Peppermint bark is one of my favorite holiday treats. Peppermint! And chocolate! Together! It’s one of those special treats that you can only really get around this time of year, but it’s always so expensive in stores. It’s much cheaper to make and also ridiculously easy to do so.
This year I wanted to do something a little different with the peppermint bark. I saw a recipe for Peppermint Bark Shortbread Cookies in a magazine somewhere and thought it was great. I’ve looked everywhere for the recipe but couldn’t remember where I saw it. So I decided that I would just make it up myself. The cookies turned out very well and I definitely achieved the result I wanted, although I had a few hiccups. I had spread the cookie dough onto a sheet pan but it didn’t cook evenly and the edges were very over baked before the middle was done. And then I forgot to mix the candy cane pieces into the chocolate and instead sprinkled them on top. But it was delicious anyway and I will definitely be making these again, maybe even again this season!
Peppermint Bark Shortbread Cookies
Makes about 2 dozen cookies
3/4 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
1 bag (12 ounces) white chocolate chips
1 bag (12 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips
About 5 candy canes crushed into small pieces
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the salt and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and mix until combined. Add the flour in two additions and mix until combined.
Press the dough evenly into the sheet pan using your fingers and a rolling pin if necessary. Since I had trouble with my cookie baking evenly, I would suggest leaving a gap down the middle of the pan with equal sized squares of cookie dough on either side. You could also use smaller 9 inch x 9 inch pans if you prefer. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before baking. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until it’s lightly golden brown. If you use a different size pan, just keep your eye on it.
Let the shortbread cool completely. Meanwhile, melt the semi-sweet chocolate in a bowl placed over simmering water on the stove. Stir until completely smooth and melted, then remove from heat. Add 1 teaspoon of peppermint extract and stir to combine. Pour over cooled shortbread and spread evenly to cover. Allow to set in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. Then melt the white chocolate chips the same way as the semi-sweet, adding a teaspoon of peppermint extract. Mix in the candy cane pieces, reserving some to sprinkle over the top. Pour the white chocolate on top of the set semi-sweet chocolate and spread evenly. Sprinkle with any remaining candy cane pieces and again refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
Once completely set, remove the sheet(s) of bark from the pan(s). Cut large strips with a sharp knife and then break into even triangular pieces. Mine broke as I cut, leaving large angled pieces and I broke them further to be more uniform in size.