Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Chocolate Peppermint Sugar Cookie Bars

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I went for a run after work today wearing my hot pink jacket. Normally, hearing the radio announce that it is a bitter 33 degrees outside would keep me cozied up inside, but I found determination and got my rear in gear.

And then I baked. Mostly because I've been stressed and baking seems to help, but also because the second I stopped running I got really cold and then found out that my heater was broken. Boo.

So here's to a well-earned pan of chocolate and peppermint deliciousness! These bar cookies are fast and easy and very moist. If you're not big on frosting, first of all, I feel sorry for you, and second of all, you can skip it and you'll probably be survive.

Chocolate Peppermint Cookie Bars [click to print]

For cookies: 
  • 1-1/2 c. flour
  • 1/3 c. cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 c. unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1 egg, large
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 c. peppermint bark, coarsely chopped
For frosting: 
  • 1 c. unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 c. powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3-4 T. heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. peppermint extract
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • gel food coloring (optional)
1) Preheat oven to 350 F. Line 9x13 cake pan with parchment paper, allowing about 2" overhang on each side of pan, or coat with nonstick cooking spray, and set aside. 

2) Whisk together flour, cocoa, salt and powder; set aside. In mixing bowl, beat butter, sugars, egg and vanilla until well combined. Gradually add flower mixture, in about three additions, and continue mixing until smooth.

3) Press dough into prepared sheet pan and sprinkle peppermint bark over top of dough. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until the cookie surface is no longer shiny and the edges look dry. Allow cookies to cool in pan about 10 minutes. Pulling on parchment overhang, lift cookies from pan and allow to cool completely on wire rack. 

4) For frosting, whip butter in stand mixer until smooth. Add about half the powdered sugar and 2 T. cream. Add remaining powdered sugar and gradually add cream, mixing well between each addition until desired consistency is reached. You want it to form soft peaks. Add extracts and food coloring then frost cookies when completely cool. Cut into bars and serve!

Source: Adapted from Mountain Mama Cooks

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