Since Christmas is fast approaching, I wanted to get a head start on some holiday baking. I’d been itching to bake something with peppermint, so I scoured the Internet for unique ideas. I found a Bon Appetit recipe for chocolate peppermint bark cookies with a shortbread crust. The cookies looked incredible, so I decided to make these holiday treats.
The recipe called for a candy cane topping, but I chose to use Hershey’s candy cane kisses instead, since I already had a bag at home. Although the crunchy texture of the candy cane pieces would have offered another dimension to the semi-soft cookies, I thought the candy cane kisses worked even better, as they kept the texture consistent.
I am certainly going to make and include these peppermint bark cookies in holiday treat bags for friends and co-workers. My brother, who absolutely loved these cookies, already requested I make them again for him to bring to work.
I recommend refrigerating these cookies even after the chocolate hardens, to prevent melting. Remove the cookies from the fridge 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
More holiday baking and cooking to come!
- Peppermint topping recipe:
- 1¾ - 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, roughly chopped
- 1 cup Hershey's candy cane kisses, chopped
- 2 oz. white chocolate chips
- Crust recipe:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 large egg yolk
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9" x 13" baking pan with non-stick spray. Line bottom of pan with long strip of parchment paper, leaving overhang on both short sides of pan.
- For the peppermint topping: Chop the candy cane kisses into small bits for sprinkling over the chocolate layer. Roughly chop the semi-sweet chocolate chips to speed up the melting process.
- For the crust: Whisk flour and salt in a medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until creamy, about 2 minutes. Gradually beat in sugar. Continue beating until mixture is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in vanilla, then egg yolk. Gradually add flour mixture, beating on low-speed just to blend.
- Evenly distribute dough in prepared baking pan. Lightly flour or moisten hands if needed, to prevent sticking to the dough. Pierce dough all over with fork.
- Bake cookie base until light golden brown and slightly puffed and edges begin to come away from sides of pan, about 25 to 30 minutes. Place pan on rack; immediately sprinkle roughly chopped semi-sweet chocolate chips over hot crust. Let stand until chocolate softens, about 1 to 2 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, delicately spread chocolate over top of cookie in even layer. Sprinkle chopped candy cane kisses on top of chocolate layer.
- Stir white chocolate chips in a medium metal or glass bowl set over saucepan of simmering water until melted or smooth, or melt white chocolate in microwave. If chocolate is too thick to stir on stove, add a drizzle of vegetable oil or ½ tsp. vegetable shortening to thin out. Remove metal or glass bowl from stove then drizzle white chocolate over cookie using a fork. Chill cookies until white chocolate sets, about 1 hour.
- Using large knife, cut cookies into irregular pieces. Serve.