Thursday, December 18, 2014

Foodie Love ~ Peppermint Shortbread Bark

This... is peppermint shortbread bark...

I recently took part in my first cookie exchange ever! For those of you who don't know what that is, you basically get together with a group of people, you make enough of one type of baking for everyone to take home an agreed upon amount, and you swap! In the end you get to come home with a mix of baking for all of your Christmas parties and you only had to make one of them!

My friend Steph invited me to her cookie exchange and I immediately started thinking of what I should make. Of course I settled on something I had never made before because I am a glutton for punishment.... I bring you, Peppermint Shortbread Bark....

The Necessities:
2 Cups All Purpose Flour
~ 1 Cup Unsalted Butter
~ 1 Cup Sugar
~ 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
~ 1 Large Egg Yolk
~ 6 Oz Bittersweet or Semisweet Chocolate, Chopped
~ 1 Cup Candy Cane Kisses, Chopped

The Process:
~ Preheat oven to 350F
~ Spray 9x13 cake pan and line with parchment paper (leave it much larger than the pan to allow for easy removal)
~ Cream together butter and sugar using an electric mixer or a stand mixer
~ Mix in vanilla and egg yolk
~ Slowly mix in flour (the cookie dough will be fairly crumbly and dry)
~ Press cookie dough evenly into the cake pan using fingers and smooth out with a spoon
~ Bake in the center of your oven for about 30 minutes (it will be light brown on the edges and coming away from the pan)
~ Remove from the oven and spread the chocolate over the top allowing it to melt for a minute or two before spreading it smooth with a spatula
~ Once chocolate is evenly spread, sprinkle the chopped candy cane kisses (they will also melt slightly)
~ Place in the fridge to cool completely and allow the chocolate to harden 
~ Once the bars have cooled completely remove them from the pan using the parchment paper to lit them onto a cutting board
~ Dip a very large, sharp knife in hot water and dry off
~ Cut bars immediately heating and drying the knife in between each cut (This will give you the sharpest edges and cleanest cuts)

Here are my bars all packed into cellophane bags and ready for the exchange. As far as I know they were a hit! Give them a try!

Mrs. E

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