Ok, ok- we may not NEED another Christmas dessert, but one more can’t hurt, right? How about chewy gingerbread lemon bars? Does that sound okay? I want the 2020 holidays to be as delicious as possible, so today I’m going to share a few of my absolute FAVORITE COOKIES. If you needed a few more Christmas treats to round out the coming weeks, keep reading!
Best Christmas Cookies of 2020:
This is my comfort zone. Give me all the chocolate. All the butter. All the peppermint and sprinkles and frosting. It was hard to whittle my favorites list down to just ten choice cookies, but it had to be done. Without further ado, here they are!
1. Peanut Butter Pretzel Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies– Yes, these are as over-the-top and delicious as they sound. A chewy cookie loaded with peanut butter and both chocolate and caramel morsels take the cake in my book.
2. Mint Chocolate Sandwich Cookies– These are a crowd favorite in my house of mint chocolate lovers. The sandwiching is simple and makes for a cookie that feels super special.
3. Soft-Frosted Sugar Cookies– I grew up on these cookies. These soft and simple sugar cookies have a creamy spreadable frosting. They’re not fussy, not hard to make- just special and yummy.
4. Espresso Caramel Thumbprint Cookies– Here, an espresso-scented caramel fill chocolate thumbprint cookies. These cookies are definitely for the grown-ups- not Santa.
5. Brown Butter Bourbon Snickerdoodles– These are newer on my site, but they’re already a fave. Make them and you’ll see why.
6. White Chocolate Peppermint Cookies (with option for vegan!)– Peppermint reigns supreme this time of year, and I love how soft and tender these cookies stay, even a day or two after making them. With option for vegan preparation, these are a great option for people following special diets.
7. Kitchen Sink Cookies– Another newbie that rightfully earned its place on this list. Load these chewy chocolate chip cookies with whatever you have in your kitchen.
8. Sugar Cookie Gift Tags– Don’t let the hearts fool you- you can enjoy these cookies allll year long. Here, I offer a tutorial on how to make gift tags out of, you guessed it, sugar cookies! Although these were hearts for Valentine’s Day, I think little trees, candy canes or even tiny stocking cookies would be great here!
9. Espresso Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies– Maybe my favorite chocolate chip cookie. Loaded with espresso powder, toffee bits and chunks of chocolate, these cookies are great for coffee and chocolate lovers alike!
10. Peppermint Bark Brownies– I had to sneak one more peppermint option on here. These are CRAZY fudgy. Like, insanely so. Just make them
Chewy Gingerbread Lemon Bars
So those all sound great, right? But do you see what is missing from the list? Gingerbread. Specifically, chewy gingerbread lemon bars. Today’s recipe is a soft and chewy ginger-flavored bar that is flavored with ginger, molasses, and cinnamon. The topping is a sweet and tangy lemon cream cheese frosting, a combo that, in my book, is best case scenario for any kind of gingerbread. They go so well together and these bars really shine because of it.
To keep things simple, you can easily make these chewy gingerbread lemon bars in advance and store in an airtight container in the freezer. You can pull them out to thaw for family, Santa, or whoever else might wiggle down your chimney. I opted to use a large round piping tip to decorate these with icing, but you can also just spread it right on top with an offset spatula. A little garnish of sanding sugar or gingerbread crumbs make these bars look super cute too!
We’re just a few days out from the big day! Get to planning your baking and let me know how I can help! I’d love to chat! Happy Friday and Happy Baking!Print
Chewy Gingerbread Lemon Bars
These chewy gingerbread lemon bars have a gingerbread flavor, soft texture, and are topped with fluffy lemon cream cheese frosting!
- Prep Time: 15
- Cook Time: 30
- Total Time: 60
- Yield: 16 1x
- Category: Dessert
For the bars:
- ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ cup molasses
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1–1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon cloves
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
For the frosting:
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoon lemon zest
To make the bars:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fareheit. Line a 9” square pan with aluminum foil and lightly grease with baking spray. Set aside.
- In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter, brown sugar, sugar, and molasses until lighted and smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat to combine. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the dry ingredients. Stir just until combined. Dump the dough into the prepared pan and use lightly wet fingers or a piece of wax paper to press the mixture evenly into the bottom of the pan. Bake in the preheated oven until the bars are puffed and a toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 27-28 minutes. Allow to cool completely. You can expedite this process in the fridge or freezer.
To make the frosting:
- In a medium bowl, cream the butter and cream cheese together until smooth, about 30 seconds. Add the powdered sugar, juice, and zest and stir to combine. Spread the frosting out on the bars, or, to frost like I did, cut out the 16 squares and use a large round piping tip to pipe the frosting on. You can barely chill the bars to have the frosting set up a little more firm. Store the bars covered at room temperature for up to 2 days.