Cook’s Notes: Penzey’s Cake Spice is a blend of cinnamon, star anise, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, and cloves. You could use 3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom and 1/4 teaspoon ground star anise instead. Or just use 4.75 teaspoons of the cake spice plus 1/4 teaspoon black pepper for the spice blend. It’s hard to stop eating these Chai Spice Bars, a variation of the Chewy Bar Cookies recipe. Makes 32 to 40 bars.
See my list of other suggested bar cookie variations for more ideas.
1 sticks (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups all-purpose flour
1.5 teaspoons ginger powder
1.5 teaspoons cinnamon powder
1 teaspoon Penzey’s Cake Spice
3/4 teaspoon clove powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat a 9×13-inch pan with cooking spray.
With an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugars until smooth. Beat in the vanilla and eggs.
Combine the salt, baking soda, flour and spices. Slowly stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture until dough is just combined.
Press dough evenly onto the bottom of the pan. (I put on food-safe handling gloves and press it in by hand.) Smooth the top.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the edges are just the tiniest bit brown. Use a toothpick to check for doneness in the center. Cut into bars.
Make glaze: Blend 1 cup powdered sugar, 2 Tablespoons melted butter, and 2 Tablespoons milk. Drizzle over finished bars.
Source: Adapted from a recipe on Brooklyn Limestone.