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Peppermint Bark Shortbread

Peppermint Bark Shortbread is a twist on a favorite Christmas treat. Buttery shortbread is topped with dark chocolate, white chocolate and crushed candy canes.

I make peppermint bark every Christmas to enjoy for ourselves and to give away in gift bags. It’s easy for me because, lucky me, I have a small tabletop chocolate tempering machine.

I know tempering can be a bit fussy and intimidating for many home bakers, so I came up with this recipe for Peppermint Bark Shortbread instead.  You still get the yummy crunchy peppermint bark, but you don’t need to temper the chocolate.

You don’t even have to pre-melt the dark chocolate since the warm shortbread does the work for you. I love that it’s a cross between a cookie and a candy.

Scroll through the process photos to see how to make Peppermint Bark Shortbread:

spreading chocolate on shortbread
Once the chocolate is melted, spread in an even layer over the shortbread base
white chocolate on shortbread
Wait until the dark chocolate is completely set before spreading the melted white chocolate on top.
crushed candy canes
Wrap the candy canes in a clean but old kitchen towel and crush into small bits, or you can buy candy cane bits.
cutting peppermint bark shortbread
Use a knife warmed in hot water and gently saw through the candy canes and chocolate before cutting the cookie.
peppermint bark shortbread

These cookies are even better the day after they’re made. The shortbread softens just a bit and melds nicely with the chocolate coating. I think these would be a lovely addition to any holiday cookie tray or gift tin.

Peppermint Bark Shortbread

If you love this recipe as much as I do, I’d really appreciate a 5-star review.

Peppermint Bark Shortbread Cookies

Peppermint Bark Shortbread Cookies

Yield: 48 cookies
Prep Time: 1 hour
Bake Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

This is a cross between a cookie and a candy. Buttery shortbread topped with peppermint bark.

Ingredients

  • 4 sticks (16 oz, 453g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup (8 oz. 226g) granulated sugar
  • 4 1/2 cups (20 oz, 567g) cake flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 12 oz (340g) high quality dark chocolate, chopped
  • 12 oz (340g) high quality white chocolate, chopped
  • 36 candy canes, crushed into small pieces

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a mixing bowl with a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add flour and salt all at once and mix just until combined.
  3. Dump the dough onto a lightly floured surface and form the dough into rectangle shape. Transfer the dough to the prepared sheet pan and use your hands to work the dough to fill the pan.
  4. Lay another sheet of parchment over the dough and rub over the surface to even out the thickness. Remove the parchment and use a fork to prick the top of the dough all over. Bake until the dough is just beginning to brown and the center of the dough is set, about 20 minutes.
  5. Cool for 5 minutes then sprinkle the chopped dark chocolate over the warm shortbread. Allow the chocolate to melt without touching.
  6. Once the chocolate is completely melted use a small spatula to spread the chocolate to cover the shortbread in an even layer. Set it aside until the chocolate is completely set
  7. Melt the white chocolate in a microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between increments (be careful, white chocolate burns easily you must stir often)
  8. Pour the melted white chocolate over the dark chocolate and smooth into an even layer. Before the white chocolate sets, sprinkle the candy cane bits over the white chocolate and gently press the candy bits into the surface of the chocolate so they stick. Allow to set completely before cutting.
  9. To cut use a long serrated knife. Run the knife under hot water (or dip in a pitcher of hot water) then wipe the blade clean.
  10. Use a gentle sawing motion to cut through the candy bits and chocolate layers before cutting into the shortbread. First trim the ragged edges, then cut the sheet into 48 squares. Repeat warming and wiping the knife between each cut.

Notes

The recipe can also be halved and baked in a 1/4 sheet pan.

I find it easiest to make the cookies the day before cutting. The cookies softens just a bit so it's less likely to crack while you cut.

Did you make this recipe?

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