Rich, chocolatey cookies overflowing with pieces of sweet, crunchy peppermint bark, topped with crushed candy canes–a chocolate and peppermint lover’s dream! On a whim, I decided to buy a bag of peppermint bark baking bits at TJ’s. I knew it probably wasn’t the greatest idea. I took it out of my basket more than once, but I just kept imagining all of the wonderful things I could bake with it! I LOVE peppermint bark. Every year, it’s pretty much the biggest act of willpower to stop myself from buying a bag of the Ghiradelli peppermint bark, and eating the whole thing in one sitting. Buying the bag to eat a few in “moderation” isn’t even an option. I figured at least these ones were chopped into reallllly tiny pieces. Plus, when I bake, I give things away. If I try to give away the store bought candy I just purchased, I feel a little silly. So I bought this bag of baking chips, and I was trying to decide what to do with it. Then I looked at the back of the bag, and there was a recipe. A recipe that called for use of the entire bag. Perfect. No bark left over means no pieces getting shoveled down my mouth by the handful. It’s a win-win situation. Especially when the cookies turn out ridiculous-stop-everything-I’ve-found-the-solution-for-all-the-world’s-problems-amazing. These cookies are soft, chewy and filled with delicious chocolate flavor, complemented by the bright refreshingly sweet peppermint, and topped with crunchy candy canes for some extra texture. To me, the secret to a perfect cookie comes in the texture combinations. A slight crunch on the outside with an extra soft, almost dough-like inside. And you know how I KNOW they were a success? I brought them to a showcase where a bunch of kiddos happily gobbled them down without any clue that they were eating health(ier) cookies. Kids are the best testers because they are ridiculously honest, and happy, chocolatey faces tell all. **Note: All photos on this post were taken by my husband. I made these last year before I was exclusively taking the photos for my site. I could make them again (they are so good), but his photos are gorgeous, so I decided to keep them.
Rich, chocolatey cookies overflowing with pieces of sweet, crunchy peppermint bark, topped with crushed candy canes--a chocolate and peppermint lover's dream!
- 1 and 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour (or gluten-free baking blend*
- 1 tsp baking powder
- dash salt
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder (preferably Dutch process)
- 1/2 cup light cream cheese
- 1 and 1/3 cups brown sugar
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
- 1 bag Trader Joe's peppermint bark baking bits
- 1 candy cane, crushed
- Preheat oven to 350. Prepare baking sheets with silpat or parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa powder. Set aside.
- In a large bow, beat together cream cheese and sugars. Add eggs one at a time, beating until fully incorporated, then beat in extracts. Slowly beat in dry ingredients until fully incorporated. Fold in baking bits.
- Use a small cookie scoop to transfer dough onto prepared baking sheet. Press a pinch of crushed candy cane into the top of each dough ball. Bake for 10-14 minutes until set. Let stand for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store fully cooled cookies in an airtight container for about 1 week.
*Recipe tested with white whole wheat flour, but I've subbed my gf blend in very similar recipes and it has worked great. You may need to reduce baking time, so check cookies around 7-8 minutes.