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Gingerbread Cookie Bars

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1/2 cup butter melted

1 cup sugar

1/3 cup molasses

1/2 teaspoon Tanzanian Vanilla extracted in Spiced Rum 

1 egg

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Optional Frosting Ingredients:

8 ounces cream cheese room temperature

1/2 cup butter room temperature

2 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon Vain vanilla


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13 pan or line with parchment paper. Combine the butter, sugar, molasses, and Vain vanilla in a mixing bowl and beat with a mixer on medium speed until creamy. Add the egg and stir again. Add the flours, baking soda, spices, and salt. Mix until well combined.

Press the dough into the prepared pan, using either a spatula or your hands to smooth it to the edges of the pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes. A toothpick inserted should come out mostly clean, with wet crumbs. Cool in the pan on a wire rack.

When cooled, beat together the butter and cream cheese for the frosting. Add the powdered sugar and beat again until smooth and fluffy. Add the Vain vanilla extract and stir to mix throughout the frosting. Frost the bars, slice and serve. Store the bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Enjoy!