mrblocko if he thought I should make them again and he said, "You better." I also asked him if he thought I should omit the flour step. His reply was, "No, don't change anything. They are awesome the way they are." Personally, I think I'll enjoy them more in the winter with a mug of ginger tea.

White Chocolate Gingerbread Bars from Crepes of Wrath
2 cups all-purpose flour (reserve 2 tablespoons)
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar (reserve 2 tablespoons)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup molasses
1 cup white chocolate chips (optional, but highly recommended)
1/2 cup white chocolate chips, melted (for drizzling)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9×13-inch pan with foil, then spray it with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside. Add the flour in a medium bowl. Reserve 2 TABLESPOONS OF FLOUR and place in separate bowl to reserve for then topping. In the non-reserved flour, add in the ground ginger, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, ground cloves, baking soda, and salt, then set aside. In large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and 6 TABLESPOONS of granulated sugar. Add in the eggs one at a time, beating just to combine after each addition. Mix in the vanilla and molasses (if it looks strange, it’s okay, don’t worry!). Add in the flour and spices mixture and gradually combine. Stir in white chocolate chips by hand, if you’re using them. Press the batter into your prepared pan. I used clean hands because the batter is pretty thick. Sprinkle the top with reserved flour, then sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons granulated sugar over that (I used 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar and 1 tablespoon of turbinado sugar). Place into oven and bake until bars are golden brown and a toothpick comes out mostly clean with a few crumbs attached, about 20-25 minutes. Remove and place pan on wire wrack to cool completely before cutting. When the bars are mostly cooled, melt the 1/2 cup of white chocolate chips and drizzle over the bars either with a spoon or a plastic bag with the tip cut off. When the bars have cooled completely, cut into bars


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