Peppermint Bark Cookies

It’s the best of both worlds! Buttery shortbread cookies topped with melted chocolate and peppermint candy canes.

Peppermint Bark Shortbread Cookies

Peppermint bark is one of my favorite holiday treats. Peppermint! And chocolate! Together! And these peppermint bark shortbread cookies take it one step further.

You want to make peppermint bark even more amazing?

Put it on top of a cookie!

These cookies are pretty, not at all difficult to make, and so very, very good. Plus, they’re sure to be the star of any holiday party or cookie exchange. And if you’re looking for an edible gift idea, all you have to do is place these peppermint bark cookies in a bag with cute ribbon and you’re set.

Peppermint Bark Shortbread Cookies

baking tip:How to Melt Chocolate

Melting chocolate is easy! Just be sure you don’t overheat the chocolate as it can scorch and seize very quickly. When almost all of the chocolate is melted and only a few chunks remain, remove from the microwave and stir until fully melted and smooth. For best results use high quality chopped chocolate and not chocolate chips.

In the microwave— Place chopped chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high in 30 second intervals, stirring the chocolate after each.

On the stovetop— Place chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl (I like to use glass) set over a small saucepan of boiling water. You can also use a double boiler. Stir frequently as chocolate melts. 

Peppermint Bark Shortbread Cookies

Buttery shortbread topped with semi-sweet and white chocolate and candy canes.

Ingredients:

Shortbread cookies:

  • 3/4 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Peppermint bark topping:

  • 3 ounces (85 grams) white chocolate, chocolate (see Notes)
  • 3 ounces (85 grams) semi-sweet chocolate, chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream, divided
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract, divided
  • About 4 candy canes crushed into small pieces

Directions:

To make the cookies:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease an 8-inch round baking dish. I used a tart pan with removable sides. You can also use an 8-inch square dish.
  2. With an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until smooth and creamy, 2-3 minutes. Mix in the peppermint extract.
  3. Add the flour and salt and mix until just incorporated.
  4. Press the mixture into your prepared pan. Bake just until top starts to turn golden brown, 30-35 minutes. If you use a square baking dish, check at 25 minutes.
  5. Let cool completely.

To top the cookies:

  1. In a heat-proof bowl set over a pot of simmering water, or in the microwave in 30 second bursts, melt the semi-sweet chocolate and 1 tablespoon of the heavy cream together until smooth. Be careful not to overheat and burn. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon of the peppermint extract. Spread over the cooled shortbread. If desired, reserve some of the melted chocolate to drizzle on top. Chill in the freezer until firm, about 5 minutes.
  2. Melt the white chocolate and remaining 1 tablespoon of the heavy cream together until smooth. Stir in remaining 1/2 teaspoon of the peppermint extract. Spread on top of the semi-sweet chocolate.
  3. Drizzle with remaining melted chocolate, if you set some aside. Sprinkle with crushed candy canes. Chill in the freezer until firm, 5-10 minutes.
  4. For clean slices, heat a sharp knife by running it under hot water and wiping clean with a towel. Re-heat as needed.
  5. For best results, store shortbread in the fridge.
Notes:
  • You can use chocolate chips in place of the chopped chocolate.
  • Make sure you use true white chocolate (check the label for "cocoa butter" in the ingredients). White chocolate imitations will not melt as well.

Have you tried this recipe?

I’d love to hear about it! Leave a comment below, send me an email, or take a photo and tag it on instagram with #completelydelicious.

Recipe originally published December 2009.

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