Peppermint Molasses Bars

peppermintmollasses bars2One quick skim across the food blogosphere of our ever-expanding interwebs will tell you that there is no shortage of dessert recipes out there. While I like sweet things as much as the next size 10 lady, I find I don’t need much help hunting them down or concocting them. This is why you will see very few dessert recipes on this blog. BUT! Since it is the holiday season I though I’d share with you a nice and festive treat that can be subtle with complex flavors but doesn’t have to be a double chocolate sugar frosted caramel goobomb.

Here’s a tip about holiday baking: forget cookies. Its waaayyy too much work to drop each round of dough individually on baking sheets then have to rotate the sheets in and out of the oven. Two minutes too long and you end up with a plate of rocks. Bars can simplify the process by putting all the dough into one pan. When you’re done, just cut them up.

smashing candy canes

smashing candy canes

The holidays are stressful, especially if you’re trying to create all that holiday magic with a baby in one arm. Sometimes you need a release for that stress (other than crying). If you have any issues with the holidays, any antipathy towards this season or just general frustrations you need to work out you may take some joy at putting a bunch of candy canes in a bag and smashing them to bits with a blunt instrument. Put them in a plastic bag, grab a metal spatula and smash away.

2/3 cup butter at room temp.

¼ cup granulated sugar

¼ cp packed brown sugar

1 large egg

½ cup molasses

1 ½ cup flour (for GF I used All Purpose Gluten free flour + 1 tsp xantham gum)

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger

½ tsp baking soda

¼ tsp salt

1/2 cup crushed hard peppermint

parchment paper

Preheat oven to 350˚.  Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl-flour, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda, salt. Set aside.

Beat butter, egg, molasses and sugar at medium speed until well blended.

Add dry ingredients just until dough comes together.

Stir in peppermint

Line a 9” x 13” baking pan with parchment and spread dough evenly in pan

Bake 25-30 minutes

Transfer to a rack to cool completely. Cut into bars. If you like things on the sweeter side drizzle with icing.

Icing:

1 cup confectioners sugar

3 tbsp milk

1 tbsp crushed peppermint

1 tsp vanilla

red food coloring

Mix all everything in a small bowl. If icing is too thick add a little more milk, ½ tps at a time. Drizzle over cooled bars.

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