Iced Ginger Bars and NYCookieSwap Recap

The 2nd annual NYC Cookie Swap was held this past Sunday, and it was such an awesome event. It was an afternoon full of great people, beautiful cookies, and delicious food courtesy of Hill Country Barbecue, plus funds were raised for Cookies for Kids Cancer!

I brought two kinds of cookies to the swap: the same jam-filled bow tie cookies I made for last year’s event, as well as these gluten-free iced ginger bars (the recipe for which is at the end of this post).

Many thanks to Maggy Keet from Three Many Cooks, Gail Dosik from One Tough Cookie (who made the amazing ornament cookie tree below), Ken Leung of Hungry Rabbit NYC, and Jackie Gordon of The Diva That Ate NY: I had a fabulous time hanging with you all, as usual, and I’m so grateful to you for organizing such a fun get-together for such a great cause…I can’t wait for Cookie Swap #3!

The Tough Cookie ornament cookies

Now let’s talk about these iced ginger bars!

This recipe is gluten-free, but I swear no one will know it. I brought an icing-free batch of these spiced blondie-esque creations to a different party last week, and they were gobbled up by kids and adults in minutes. With the icing? Even better, I think.

The flour mix I used was adapted from Shauna, the bars were adapted from Fine Cooking, and the icing is adapted from Donna Hay.

I plan to make these throughout the holiday season as they’re a new family favorite.

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iced ginger bars
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Recipe for Iced Ginger Bars (Gluten-Free)

If you make this gluten-free flour mix, you'll have lots left over to use in other gluten-free baking recipes. I know it sounds like a lot of ingredients, but they work very well together: unlike many other gluten-free flour mixes, baked goods made with this one don't taste funky at all.
If you don't want to make these gluten-free, just use all purpose flour in the bars instead.
Servings: 20 bars


For the gluten-free flour mix:

  • *200 grams whole grain brown rice flour
  • *150 teff flour
  • *50 grams potato flour
  • *250 grams white rice flour
  • *150 grams potato starch
  • *40 grams tapioca flour
  • *60 grams buckwheat flour
  • *100 grams cornstarch

For the bars:

  • *9 ounces gluten-free flour see above or all-purpose flour (2 cups)
  • *1 teaspoon baking soda
  • *2 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • *1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • *1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • *6 ounces 1 1/2 sticks/3/4 cup butter organic salted butter, softened, plus more for the pan
  • *9 ounces organic sugar scant 1 1/4 cups
  • *3 tablespoons molasses
  • *2 tablespoons honey
  • *2 extra large eggs I use eggs from my backyard chickens
  • *confectioner's sugar for sprinkling or the icing below
  • For the icing
  • *4 ounces 1 stick/1/2 cup organic butter
  • *2 tablespoons golden syrup
  • *4 teaspoons ground ginger
  • *1 cup organic confectioners sugar


  • 1. Add all of the gluten free flours to a large bowl. Mix well, weigh out what you need for this recipe, then transfer the rest to a large container with a tight-fidding lid.
  • 2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.
  • 3. Whisk the 9 ounces of flour with the baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.
  • 4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter with the sugar. Add the molasses and the honey and beat well to combine. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • 5. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until just blended. Scrape down any batter on the sides of the bowl, then transfer batter to prepared pan, smoothing it out evenly.
  • 6. Bake for 23-28 minutes, until the bars are uniformly browned and edges are beginning to pull from the sides of the pan. A toothpick inserted in the center should not be completely dry. Note that if you open the oven door toward the end of cooking and see that the bars look puffy, don't worry. The puffiness will subside shortly after. Allow the bars to cool before dusting with confectioner's sugar, or glaze them with the ginger icing.
  • 7. To make the icing, combine the butter with the golden syrup and ginger in a small saucepan. Cook over low heat until the butter melts. Remove from the heat and whisk in the confectioner's sugar. Pour icing over the cooked and cooled bars, spreading it out with an offset spatula. Place in refrigerator for an hour or so until the icing is set, then slice into bars.

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35 thoughts on “Iced Ginger Bars and NYCookieSwap Recap”

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  4. Looks like I missed out on an amazing event… I was so sad that I couldn’t make it. I will have to make these ginger bars and just look at your photos and pretend I was there! They look so tasty… I love cakes and cookies made with ginger. Yum!

  5. Your ginger bars look so good! I wish I could have attended the NY Cookie Swap…from your photos, it looks like it was a blast. The only thing about doing the cookie swap via mail is that we don’t get to see each in person! Happy Holidays to you and your family, Winnie!

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  7. Awesome looking pics, those cookies look delish! I’m going to try making the Iced Ginger bars, but replace the butter with some organic margarine (dairy doesn’t work out well with me)

  8. Now that sounds like a serious cookie swap and for a good cause too. So jealous! Your GF mix looks like a good one. I’ll have to try it. Do you store it in the freezer?

  9. Oh, how fun! It kills me to be so far away when everyone gets together like this — and for a good cause, even! Love it.

    And miss you. :)

  10. Yummy! I always wanted to join events like this one. But I have many work to do, it’s great there are recipes online that my wife can try out. I am glad to found this! Unique recipe but so look amazing and looks healthy.

  11. I love my country but sometimes I wish I lived in NY or closer to it if only to attend these swaps! I know I missed out on a fabulous time but I am enjoying reading the recaps very much and seeing the wonderful pictures. You all did a super thing by participating and helping raise funds and awareness for Cookies for Kids Cancer and being able to spend time together…super bonus!

    I love desserts with ginger in them and these bars have really got me wanting to get into the kitchen and make a batch before Christmas! Thanks for sharing your recipe Winnie and your time at the Cookie Swap NYC.

  12. Looks like such a wonderful event and you captured it beautifully!!! Also: these ginger bars are killing me. I just ate and yet…suddenly, I am very very hungry..! :)

  13. I’m totally drooling over EVERYTHING pictured here. Especially the ginger bars and the rosemary butter cookies. I mean.. what? I just got butterflies in my stomach. Fresh rosemary has my heart, especially in baking.

  14. I so wanted to participate in the SF one, but it was the day I was cooking for a big party, so I had to miss it.

    I need to start organizing my own. Food for thoughts for next year!

    Those bars look awesome and I am going to make them asap! Thanks!

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  16. These bars look absolutely delicious and that ginger frosting looks heavenly! The cookie swap looks like it was awesome fun too :)

  17. Oh how fun!! Makes me wish I were living back East. So glad you had fun, and gosh, these bar cookies are gorgeous *and* gluten free? Yum!

  18. Such a fun post and your photos are beautiful, Winnie. Sweet of you to include me, too:) great to chat and I look forward to seeing you at NYCookieSwap in 2012.

  19. These Iced Ginger Bars are delicious. The vibrant flavors stands out amongst the sea of cookies. I should have taken more than one, just like Cathy. At least now I can make them and enjoy the entire tray. Mwahaha!!!

  20. Thanks – I feel as though I attended right along next to you. I’m definitely venturing into gluten-free territory in 2012. Coach me?

  21. LOVE the recap, Winnie. You’re a wizard with the camera! Even with my mouth full of Ken’s cookies, you manage to make me look good. Wish we could have an event every week so we could see you. xoxo

  22. I had no idea that this was the kind of event the NYCookie Swap was all about… sure missed out, and I make some darn good cookies, too – most recent post captures the traditional ones. These look really yummy! I think bars and squares are making a big comeback…

  23. Winnie, I adored both of your cookies and will admit to snagging two of these delicious bars with the intention of sharing with Dennis. Um. Don’t tell,ok?

  24. Wow, does that look like a fabulous time and what a great cause! Thanks for the yummy recap! Those ginger bars look fabulous!

    Merry, merry!

  25. These cookie bars look amazing! We have some gf family members who would love a gf choice at Christmas. Thanks for the idea!

    Now onto the cookie swap. It looks like it was an amazing time! I’m so sad I missed an opportunity to meet everyone and Dorie. Hopefully next year :)