This isn’t some new-fangled flavor pairing, it’s an East Coast classic.
Lemon with gingerbread reminds me of my grandmother. She used to serve her gingerbread cake with a hot lemon sauce, which was how everyone around here ate it. And sometimes she’d glaze her soft molasses cookies with a lemon icing.
If it wasn’t for the fact that I grew up with the combination of lemon and molasses I might not get why they pair so beautifully.
Cut these squares very small so you can pop a whole square in your mouth at once. That way you’re tasting the lemon icing and the spices all at once, which is just how it should be.
These gingerbread squares have an especially delicious spice blend (5 spices in all) and they’re not too rich so can handle the sugary glaze.
Think brownies when you’re baking these squares. The shorter the baking time the more fudgy the squares will be.
For the squares
1-3/4 cups flour, spooned in
1/2 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
2 large eggs
1/3 cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
1/4 cup butter, melted and slightly cooled
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line an 8×8-inch pan with parchment or grease it well.
In a large bowl whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, brown sugar, and spices.
In another bowl, combine the eggs, molasses, and melted butter until well combined.
Add to the dry ingredients and stir until everything is incorporated. Batter will be thick.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, using the back of a wooden spoon to press it out to the edges.
Bake for about 25 minutes (or until a tester comes out clean.)
Cool for about 15 minutes then remove from pan by lifting the parchment by the edges. (Cool completely in pan if you didn’t use parchment.)
For the glaze:
1 1/4 cups icing sugar
2 Tbsp. cream or milk
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
While the bars are cooling, whisk together the glaze ingredients, making sure there are no lumps and adding a bit more icing sugar if it feels too thin. Pour over bars and spread to the edges. Or lift the bars by the parchment and tilt every which way to spread the glaze. Let glaze harden before cutting.
I recently discovered a lemon glaze recipe on the blog Kitchen Magpie that will forever replace my current method for lemon glaze.
The Kitchen Magpie Lemon Icing Glaze:
1¾ cups of confectioners sugar
¼ cup of lemon juice
the zest of one lemon (or more!)
1 tsp of salted butter