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a pile of gingerbread cookie bars
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5 from 2 votes

Brazilian-Style Gingerbread Cookie Bars

Brazilian-Style Gingerbread Cookie Bars (barrinhas de pão de mel) are gooey cookie-based gingerbread bars filled with a thin layer of dulce de leche topped with chocolate ganache. 
Course:Dessert
Cuisine:Brazilian
Keywords:chocolate ganache, cookie bars, cookie sandwich, dulce de leche, gingerbread
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 12
Calories491 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (or 1 stick)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract, divided
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 20 chewy/soft caramels
  • 1 can NESTLÉ® LA LECHERA® Sweetened Condensed Milk (14 oz)
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  • Start by preheating oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 8 x 8-inch baking pan with no-stick spray, line with parchment paper, and set aside.
  • Prepare the cookie dough: using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, combine butter and sugars, mixing just until creamy.
  • Add molasses, egg, flour, spices, 1 tsp vanilla, and baking soda. Beat the mixture on medium speed until homogeneous.
  • Spread half of the batter in an even layer in the prepared pan, using your hands if necessary; reserve. 
  • Meanwhile prepare the dulce de leche filling. In a medium microwave safe bowl, melt caramel until mostly smooth.
  • Stir in 1/2 cup of sweetened condensed milk until obtaining a homogeneous mixture. Pour dulce de leche filling on top of the cookie batter, spreading gently in an even layer. 
  • Then, drop flattened pieces of the remaining cookie batter on top of the filling until they mostly cover the dulce de leche filling.
  • Bake for about 20-23 minutes, transfer pan to a rack, and let cool for 10-15 minutes before topping with chocolate ganache.
  • While cooling, make the ganache. Mix remaining sweetened condensed milk with chocolate chips in another microwave safe bowl and heat for about 90 seconds. 
  • Stir in until chocolate is melted and ganache is smooth and has thickened. Mix in 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla and spread over the baked cookie batter.
  • Let set in the refrigerator for at least 30-50 minutes, cut into squares, and decorate as desired. Enjoy with a cup of hot chocolate!

Recipe Notes

  • Store these Gingerbread Cookie Bars in a clean airtight container for up to 3-4 days, either at room temp or in the refrigerator.
  • Love Gingerbread? Try its cousin, pao de mel .

Nutrition

Calories: 491kcal | Carbohydrates: 76g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 47mg | Sodium: 306mg | Potassium: 415mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 55g | Vitamin A: 360IU | Vitamin C: 0.8mg | Calcium: 162mg | Iron: 2.6mg
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