Chai gingerbread bars

This evening’s adventure is as unlike this morning’s as possible. But I was craving cookies and stumbled across this recipe, and they just looked too good to pass up. (Printable version here.)

I made very few changes from the original recipe: substituted one cup of white flour for one cup of whole wheat (so it would up being one cup of each), went a touch light on the ginger (reminder to self: never use the microplane zester to grate ginger — it’s messy and gets everywhere), a touch heavy on the chai tea (the bag was weirdly doubled), and didn’t sprinkle sugar on top before tossing in the oven (just plain forgot).

It was one of those recipes where things went wrong in a number of small ways, thankfully none of which impacted the final product: forgot to turn the oven on, flour spilled on the counter, used far more dishes than I normally should, etc. That said, the dough smelled SO GOOD as I was mixing it. And if I’m saying that, with my perpetually-blocked nose, it’s gotta be true!

Another few things I learned tonight from The Internetz. (Oh, Internet, is there nothing you don’t know?) I didn’t want to wait for the butter and eggs to soften at room temperature. I knew that I could put eggs in some warm water and they’d warm up much faster, but I didn’t know what to do about the butter. Internet to the rescue! Turns out you can put the butter into a plastic bag and mush it around with your hands until its nice and softened. Yay! No more waiting for butter to soften! Now I can make cookies whenever I want! (My tummy rumbles! My hips wake in fear! Or is that fat?)

The batter did not look like enough when I put it in the pan, as the recipe said it wouldn’t. At 22 minutes, they were decidedly not done — still jiggly in the middle. But, boy oh boy, had it expanded! Thanks, recipe, for telling me not to panic! At 25 minutes — the time called for in the recipe — it still wasn’t ready. Baking time worked out to 28 minutes or so. It smelled SO GOOD! (Or did I mention that?) There was absolutely no way I could wait for these bars to chill before I ate them! Just letting them cool down to room temperature was a challenge!

I let it cool for an hour. It was still slightly warm, but that’s all the willpower I had.

Final verdict: Oh, man, this is tasty! I think I’m going to have to give some to Marc’s family tomorrow to prevent me from eating it *all*. Because I would. I totally, totally would.

Edited to add: I just tried a piece that had been chilling in the fridge for a few hours. The recipe is spot on when it says these cookies are even better chilled. I don’t regret eating it warm, but when they’re chilled, the spices really pop and make it even better!

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