1 Preheat oven and put together pan: Preheat an oven to 350°F. Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking pan frivolously with cooking oil.
Line the pan with parchment paper, ensuring about 1-inch of paper overhangs the lengthy aspect of the pan. You’ll use the overhang to carry the bars out of the pan later.
2 Cream the butter, sugar, and spices: Within the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, place the butter, brown sugar, vanilla extract, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, salt, and baking soda. With the mixer on medium-high, cream the substances collectively till the combination kinds a paste and clings to the aspect of the bowl, about 2 minutes.
3 Scrape, add molasses and egg, and blend: Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the aspect of the bowl and add the molasses and egg. Combine till included, about 30 seconds on medium pace.
4 Scrape down the bowl: Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the edges of the bowl once more. Add the flour. Slowly combine, at low pace, till the dry substances are absorbed. It’s possible you’ll must scrape the edges of the bowl down midway by means of to verify all of the substances are included. The dough ought to be the consistency of thick and stiff frosting.
5 Switch dough to the ready pan: Scrape the dough into the ready baking pan and unfold the dough out evenly with a butter knife or small offset spatula.
6 Bake: Switch the baking dish to the oven and bake for 16 to twenty minutes or till a toothpick inserted in the course of the pan comes out clear.
7 Cool the bars: Take away the pan from the oven and let it cool utterly on a wire rack till it’s at room temperature, about 2 hours. Whereas the bars are cooling, take the cream cheese and butter out of the fridge to return to room temperature.
8 Make the frosting: As soon as the bars are cool, make the frosting by inserting the cream cheese and butter in a clear bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Cream collectively on medium-high pace till the butter and cream cheeses are properly blended and there are not any extra lumps, about 1 minute.
Scape down the edges of the bowl and add vanilla and salt and blend for 30 seconds to include. Once more, scrape down the edges and add the powdered sugar. Combine on low pace till the sugar is absorbed and the frosting is thick and clean.
9 Frost the cookies: Frost the highest of the cookie bars generously.
10 Chill and lower the bars: If you would like clear strains for presentation functions, place the frosted uncut bars, uncovered, within the fridge to relax for 1 hour. As soon as the bars have chilled, use the parchment sling to carry them from the pan and place them on the reducing board. Use a big sharp knife and press straight down, fairly than dragging the knife by means of the bars. Wipe the knife blade after every lower.
If you wish to skip the fridge chill step, you may lower the bars after they’ve cooled on the counter. The strains simply may not be as sharp.
11 Serve: Organize the bars on a platter, prime with sprinkles if desired, and serve. Retailer leftovers lined within the fridge for as much as 3 days.