Times-tested cookies perfect for holiday giving.
photoGinger Bars

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2-1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1-1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1-1/3 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup plus 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons plus 1-1/2 teaspoons molasses
4-1/2 teaspoons honey
2 extra-large eggs
Powdered sugar for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 13- by 9-inch baking pan. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon and cloves until blended.

With a standup mixer (use the paddle attachment) or a hand mixer, beat the sugar, butter, molasses and honey until creamy and well blended, about 4 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition until blended. Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until just blended.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake until the edges just begin to pull away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out almost clean, 23 to 25 minutes.

Set the pan on a rack to cool completely. Cut into bars, squares or triangles. Sprinkle light coating of confectioners’ sugar over the cookies just before serving. Store at room temperature or freeze in an airtight container, separating the layers with waxed paper.

Makes 32 bars.

Source: “Fine Cooking” magazine’s Holiday Baking.

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