Ginger squares (or ginger bars) are a delicious shortbread-like slice topped with sweet ginger icing.

Ginger squares (or ginger bars)

Ginger squares

This recipe for ginger squares comes from one of my amazing Grandmother’s hand-written recipe books.

I think the classic old recipes are the best!

Back from the day we use to know how to cook by feel and instructions included phrases like ‘in a slow oven.’

A while ago Mum took us on a little stealth trip to see their family home (stealth because it’s on a property in central Queensland).

You might like to try our lemon and ginger shortbread.

Ever since, I can picture my Grandma baking in the kitchen and hear and smell the bush outside.

These ginger bars are quick and simple to make and taste almost like a ginger-iced shortbread slice.

Ginger squares (or ginger bars) cut into pieces

The first time I made them I packaged some up and left them at my Grandma’s door (a common occurrence).

One minute after I got off the phone to tell her to look outside, my phone rang.

‘I’ve already had one and they are delicious!’ It was great to hear I’d done the recipe justice.

Not only was I cooking from my Grandmother’s recipe book but the tin was passed on from her a few years ago too.

Ingredients to make ginger bars

BASE

  • Butter – the pure type that comes wrapped in foil.
  • Caster sugar – or superfine sugar.
  • Brown sugar – you can use all the one type of sugar but this adds a bit of a caramel flavour.
  • Plain flour – or all-purpose flour.
  • Baking powder – to help it rise.
  • Ground ginger – the star of the show.

ICING

  • Icing sugar – also called powdered or confectioners sugar
  • Butter – pure butter not the spreadable stuff in a tub.
  • Ground ginger
  • Golden syrup – you could use honey in its place but it won’t be as sweet or rich in flavour.

How to make ginger squares

The base for ginger squares is super simple to make.

Just beat up the butter and sugar then add the rest of the dry ingredients and mix it until it all comes together.

Cooking from my Grandmother’s book, I really should have done it by hand as she would have done.

You might also enjoy raspberry squares.

I like my modern conveniences.

I used my hands to push the dough into the tin so that was hands-on enough.

Make sure you flatten out the top so it’s nice and smooth.

Bake at 175C fan-forced for 15 to 20 minutes or just until it starts to turn golden on the top.

Typing this up now, it seems I’ve inadvertently changed up the recipe a little.

To make the icing, I just melted everything together in a saucepan then poured it over the cooled base (I left it to cool in the tin).

Re-reading the recipe, I was meant to beat the icing once it cooled so it was nice and light.

Ginger squares (or ginger bars)
Ginger squares

Feel free to beat it if you like but I rather enjoyed my version, which set nicely on top of the buttery base.

Slice it up into squares and enjoy!

Ginger squares
Ginger squares

Ginger squares

Yield: 20

Ingredients

  • BASE
  • 125g butter
  • 30g caster sugar
  • 30g brown sugar
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • ICING
  • 4 tbsp icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 3 tsp golden syrup

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 175C fan-forced and grease and line a 15x25cm shallow pan.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until light and creamy.
  3. Add the dry ingredients and mix to combine.
  4. Press the mixture into the tin.
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until it starts to turn golden.
  6. Leave to cool in the tin.
  7. Meanwhile, make the icing.
  8. Place the icing sugar, butter, ginger and golden syrup in a small saucepan and heat, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is smooth.
  9. Pour over the base and leave to set.
  10. Cut the slice into squares to serve.

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