Iced Ginger Bars and NYCookieSwap Recap

Winnie Abramson, ND

By Winnie Abramson, ND

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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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