Soft flavorful gingerbread cookie bars are a quick and easy way to make frosted festive treats. Cut them into squares as a much easier alternative to cut out cookies for your holiday treat trays.
These gingerbread cookie bars are loaded with the flavor of molasses and warm baking spices. The dough comes together quickly and is patted into a 9×13-inch pan making them super easy.
Add a dusting of powdered sugar or layer of frosting on to for a special treat. They are perfect for the Thanksgiving and Christmas season, but really gingerbread cookies can be enjoyed any time of the year.
This is the year of cookie bars around here. We have been loving the ease with which they are made.
Rather than making dough and having to let it chill before you proceed, you get to jump right in. And rather than rolling, cutting and rotating multiple trays through the oven, you get to pat it into a pan and bake it all at once.
I used a 9×13 inch pan this time because it seems like a pan size most people have. So these cookie squares are thicker than the sugar cookies.
It almost makes them feel like a hybrid of cookies and cake. They are soft and substantial like a cake but with a chewier cookie texture.
If you aren’t a big frosting person, a dusting of powdered sugar or a simple milk and sugar glaze would also be delicious. The cookies are so full of flavor they don’t need a lot of help.
Storing gingerbread cookie bars
These bars can be stored at room temperature for up to a week. Just keep them in an airtight container to keep them soft as long as possible.
If you notice they are drying out, add a slice of sandwich bread to the storage container to keep them soft longer.
For longer storage you can freeze these cookie bars for several months. Just wrap them tightly and put them in a freezer bag.
If they are frosted already, freeze the bars on a sheet pan until the frosting is hard prior to wrapping them. Either way, defrost the cookies at room temperature for several hours before enjoying them.
Of course if you use a frosting that needs to be refrigerated, store the bars in the refrigerator. Otherwise cookies generally store best at room temperature or frozen.
Frequently asked questions
Can I make a thinner version for these bars?
Yes! Pat the dough into a 10×15-inch pan and check them 5-7 minutes early. They are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean.
Do I have to line the pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil?
No. You can just spray the pan if you want. Lining the pan just allows you to easily lift the bars out of the pan for easier cutting with cleaner lines.
More great Christmas cookie ideas
Frostbite cookies are the perfect combination of everything you’d want in a cookie. They have just a hint of peppermint, and that sweet buttery cross between being crunchy and melt in your mouth.
Buttery coconut cookies are light and tasty filled with all sorts of goodies including coconut, oatmeal and rice krispies. With a “cuppa” this and a cup of that mixed in, they are sure to win you over!
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Thick Gingerbread Cookie Bars
- 1 cup butter softened
- 8 oz. cream cheese softened
- 1½ cups granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup molasses
- 1½ teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 3 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 2½ cups all purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking soda
- Your favorite frosting glaze or dusting of powdered sugar for topping
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line a 9×13-inch pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
- In your mixer, cream together the butter, cream cheese and sugar.
- Add the egg, vanilla and molasses, mixing until combined.
- In a separate bowl, stir together spices, cornstarch, flour and baking soda.
- Add flour mixture to butter mixture and mix until combined.
- Press into lined pan and bake for 25-30 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the middle should come out mostly clean.
- Cool completely before frosting and cutting into squares.