Every year around Christmas time, my kids and I bake like crazy over a period of about two weeks. We listen to Christmas music and make fudge, fruit cake and bake all kinds of cookies using some old recipes and some new. Then the kids place a variety of each type of cookie on Christmassy plates and we deliver them to our neighbors a few days before Christmas. It has been a great way to share our faith in a way that brings a lot of joy.
This Chocolate Peppermint Crunch Cookie Bark became and instant favorite the first year we made it. What is it about chocolate and peppermint that is so amazing? This is different than your traditional peppermint bark. It is part candy and part crunchy cookie. Did I mention that these are amazing? They are!
CHOCOLATE PEPPERMINT CRUNCH COOKIE BARK
For the cookie base:
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder (not Hershey’s cocoa)
1 cup (two sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups (9 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
For the topping:
1 1/2 cups (9ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cups (about 5 ounces) crushed peppermint candy (crush with a rolling pin into small pieces)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Have ready two baking sheets.
Prepare the cookie base: In a medium bowl, stir the flour, baking soda and salt together. Sift the cocoa powder onto the flour mixture and set aside.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on low speed, mix the melted butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, water and vanilla until smooth, about 30 seconds. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed during mixing. Add the flour mixture, mixing just until the flour is incorporated. Stir in 1 1/2 cups of chocolate chips.
Leaving at least a 3 inch border empty on all sides, use a thin metal spatula or the back of a spoon to spread half of the dough on one ungreased, parchment paper-free baking sheet in a rough rectangle that measures about 11 by 8 inches and is about 1/4 inch thick. Pat it into an even layer. Repeat with the remaining cookie dough on the second baking sheet.
Bake one cookie base at a time until the top looks dull, not shiny, and feels evenly firm at the edges and center, about 14 minutes. As soon as each baking sheet comes out of the oven, sprinkle 3/4 cup chocolate chips over the cookie. Let the chocolate chips sit for 5 minutes to soften and melt, then use a small metal spatula to spread the melted chocolate over the cookie. While the chocolate is still warm, sprinkle half the peppermint candy evenly over the slab.
Let the cookie bark cool on the baking sheets on a wire rack until the chocolate topping is firm, about two hours. Or, to speed the cooling, cool the cookies on the baking sheets for about 30 minutes, then refrigerate them, still on the baking sheets, just until the chocolate topping firms, then remove them from the refrigerator. The cookie bark will become crisp as it cools.
Break each cookie slab into about 12 5 to 6 inch long irregular pieces or any size and shape that you like.
Store layered between sheets of wax paper in a tightly covered container.
We have been making this Chocolate Peppermint Crunch Cookie Bark for years now and everyone loves it!
This post is a part of the series A Cookie A Day Until Christmas.
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Marianne is a wife and homeschooling mother of eight children living in beautiful Southern California. She has a passion for encouraging families to walk in faith as they seek to live out lives that bring glory to God. You can keep up with what Marianne is up to by following her on Facebook and Twitter or at her blog Abundant Life.
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