The closest I came to eating gingerbread growing up was when my Mom and I would attempt to make a gingerbread house at Christmastime. Our houses never quite stayed together and had a look about them as if a really strong storm had just blown through. And since the houses themselves weren't very attractive I never felt an urge to nibble on the actual gingerbread.
Now I've finally branched out beyond gingerbread houses and realized that if you combine gingerbread with chocolate the results are pretty delicious. I make a chocolate gingerbread cookie for Christmas that Dennis specifically requests so I'm sure it'll be making a return appearance this year. But for a regular weekend treat I wanted something less labor intensive. This recipe is easy and got two thumbs up from Dennis and my co-workers. We topped it with ice cream because really, what isn't better with ice cream? But it's definitely just as good on its own.
Chocolate Gingerbread Bars (from Everyday Food)
* 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pan
* 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for pan
* 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
* 1 teaspoon ground ginger
* 1 teaspoon pumpkin-pie spice
* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
* 1/4 cup unsulfured molasses
* 1 large egg
* 1/4 cup sour cream
* 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan. Line bottom with a strip of parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two sides; butter paper. Dust paper and sides of pan with cocoa; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together cocoa, flour, ginger, pumpkin-pie spice, and baking soda; set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together butter, brown sugar, molasses, egg, and sour cream until smooth. Add flour mixture; stir just until moistened (do not overmix). Stir in chocolate chips. Transfer batter to prepared pan; smooth top.
Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely. Using paper overhang, lift gingerbread from pan. Transfer to a cutting board, and cut into 16 squares. (To store, keep in an airtight container at room temperature, up to 3 days.)
Makes 16 servings.