Gingerbread Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

This might just be my new favorite CHRISTMAS dessert. These bars are soft, chewy, moist, and basically HEAVENLY in all aspects! They aren't chocolate, which seems to be in ABUNDANCE this time of year, but they are delicious and will definitely stand out at any GATHERING you may have this holiday season.

Gingerbread Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting
(recipe from Lauren's Latest)

1/2 cup butter, room temp
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 egg
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup molasses
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda

4 ounces cream cheese, room temp
1/4 cup butter, room temp
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a jelly roll pan with foil (my pan was an 11 x 7 in) or parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Stir in the egg, vanilla, and molasses. Whip 1 to 2 minutes or until light brown in color. Stir in remaining ingredients until just combined. Press mixture onto prepared pan and bake for 20 to 22 minutes or until edges just start to brown. Cool completely and then frost.

Beat all the frosting ingredients together until smooth and then spread over the cooled bars. Store in the refrigerator.

TIP: My bars were a little thicker than the original recipe because her pan was slightly larger than mine. Just be sure to watch your bars to make sure they are cooked and just starting to brown.

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